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Bread - Buns - Bagels

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...that resemble a beaver's tail.A doughnut dough. Not too sweet, not too rich, stretched and briefly fried (forget a deep fryer - I use my wok and tongs). Add a bit of sugar and a touch of cinnamon. Fresh from the fryer or even room temperature, these are the next best thing to being at a country fair. You may have encountered the same sort of treat under different appellations (beavers often figure in the name). A bread machine does a great job with this recipe.  Commercial places often use jam on these or a smear of apple pie filling.

Ah, another inspiration via Canada’s famed coffee spot, Tim Horton’s. Their new Caramel Apple Bagels are an amazing concept. But alas, when I bought and ate one, I just wasn’t thrilled with the artificial taste (something was just off). Luckily, my own version is all-natural and makes the most of my original great bagel recipe, along with butterscotch chips, caramel hunks and diced apples for a quintessential autumn bagel. How good are these? I traded some for regular bagels at a local bagel shop (for Montrealers, St Viateur Bagel). The pros fainted with delight! They called me at homewhen I barely walked back in the door to ask for the recipe. I kid you …not.

If you like the flavor elements of carrot cake, you'll enjoy this perky loaf. Good with cream cheese sandwiches, or toasted with honey and butter.

You love this as a cake - you adore it as a quick bread.
Classic, fragrant, golden corn bread. Quick as lightening and better than croissants with fried chicken 'n gravy.
Buttery, cheesy, crusty. This bread is cut into rough slabs before rising. Once it rises, it merges into a unique loaf.

What could be better than big, rustic, hearth-baked bagels? Unless they are stuffed with sharp cheddar cheese. These are extra chewy and feature a molten river of cheese. Good fresh or days later (in fact, it’s hard to decide if they are better hot from the oven or split, toasted and buttered), this breaks tradition in the best of ways. Again, Tim Horton’s (Canada’s famed coffee chain) inspired me –I saw a billboard for their cheddar bagels and tried one. Good but not cheddary nor chewy enough but what a great concept. And so, back to the Betterbaking.com lab I went. P.S. I use Canadian cheddar in my bagels but Vermont (or Wisconsin or New York) is all just fine too.

Great fresh, toasted or for sandwiches

There’s a new bakery in Montreal that has to be The Best one I’ve ever found. Pains me to say this but they make amazingly wonderful bread. Not only good in the purist sense (like their sourdough) but their imagination.  They have White Chocolate Rolls that look like wee mushrooms – they take but two bites to finish. There is Spelt, Sunflower Seed and Tamari bread and there is this incredible bun-bread that is a rough-hewn sourdough (sort of) with chunks of sharp orange Cheddar cheese and hunks of dried or string figs. I am not a fan of dried figs but in this bread, the figs melt into puddles of caramel goodness. You are left with this rustic bread that you tear apart (and it’s even better on the second day) and out explodes splatters of melted cheddar and softened sweet figs. This is not a bun recipe: this is a celeberation. And best yet? Guillaume no longer uses their original recipe which was incredible. But that is my prototype and inspiration. So even if you wanted to buy what I bought- it doesn't exist anymore. Fortunately, this recipe does. 

The bagel's first cousin – made of bagel dough but altogether a different beast .Where I grew up, a flat, crisp, garlic (or vary it with onions) topped roll was called an "onion pletzel". In New York, it's called a bialy (or bialie). It's a disk of bagel dough with a slight depression in its center, topped with diced onions and poppy seeds. However, this is a cheddar bialy in which the classic goes to town by sporting a crown of cheddar garlic topping. It bakes up crusty and gooey and is totally fabulous. If you like bagels, you will adore bialys. If you like bagels or bailys, you will fall in love with these cheddar sensations.  
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