Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homemade Bagels

I was really excited to try these out. Bagels that are hot out of the oven are soooo good and I wanted to be able to make these and not have to drive to Einstein's to get them. =)

Making them is a lot like baking bread except you have an extra step at the end - boiling. I thought bagels were fried for some reason, never knew they were boiled! So these were easy to make and don't let the fact that you're using yeast scare you from trying them out. Also, I just made plain ones but you could easily make different kinds - cinnamon sugar, chocolate chip, cheese, onion, sesame seed, etc. I got the recipe from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion.

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup (I used brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Water bath
  • 2 quarts (64 ounces) water
  • 2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup (brown sugar again)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead vigorously, by hand for 10-15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be quite stiff; if you're using an electric mixer it will "thwap" the sides of the bowl and hold its shape when you stop the mixer. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and set it to rise until noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (***The way I let my bread dough and this dough rise is by turning the oven on to 200 degrees then turning the oven off once it hits that temp. Right after I turn the oven off I place the dough in it. This ensures that it's rising in a warm place and isn't exposed to drafts or humidity. I also always place plastic wrap over the bowl.)

Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. They'll puff up very slightly.

While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt powder (or brown sugar) and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large pot. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Use a bagel cutter, or 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 until it's about 2 inches in diameter. Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Transfer the bagels, a couple at a time, to the simmering water bath. Increase the heat under tha pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, gently 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 20-25 minutes, until they're as deep a brown as you like, turning them over about 15 minutes, which will help them remain tall and round. Remove the bagels from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.


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