Hiya guys! We have Jordan S. Brock popping in today her new release Change of Address, we have a fantastic guest post where Jordan shares her Bagel recipe, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so guys, check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Change of Address
Jordan S. Brock
Air Force sergeant Michael Baldwin wanted nothing more than to escape his family’s political ambitions, but his dream of freedom was shattered by an enemy bullet to the head. Two years later, he and his service dog, Kaylee, resist his father’s demand to join him on the campaign trail—where a photogenic “wounded warrior” is always an asset—and instead return to the family’s summer home on Hartsbridge Island.
There Michael and his beautiful German shepherd capture the attention of Josh Goldberg, co-owner of the local bagel shop. Josh has a knack for business and a killer repertoire of his bubbe’s recipes. But lack of education undermines his confidence, and Josh’s father doesn’t share his ambition for the restaurant’s future.
Chicken soup and bacon might be the way to Michael’s heart, but he and Josh need time to learn about everything that comes after—lessons that Governor Baldwin and his relentless ambition will do anything to thwart. Letting someone in is a tall order for two men who can’t trust themselves, but if they have any hope of a future together, that’s exactly what they’ll need to do.
Jordan S. Brock!
Growing up as a Long Island Jew taught me one important lesson: bagels are the perfect food.
I know, I know. Carbs are the enemy. White flour is evil. But I stand by my claim. Warm, chewy bagels, fresh from the oven, bring back memories of cold winter mornings when I’d stop at Bagel Boss for a cup of coffee and a buttered salt bagel—back when salt wasn’t evil, either, of course. Sundays, Dad would go to the shop for a dozen bagels that a family of three would devour in just a few days. We never froze bagels for later, and why would we? The shop was just down the street.
I’ve been in Arizona for over twenty years, and I can still remember the smell, the feel, the taste of those bagels. You just can’t get good bagels outside the East Coast, at least here in America. My love of bagels is what inspired me to create Bagel End. (Well, my love for Jewish food and J.R.R. Tolkien. Josh’s dad and I both have a strong inner geek.)
But back to bagels. The closest I get to good bagels is when I visit my dad in Florida, where there are enough transplanted New York Jews to come close to the bagel perfection of my youth. Here at home, though, I have to take extraordinary measures, such as risking a kitchen disaster by making my own bagels.
There are two keys to good bagels: high-gluten flour, which makes bagels wonderfully chewy, and non-diastatic malt powder, which gives bagels that firm-yet-not-crunchy outer layer. If you live near a big supermarket, you might be able to find the flour in stock, but you’ll probably have to go online for the malt powder. I also prefer instant yeast over active dry yeast, but you can get away with either. And if you can’t find high-gluten flour, you can substitute bread flour or even all purpose flour, but your bagels will probably be less dense.
All measurements are American. Warning for carbohydratey goodness!
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup water
- Pinch of yeast
- 3-4 cups flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- Non-diastatic malt powder, divided into 1 tsp (for the dough) and 1-2 tbsp (for the water bath)
- 1 ½ tsp yeast (or the rest of the packet)
- Pinch of sugar (white or brown)
- Butter, cooking spray, or oil to grease the bowl where the dough rises
- Kitchen scale.
- Stand mixer, ideally. Otherwise, you’ll have to mix and knead by hand. High-gluten flour is strong stuff, so you might want ace bandages for your wrists!
- Large bowl and kitchen towel.
- Large frying pan, preferably 2-3 inches deep. You can also use a large pot. You’ll be very briefly boiling the bagels.
- One of those wire basket spoons used with woks or a slotted spatula.
- Wire cooling racks to let the bagels drip-dry.
- Parchment paper. This stuff is like magic for baking without stuff sticking.
- Cookie sheets or baking trays.
- Make the starter ahead of time. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth and fully incorporated. Scrape the spoon off, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it stand at room temperature overnight until bubbly. If bubbles don’t appear, your yeast is dead or you keep your house freezing.
- The following day, make the dough. If you’re using active dry yeast, combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a cup. You want the water to be around 115 degrees F. Stir well and let it sit 10-15 minutes. If foam doesn’t appear, your yeast is dead. If you’re using instant yeast, there’s no need to activate the yeast.
In a large bowl, combine the starter, 3 cups of flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt, and 1 tsp of non-diastatic malt powder.
Mix well using the dough paddle on your mixer, about 7-10 minutes, adding more flour if the dough remains too sticky. If you’re doing this by hand, you may have a longer road ahead of you, but it’s worth it! In the end, the dough should be stiffer than dough you’d use for bread. Be careful not to add too much flour, though, or you’ll make bricks, not bagels.
- Let the dough rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered with a damp kitchen towel, for about two hours. The dough won’t double in volume, but it will get puffy and a little softer.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Also, set up the wire racks with paper towels underneath. Keep them near the water bath so you don’t end up flinging wet dough across the kitchen, not that I’ve done that before.
- In the large skillet or pot, bring water to a boil. It’s tough to judge how much water to use. You’ll be submerging the bagels, but they don’t need to roll around in the water. Add 1-2 tbsp of non-diastatic malt powder. If you’re using a skillet, add less; for a pot, add more. You don’t have to worry about using too much.
- This is the fun part. Make the bagels! I do this by weighing the total amount of dough, then doing some rough math to figure out how many equal-size bagels I can get out of the batch. For mini-bagels, you want 33-55 grams per bagel. For larger bagels, you want 75-100 grams. Keep unused dough covered with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap so the surface doesn’t dry out.
To shape the bagels, roll the dough into a ball, then poke your finger into the middle. Spin the dough around your finger to widen the hole. (This is starting to get dirty, isn’t it?)
When you’ve made 2-3 bagels, depending on the size of your pot, gently ease them into the water. The bagels will sink to the bottom, then float up. Use your spatula to encourage them not to stick to the bottom (a few will anyway) and to flip them over so each side gets boiled. They only need 30-45 seconds per side.
You’ll get into a rhythm. Make a few bagels, boil them in the water bath, transfer them to the wire racks, and make more bagels. Rinse and repeat until all the bagels have been shaped, boiled, and dripped dry.
- Bake the bagels for 25-30 minutes. If you want to add stuff to the bagels, like seeds or salt, take them out at 20 minutes, brush with water (or egg whites), and then sprinkle your toppings on.
You can store the bagels for a few days in an airtight container or slice the bagels and freeze them, but they’ll never be as delicious as they are right out of the oven.
For a special treat, slice the bagels and top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings, then freeze. Reheat in the toaster oven for 10-20 minutes, depending on bagel size. Healthier and cheaper than frozen pizza bagels!
What are your favorite bagels? Sweet or savory? Do you prefer bagels only for breakfast or is any time of the day perfect for a fresh bagel?
The unfamiliar voice was almost drowned out by the bell jangling over the front door. What a strange thing to say. Frowning, Josh peered through the kitchen doorway to the front of the shop.
“Dee’s on break. Let me go get that,” he told his ex-girlfriend-turned-accountant. When she waved him away, he got up from the prep table where they were working on the books and went out front. He was just in time to see a white taxi pulling away from the curb, which was odd. There was only one taxi service on the island, and those taxis weren’t white. Someone from the mainland?
Shaking his head, he looked over at the front door. His new customer was standing there, and Josh eyed the guy for second—T-shirt, jeans, sunglasses, messenger bag slung across his chest—before a swish of movement caught his attention. A dog?
No dogs allowed. He actually drew breath to say it before the dog’s red vest registered. Service dog, then—and a handsome one too. Josh was no expert, but he could recognize a German shepherd and suspected this one was a purebred.
It took far too long for Josh to remember his customer-oriented manners. He put on a friendly smile and rested a forearm on the tall glass counter, saying, “Hey, welcome to Bagel End. What can I get for you?”
The guy took off his sunglasses, revealing warm brown eyes and high cheekbones. He was focused on the menu boards hanging over the counter, so Josh took a surreptitious second look. The guy was well-built, but thin enough that Josh’s first instinct was to suggest a stacked brisket sandwich and a bowl of filling broccoli cheddar soup. Get some meat on those bones.
Not about to get caught staring, Josh took a couple of plastic gloves out of the box. He heard the guy approach, along with the soft click of dog toenails on the laminate floor. Josh turned back and met him at the order counter, which put them barely two feet apart, and there was no way he couldn’t stare now. If not for the momentary distraction of the dog, he would’ve been staring the whole time, because wow. This guy was hot, especially when he gave Josh a shy little smile.
“Uh . . . let’s do the corned beef,” the guy said softly, his accent too indistinct for Josh to place.
“Bagel, white, wheat, rye, sourdough, or focaccia?” Josh asked, guessing he’d go for rye. He seemed like a traditionalist.
But he turned his attention to the bagel display, biting his lip. “Plain bagel,” he said, glancing at Josh before looking back down. “I haven’t had a good bagel in years.”
A fellow connoisseur. Josh’s smile brightened. “The recipe’s from the family’s old place in Brooklyn. You’ll love it,” he promised as he pulled out the plain basket. Indulging his need to feed his customer—and hopefully entice the guy to come back—he found the biggest bagel and dropped it into the automatic slicer.
The guy followed as Josh made his way down the counter to the corned beef. “Also, a half pound of roast beef. You can just wrap it in something.”
Probably for the dog, Josh guessed. Lucky mutt. “Sure thing. What else did you want on your sandwich?”
“Only deli mustard.”
“A purist.” Josh grinned in approval and swiped a thin layer of spicy brown mustard on each half of the bagel. “This your first time on the island?”
The guy met Josh’s eyes, though only briefly. Was it endearing shyness or skittishness? “I, uh, grew up spending my summers here.”
“Oh! Well, welcome back, then,” Josh said, trying and failing to slot the guy into the “rich asshole tourist” niche. He seemed friendly, despite the lack of eye contact.
“Thanks,” he said, looking straight down, probably at the dog. Josh could barely see the brown tips of its ears. “It’s good to be back.”
Josh wanted to keep up the friendly chatter, but not while the guy was focused on the dog. Instead, he finished assembling the sandwich, sliced up a generous half pound or so of roast beef, then asked, “Anything else? The soup’s really good today.”
“Um, maybe later.” The guy glanced at the empty tables by the front window. “Mind if I eat here?”
Why would he even ask? Probably because of the dog, though Josh knew better than to ask a well-behaved service dog to leave. Hell, the dog was cleaner and more polite than some two-legged customers. “Be my guest,” he said, giving his friendliest smile. “Something to drink? A bowl of water for your pup?”
The guy’s answering smile brightened a notch. “I’ve got a bowl.” He glanced at the soda machine. “Uh, just water for me. She’s fine, thanks,” he added with a nod toward the dog.
Usually they used the small paper cups for water, but Josh filled a big cup, then capped it. He put the wrapped roast beef into a to-go container only because he wasn’t sure if health department regulations would let him put a service dog’s food on a plate. Was she even eating here? He arranged everything neatly on a tray and slid it down to the register.
The guy already had his wallet in his hands. He took out cash; so much for Josh seeing his name on a credit card. Josh got rid of the plastic gloves, rang up the order, and handed back the change along with a paper copy of the menu.
“We’re setting up online ordering, but the kid doing the website is kind of flaky,” he said apologetically. “But if you call ahead, we can have your order ready for you—for both of you,” he added, stretching to look over the counter at the dog, who was politely sitting on her human’s feet, attention focused on the door.
“Thanks.” The guy smiled. “Do you do deliveries?”
“Technically only for catering orders,” Josh said, lowering his voice. “But if it’s not raining and I’ve got a full staff, I can get pretty much anywhere on the island within half an hour, give or take.”
The guy’s laugh was even nicer than his smile. “I won’t tell anyone.” He picked up the tray and told the dog, “Let’s go.” Together, they headed for the two-seat table in the front of the shop, where the guy sat with his back to the wall. The dog followed him, then turned neatly and sat at his side, mouth hanging open in a canine grin.
Cleaning up gave Josh a thirty-second excuse to linger, long enough to watch the guy crush the overstuffed bagel down to a manageable size. After the first bite, he smiled—always a good sign. Hopefully Josh had just gotten himself a repeat customer. Maybe even a regular.
Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/change-of-address (just click the excerpt tab)
Coffee-fueled author Jordan Brock writes engaging contemporary romance with a deliciously pan-romantic sensibility and an emphasis on consent, respect, and, of course, love. Her characters are constantly surprised by the way love’s slow burn sneaks up on them.
Jordan’s children are all four-legged and furry. They love to be oh-so-helpful with her writing. She can usually be found hiding from the sun with her service dog and her puppy-in-training. (She tried the training thing with cats first, since cats are so much smarter, but it was a no-go.)
Before she was published, Jordan worked as a tech writer in the semiconductor industry. She’s also created labs and learning materials for auto, diesel , and motorcycle mechanics. The technology was the easy part; the hard part was trying not to slip in pop-culture snark.
Jordan lives in the desert outside Phoenix, Arizona, despite the fact she turns into gray goo and blue hair dye when exposed to heat. For fun, she hunts scorpions in the backyard, with a blowtorch, and a crowbar. She’s chronically unavailable for at least a month after new game releases from Blizzard. She’s an unapologetic fangirl and has been known to write an occasional fanfic to prove Bucky Barnes is not a villain. Oh, and she crochets the cutest amigurumi ever.
If you’d like to learn more about Jordan, check out her blog and website at jordansbrock.com.
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