I am person who lives in organised chaos and honestly I love it.
When I say organised chaos, It is hard to describe without being clumsy. It is the way you have things that looks disorganised and chaotic to others, but to you it is perfectly placed because you definitely KNOW where everything is. I am pretty sure a few of you guys can relate to what I am saying. Even if you do not have a messy kitchen collection like me, I pretty sure most people’s clothing collection can go by this concept. Your favourite sweater might be shoved with your jeans and t shirts but at least you know where it is all the time.
While I might relish and gawk at the notion of having a kitchen which looks like the pages of IKEA magazine or one as vintage as you see on thekitchn; I do not think I can live in world where my kitchen remains perfect. I know this is against every cooks code of conduct but I am a tad ( ok more than tad) muddled in the kitchen and honestly I try to keep it that way. It is not that I mean to be messy in the kitchen it is just that I work better when I not concerned that I am going to disrupt the “perfectness” of my kitchen organisation.
That’s the thing with being perfect, once it is perfect the anxiety of getting it wrong or messing up is enormous (at least for me). So If I did have a kitchen like those, I would be scared to cook in it simply because I think I will never be able to make it just the way it is again. The plates would not be clean enough, the glasses will not be stack actually right and those neatly fold clean towels. Sure they are great to look at but I think I would spend more time obsessing over keeping the kitchen neat than cook in it!
A trade off between having better skills in the kitchen and keeping the kitchen impeccably clean; I am choosing the skill thank you very much. I know some of you might think this my excuse (and it is a little) but I am too focused on getting my skills up to scratch.
For example, I might be the only person who does this. I make macrons at least twice a month. Not because I want to eat them, as delicious as they are, but the anxiety of “losing” the ability to make them with feet, not cracked, smooth tops etc. makes me stay awake at night.
What do you prefer great skill or clean kitchen? I think the answer is pretty clear if you think about it.
The great thing about baking bread is that clean up is something easy that I even I can manage.
While most people have hopped on to the pumpkin train and travel to overload spice-vile, I have stopped at the station before it got too much. Yes pumpkins are delicious, but I think seasonal veggies have got more to offer than just that. So these are not orange because they are made with pumpkin, they are made with sweet potato.
We do not get a huge range of bagels flavours in Australia, I think I can count 5 in commercial supermarkets and 8 if you lucky enough to go to bakery to get your bagels. However when I see other getting pumpkin bagels, onion bagels, bacon bagels; I cannot help but feel jealous. I love a good bagel; Like I have said before here and here one of my favourites in the bread world. While sweet potato does not make it taste like sweet potato; it does make It fluffier than the traditional all flour bagel and slightly sweeter ( not because it was roasted in honey before hand!)
Yes This recipe does require you to roast the sweet potato beforehand in a honey mix but you can make a big batch and use in salads or even for dinner. Who doesn’t love a recipe with two uses?
Makes 10 large sized bagels
For your honey roasted sweet potato
700g raw, peel and cubed sweet potato (2-3cm cubes will be fine)
40ml rice bran oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nut meg
Pre heat oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with foil.
In a jug combine all ingredients but sweet potato. Whisk well till combined
In large bowl combine the sweet potato cubes and wet jug mix. Toss well.
Place on baking tray and bake for 40 minutes, stir every 20 minutes for even browning.
To make the bagels
10g dry yeast
280ml warmish water
45ml rice bran oil
400-450g bread flour
200g Roasted sweet potato puree (just measure your left overs from above)
4 tablespoons of black sesame seeds
In a large bowl combine your water, oil, sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve and leave to bubble and foam for 10 minutes.
Add you flour, sweet potato and salt to the large bowl. Knead to combine or use your stand mixer. During kneading you will need to manage the amount of flour, if you potato dough is sticky add 30g batches of flour until it foams a rough ball. The firmness will come when you really knead it.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes on stand and 15-20 minutes by hand until it becomes very firm dough like rubber.
Divide you dough into 10 balls. Roll each ball into a sphere then poke your index and middle finger in the middle of the ball to form a hole. Gently stretch this until you get a large enough hole. Place on a lined baking tray sprinkled with corn meal. Repeat with all balls.
Cover and rest for 20 minutes. Bring a large pot of water (4-5 Litres) and 30g baking soda to the boil. Pre heat oven to 220C. Line two trays with corn meal.
To test if bagels are ready to go, get out a small bowl of water and drop one in. If it floats it is ok, if doesn’t give it another 20 minutes.
Once ready to boil, place 2 bagels at a time in your boiling pot and boil each side for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a baking rack to dry a bit. Sprinkle your black sesame seeds on now.
Place each bagel on the tray and bake for 12-15 minutes. Turn down the oven to 200C and bake for a further 8-10 minutes. They should be golden brown.