Bagels.

I have been putting off posting my first post on this blog because I have been worrying myself over what would be a good recipe to start with. What tone should I set with my first post? What would bring people back to my little blog? Then I realized there is no real correct answer. Plus, if I didn’t post anything, there would never be a blog in the first place. Badum-pshh.

The first time I made bagels--Mother's day, 2007.

So, I’m no pro when it comes to baking, but this is a tried-and-true recipe. And if friend testimonials count for anything, I’ve apparently ruined commercially-made bagels for them for life.. muahaha. So don’t let the 2-day process scare you away. It can seem like a lot of work the first time you do it, but the end product is very worth it.


Dividing the dough.

My recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart‘s recipes – he has both a long version and a short version, available in his multiple amazing books on bread. He is a BNBB (Big-Name Bread Baker), and I have also tried out his recipes for baguettes, danishes and focaccia–all amazing.

Topping off the bagels with poppyseeds before baking.

This recipe is closer to the short version; it uses all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, and honey instead of barley malt. The ingredients are all things that can easily be found at the local grocery store. But you wouldn’t know it by the taste! You bite into a satisfyingly crusty exterior, but the the inside is soft & chewy, and has that perfectly-dense-like-a-bagel-should-be carbiness. You can serve them with various toppings–bagels are very versatile–but I am partial to a simple spread of cream cheese.

Baked perfection!

Bagels
Makes 12-16. Halve or quadruple recipe as necessary. ;>

Day 1

  1. Hand-mix:
    • 7 c. unbleached all-purpose (or bread) flour
    • 4 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 2 c. + 4 Tbsp water

    until you have what feels like a stiff ball of dough (approx. three minutes). You want the dough to be a bit wetter than you think it should be. (See how sexy bread-making is?) Add more water if necessary. Let rest 5 minutes.

  2. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough feels satiny-smooth, yet supple (another ~3 minutes)
  3. Lightly oil a med-large bowl (I use Pam-EVOO), place dough inside, and cover completely with saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1-3+ hours.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray/oil paper.
  5. Remove dough from fridge. Shape the dough into 12-16 balls (do not add any more flour!)
  6. Form 8-10″ ropes with the dough by rolling the dough back and forth between your hands. Make sure that the ends are tapered, as they will overlap when forming into a round bagel. Try your best to seal them by pressing & rolling the ends together; but don’t worry, they don’t need to be perfect to look fabulous after baking. But make sure the hole is about 2″ wide.
  7. Place bagels on the sheet, lightly oil/spray the tops, cover with saran, and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2

  1. 90 minutes before baking, remove bagels from fridge.
  2. Heat the oven to 500*F
  3. Fill a large pot with water, at least 4″ deep. Bring to a boil, then add:
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp baking soda

    Reduce heat so the water is simmering.

  4. Float-test: Once any one of the bagels floats in a bowl of cold water, they are ready to be ‘boiled’. (If the bagel sinks and does not rise, wait and try again every 15 minutes.)
  5. Add as many bagels as will comfortably fit into the pot. Flip the bagels over after 1 minute. After another 30 seconds, remove bagel (with a slotted spoon) and return to baking sheet. After all the bagels have been boiled, they are ready to be seasoned! You can also leave them plain. I am partial to poppy seeds and onion salt..yum.
  6. Bake at reduced heat of 450*F for 10 minutes, then rotate baking sheets in the oven to bake for another ~10 minutes until nicely browned. Cool before eating.

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One Comment

  1. They look amazing and professional! I’ll be sure to try them out :)

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