Spring cleaning is in full throttle mode in my house. I am purging SO much crap. I did the same thing last year with the goal of creating a capsule wardrobe and got rid of nearly 7 bags of clothes and other stuff I seriously did not need in my life. I managed to keep my wardrobe down over the past year, which I am very proud about. At first I did it to help ensure I have a cleaner space, less laundry, and to cut the habit of "needing" things so much and start to find value and creativity in what I have already. I ended up saving money by not buying new things, time - by not doing so much laundry and always trying to "find something to wear," and overall saving energy. I can honestly say I really never went back to my old habits of impulsively buying stuff I really didn't need. But that habit was built around my closet contents at first until recently.
Part of my purging comes from my natural urge to keep organized in my life and the other is because I am currently listening to the podcast called The Minimalist. So much of this podcast is resonating with me and has me thinking about all the "stuff" in my life, what brings me joy and value, and how I can cultivated that value and more creativity into my everyday being. After listening to the first few episodes, I just wanted to throw all my stuff away and start from scratch, but that's not what it is about.
Pairing things down in life has become a process. It has me slowing moving throughout my house, really looking at things and trying to minimize. Trying to figure out if I really need this, that, and there other. The answer most of the time is no.
After I got my clothes/closet situated, I am now moving onto my kitchen. This spot has been the hardest for me since I spend a lot of time there and feel that I need everything. But, I don't. I know this. Even with little ingredients here and there, the props for blog posts (like a million paper straws and toothpicks), the tiny muffin tins I've used once, 3 wire whisks! ...you see where I am going with this, yeah? I know I am not going to use it all, so why do I save it? No idea. So I've been working on letting it go.
At the same time I'm purging, I don't want to let anything go to waste (like ingredients!), so I've been having baking fests over the weekends. Podcast listening, baking fests. Currently, I have a bag of bread flour I'm working my way through, so I've made these bagels a few weeks in a row. Other ventures have included making scones, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, and I plan to make a few loaves of soda bread this week if I have some extra time.
Bread making takes a bit of time and patience. To me, it's similar to my purging experience. It shouldn't be rushed, and you just have to work through it.
The results are lovely.
Homemade bagels...I mean, honestly, how amazing is this concept. Personally I think they are a little bit better than a clean closet, because...it is homemade bagels for crying out loud. And honestly, I love the feeling of creating something slightly impressive and damn delicious. These are so much better than store. Trust.
Worth every minute each and every time I make them.
So I hope you put aside some time on a Sunday and enjoy the process of creation - and then eating. All. of. them. Nomnomnoommmmm :)
makes 8 bagels
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- Place yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Do not stir, but let it sit 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Add in the bread flour and salt to the yeast mixture and add the least 1/2 cup of water.
- Using the hook attachment, mix and knead for 10 minutes. If it looks too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. You want firm and moist dough. Not too sticky.
- After kneading, take the dough out of the bowl, shape into a ball and lightly oil the bowl. Add the dough back to the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let it sit for an hour until it doubles in size.
- Punch the dough down and then divide the dough into 8 even balls. I use a scale for this to ensure they are all around the same size.
- Using your finger, gently make a hole in the center of the dough ball to make and gently stretch into a ring shape. Repeat x7.
- Once all the dough balls are shaped. Place them on a cutting board or baking sheet lined with parchment and cover with a towel. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
- While dough is resting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare a large pot of water on the stove on high. You need about 2-3 inches of water.
- When the dough is ready and the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon and gentle place each bagel in the boiling water. Boil for one minute and flip. Boil the other side for one minute. Don't crowd the pot, work in batches if needed.
- After boil, place bagels on a banking sheet, lined with parchment. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack and enjoy!