Simply Bagels…

At last, I finally made bagels at home!  Could use a bit of perfecting (but then again, I’m a bit of a perfectionist), Nonetheless..the process was rather easy and every ingredient I needed were readily available in my pantry.  With this said, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry, too.  Trust me, if you can make bread dough, you can easily make bagels…and the fun part, customize them!  Have your little ones do the customizing and make it a family bagel-making day.  Happy Baking–gcc

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water, lukewarm

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts (64 ounces) water
  • 2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup ( I used an organic brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar ( I used bakers fine sugar)

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Directions

Manual/Mixer Method: 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. Since we’re using a high-protein bread flour here, it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten. 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 (without spreading at all) when you stop the mixer. 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.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients in the pan of the machine, program the machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. Check the dough after 10 minutes; it should be quite stiff, and won’t have formed a smooth ball. The dough will feel quite firm when you poke your finger into it. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then complete bagels as instructed below.

  1. 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 very slightly.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, 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.
  5. Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes ( We are at a higher altitude–approx. 2500 feet, so my bake time for this recipe was 20 minutes), or until they’re as deep brown as you like, turning them over about 15 minutes into the baking time (this will help them remain tall and round). Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 8 bagels.  NOTE:  I made the bagels slightly smaller (as pictured) so I was able to yield 15 medium-size bagels with this recipe.

Variations

To add toppings to the bagels, brush each bagel, just before baking, with olive oil ( Rather than egg white, I use olive oil and it works great), and sprinkle heavily with seeds/other toppings.

Tips

You can make bagels with just about any kind of bread dough. To retain the characteristic chewy texture, just be sure to make a dough that’s low in fat, and follow the shaping, rising, boiling and baking techniques.

Original recipe adapted from my copy of King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion 10th Anniversary Edition Cookbook

2 Comments

  1. Emma says:

    I adore bagels but have never dared to make my own, but I’m now thinking maybe I should give them a go. Yours look amazing, I bet they tasted amazing too. Thanks for inspiring me to just take the plunge and give them a go 🙂

    1. TCA says:

      You’re most welcome Emma! I am at my mum’s for a bit, spending quality time with her…but upon my return home and back in my kitchen I’m going to attempt to make more (and perhaps make them a bit bigger), as well as, attempt to make soft pretzels, too😊.
      Hope you have an opportunity to make some bagels at home. I am quite sure they will turn out delightful!! Happy baking😃

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