A few weekends ago I met with two ladies who are co-planning my friend’s baby shower with me. I agreed to attempt to make homemade bagels for the party (May 3rd), so of course I need to do a dry-run or two before the big day. I found what looked to be a good recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. Then in the middle of me making the bagels the link disappeared!
Here’s the recipe I used (that used to be on their website):
- 1 T. instant yeast
- 4 c. (King Arthur) Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 T. non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup (I used brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 c. water, lukewarm
water bath ingredients.
- 2 quarts (64 ounces) water
- 2 T. non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup (I used brown sugar)
- 1 T. granulated sugar
- To make this dough by hand or in a mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients and knead vigorously, by hand for 10 to 15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise till noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up slightly.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. According to other recipes I’ve seen, you can swap steps two and four (shape the dough into bagel shape before letting rest).
- Transfer the bagels to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
- Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like, turning them over about 15 minutes into the baking time (I neglected this step because I could NOT locate the King Arthur recipe once I got midway through the process). Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Yield: 8 bagels.
- To make sesame seed, poppy-seed, or other seed bagels, brush each bagel, just before baking, with a glaze made of 1 egg white beaten till frothy with 1 tablespoon of water. After you’ve glazed the bagels, sprinkle heavily with seeds.
- For cinnamon-raisin bagels, knead about 2/3 cup of raisins into the dough toward the end of the kneading process. Just before you’re done kneading, sprinkle your work surface heavily with cinnamon-sugar, and give the dough a few more turns. Divide the dough into eight pieces, form each piece into a ball, and roll each ball in additional cinnamon-sugar. Proceed to let rest and shape as directed above.
I’m a huge Asiago cheese bagel fan. And normally I have Asiago cheese on hand, but I didn’t today. So instead I decided to make some other variations of cheese bagels. To be honest, the plain bagels I made looked so unimpressive that I didn’t even want to try them. I thought they might be dry or just plain boring. Instead they were the most delicious plain bagel I’ve ever had. Period. They were nice and crusty on the top and bottom and chewy and soft on the inside.
When I told a few people who I was attempting to make homemade bagels I lots of guffaws. A lot of people suggested making homemade bagels is really hard. Making homemade bagels isn’t any harder than making homemade scones, biscuits or donuts, in my opinion. Plus you feel completely satisfied when done. While I probably won’t make homemade bagels every time I have a hankering for bagels, I do think I will make these more often, now that I know they’re relatively easy to make and super tasty to eat.