I've been playing with yeast more. I'm trying to avoid baking sweet goods because I'm on a diet. So what else do you bake that's not sweet? Bagels of course! These bagels were delicious! I made plain bagels, to poppy seed, to garlic!

2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
Optional Toppings:
1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped onions (2 teaspoons each)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon each)

Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.

In a large, heavy pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Dip the bagel tops in desired toppings. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Red Velvet Heart Shaped Cake and Cupcakes

Sorry for not posting for over a month. I have a good reason. My 2 year anniversary with the boyfriend was last month. He proposed to me...and now we are engaged. So now...he is actually my fiance! =]

For our 2 year anniversary, I made him a heart shaped cake. It is red velvet. I took forever to pipe the roses on the cake. I had hours of practice, and they still don't look too good. I didn't even have time to take pretty food photos!

So the reason I took a while to start posting again is because I was busy. Busy planning our WEDDING!!! =] I've been looking up photographers, and wedding venues, to dresses. You name it. In addition to all this, I went on a diet...I started to avoid baking. Forgive me!

Here is the red velvet recipe:

Red Velvet Cake
1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.

With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

Line a heart shaped 6 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter in the pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan.

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 Cup of Cold Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup of Powdered Sugar, more to taste

With the whisk attached to the mixer, mix heavy cream on high for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and continue mixing under stiff peaks form. Add more sugar to taste. Frost cake.

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