Storybook Summer post by Danielle of Mommy and Me Book Club

Our family leaves the library with 5 large tote bags filled to the brim on a weekly basis. We enjoy most of the books we read, but sometimes, one book shines above the rest to become an instant family favorite.   Bagels from Benny by Audrey Davis was a new discovery for us this summer, and as soon as I read it, I knew it was the book I wanted to share on Make and Takes Storybook Summer!

Bagels from Benny is the story of a young man who helps his grandfather in his bakery every day.  His grandfather makes the best bagels in the world, and he teaches Benny that all that they have comes from God.   Benny decides that he wants to show gratitude by sharing his Grandfather’s bagels with God, so he sneaks into the synagogue on a weekly basis and places the bagels there.  When Benny discovers that his bagels have been eaten by a homeless man, he is devastated.  He believes that God has not accepted his offering, until his wise grandfather teaches him that by helping others, he was serving God.

My children loved this story and asked me to read it again and again.  I loved the lesson on serving others that it taught and the exposure it gave my children to a religious and cultural heritage different from their own.

Of course we decided to make bagels as our project for Make and Takes.  Bagels are a PERFECT cooking project with little ones.  They could do MOST of the work all by themselves!

Ingredients needed:

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 T of brown sugar
  • Egg whites
  • Cinnamon/Sugar mix in a shaker

Directions:

1-Mix together first 6 ingredients: bread flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, yeast, and water.   We stirred by hand first, then let the mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes.

2-Knead the dough by hand for 5 to 10 minutes.

3-Divide the dough into 8 equally sized balls and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

4-Roll the balls out like snakes and then shape into rings, carefully pinching the ends together to create a strong seal.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.

5-Let the bagel rings rise on the counter, covered with a towel for 20 minutes.

6-(GROWN-UP JOBS) While the bagels rise, scoop one T of brown sugar in a large pot of water and bring water to a rapid boil.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.

7-(GROWN-UP JOB) After rising, place four bagels at a time into the boiling water.  Turn over after one minute and boil the other side.  Use a slotted to spoon to remove and drain water.  Place on greased cookie sheet.

8-Brush each bagel with an egg white coat using a pastry brush.

9-Sprinkle the bagels with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

10-(GROWN-UP JOB) Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning once at 10 minutes.

11-Allow to cool.

When our bagels were completed, we packed them up and delivered the bagels and bottles of water to a local day shelter for homeless men and women in our community.

The children felt so happy to share something they had made with others.  And the men and women there seemed grateful for the smiles and conversations with my 3 little children.

Danielle Scribner is the author and creator of Mommy and Me Book Club where shares her book inspired fun with parents, teachers, and librarians each week.  She is the mother of three delightful children and the wife of the most “perfect for her” man in the world! You can follow Danielle on facebook, pinterest, or her blog.