Philosophizing About Food With Francine: Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Dough


by Francine Black

I’ve previously written about the wonderful history of bagels and how they became a mainstay of American breakfasts and brunches.

A very simple dough, it is also one of the stiffest to work as it is very low hydration. Recipes even caution against using a mixer with dough hook, as this dough can burn up the motor!

For me, kneading this incredibly dry dough constitutes a part of my therapy as I strive to heal my torn rotator cuff. Further on, rolling and shaping each of the 16 individual bagels will imitate some of the workout prescribed by the therapists. I’d rather do this and have something to show for the effort.

So many doughs can be made successfully without kneading and the recipes even brag on that fact. I think we might be missing something in eliminating that step.

In a few hours, the dough is put to the test as my grandson, Collin, shows up to taste test the bagels and rate the results.

High in the mountains above Bally, where the dense groves of treetops seem to touch the sky, is Francine Black, Boyertown’s own version of chef Julia Child. Her daily activities reflect the things she most values: family and friends, music, and lovingly prepared food.

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