Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Project: Bagels

Sunday dawned rainy, windy and downright horrible. Just the right kind of a day for a project that involves the oven! I am currently typing one handed because my other hand is holding a freshly made bagel - crispy crust and a lovely chewy interior.

Saturday morning I was dreaming of this bagel sandwich, so today I tried my hand at bagel making purely because I am too lazy to drive across to town to my favorite bagel shop.  Sadly, when I went to the basement to get my last winter kabocha squash I found it covered in a very pretty mold. It is in the compost and I am happy with cream cheese right now.

I used the bagel recipe, but I did modify it. I did not have any malt syrup so I subbed in honey. I lowered the amount of sugar and salt in the recipe after reading all the comments. The major change I made was boiling my bagels in brown sugar and baking soda which supposedly helps give the bagels their brown crusty exterior.

This is a surprisingly quick recipe. I should have made twice as many because I am eating them almost as quickly as I baked them!

Bagels (Makes about 12)
1 1/2 cups tepid water (105°F to 110°F
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (Or 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast )
4 Cups Flour (I used regular flour and they came out fine)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons brown sugar

kosher salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, grill seasoning, etc for toppings

1. In a small bowl stir yeast into the warm water.
2. In the mixing bowl of a kitchen aid mixer add flour, honey, salt and sugar. Put bread hook on the machine.
3. Pour water and yeast into the mix and combine on low for about 2 minutes or until the dough looks shredded.
4. Turn speed up and mix dough about 9 minutes or until smooth and slightly stretchy. I had to push the dough down a few times.
5. Shape dough into a ball by gently folding it under. I put it back in the mixing bowl of the Kitchen Aid and covered with a towel. The original recipe says to let it rise in an oiled mixing bowl. (I didn't want to dirty something else.) Let rise for 30 minutes or until it is puffier and springs back when you touch it.
6. After 30 minutes, put a large pot of water on to simmer. I used a large, flat sauce pan with 4 inch sides. Add baking soda and brown sugar. Turn oven on to 450 degrees.
7. Divide dough into 12 pieces. I use my butcher knife because it is almost like a dough cutter in size and shape.
7. Roll each piece into a 6-9 inch rope. Wrap into a bagel shape. Let rest while the water comes to a simmer (not boil).
8. Working in batches of 3 or 4 bagels at a time, add to the water for 1 minute on each side. Remove from water to a cooling rack with a pan under it. This will catch the water drops and toppings. 
9. Sprinkle bagels with toppings.
10. Transfer bagels to baking sheets lined with parchment or silpats. Give each one about an inch of space. I ended up using 2 pans.
11. Bake 15 minutes. Then turn pans and back another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Try to let them cool to complete the baking, but warm bagels straight from the oven is GOOOOD!


  1. I am so going to do this! Thought I may create monsters by doing so... my husband LOVES bagels, and so do my coworkers.

  2. Ok, so I tried it. They turned out pretty good (though I may mix something into the dough next time like cranberries), but they totally stuck to the parchment paper. Next time, I'm using a greased cookie pan, I think.

  3. Jessika - I am so glad that you tried them. Was the flavor okay? Cranberries sounds like a great addition. I am sorry they stuck to the parchment paper.

  4. Jo, these look absolutely wonderful. You really did a terrific job. I'm going to have to try these. Have a great day...Mary