Robb has been baking bagels which, it turns out, are insanely easy to make. The dough is super-yeasty, so it rises very quickly. From start to finish, a batch of bagels takes about two hours. This is a blink of the eye compared to most other yeasted doughs.
The only confusing part of our recipe is the malt-extract bath. The author of the cookbook tells how much malt to put in the water, but doesn't actually say how much water to use. I'm reasonably sure that we could use our bees' honey, but since we already have malt extract from beer brewing, we stuck to the recipe (as best as we could).
I found the entire process stupidly fun. Bagel dough just begs to be spun around on one's finger. And there's something oddly entertaining about watching the boiling water bubble through the hole in the floating dough.
This was actually the first batch. I think our hole-making skills have improved since this picture was taken.
Bagel making is easy. Really easy. Almost every bagel sold in America is wretched. Making your own seems like an obvious choice. Of course, I happen to live with an amazing and adventurous baker. Left to my own devices, I'd probably just eat rye crackers and cheese for every meal and die of malnutrition.