Tahitian Vanilla powder sent to me by a friend of one of my dear friends. Their product not only inspired the flavors in this bagel, but I took it a step further and made a Vanilla/Honey Cream Cheese spread that is so addictive!
Bagels are one of the recipes I developed over the years, but not one my mother ever made. I think of bagels as being a "fad" of us Baby-Boomers that has evolved to one of the favorite choices for breakfast through the generations to follow. Jewish immigrants brought bagels to America and New York is said to have some of the best bagels in the world...due to their water supply. Whatever the history, once you've had a fresh bagel, you will never buy one in a package again!
Vanilla Berry Bagels
6 cups Bread flour (If you have a smaller food processor, reduce flour to 4 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Vanilla bean, split and the bean paste scrapped or I used 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Powder
1/2 cup very warm water (105F-degrees)
2 T dry yeast or 2 pkgs.
1- 1 1/2 additional water
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
First, proof your yeast. In a 1 cup, glass measure, add the very warm water and sprinkle the yeast in it. I also add 1/2 tsp. sugar to "feed" the yeast. Use a small whisk to blend the yeast, water and sugar and set aside for 7-10 minutes to proof. If your yeast is good, the mixture should be foamy. (I proof all my yeast when I'm bread-baking to test for active culture.)
In a food processor, measure the flour, salt, and brown sugar and pulse to incorporate. When the yeast has proofed, add it to the bowl and place the cover back over the bowl. Turn motor on and begin to pour the additional water through the feed tube, slowly. When the dough just comes together, stop the machine. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured board. Using my hands, I stretch and push the dough out into a rectangle. I sprinkle the cranberries and cherries over the surface and fold the dough into thirds. I knead the dough and then, place it into a plastic tub, sprayed with a non-stick baking spray, to rise, 45 minutes. The dough should double in size.
While the bagels are rising, start a large pan on the stove with about 3-inches of water and 2 tablespoons of honey on Medium/High heat.
(Refer to my Bagel recipe post from August 2009 to shape and cook bagels.)
The bagels bake in a preheated 400F-degree oven, after they have been submerged in a simmering water bath, for 20-22 minutes.
Vanilla/Honey Cream Cheese
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 T honey
1/2 vanilla bean, split and the bean paste scrapped
In a bowl, using a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the honey and vanilla bean paste and beat to combine. Refrigerate.
I've decided to reveal part of the bonus I'm doing with the Autumn Give-Away...a package of Tahitian Vanilla Beans. I know how important vanilla is in baking and with the upcoming holiday season, you will appreciate the aroma and flavor of using fresh beans as I do. Enjoy!