My boo strikes again with another fab bread recipe and in my opinion one of my favorites! Take it away, Dave…
While we were walking into the market to buy flour to make these (yes, even Dave’s Bread Corner occasionally runs low on flour supplies), Tina asked me “should we pick up some bagels for the week?” I had to remind her that we were only there to buy supplies to make bagels. 🙂
“You actually want to make bagels?” T questioned. Yup. I realize that not many people want to take on this challenge, but I’d like to add it to my bread making resume. These bagels were an effort in perfection for me.
I wasn’t satisfied with how the bagels came out the first time. They came out sort of small and funny looking. Almost like fat round pretzels. Worse, some of them disconnected at the point where you stick them together into a circle. The last thing anyone wants is to make bagels that look like the capital letter C instead of an O.
Then I had a thought that I own a doughnut cutter. Maybe instead of making bagels that look like hand crafted versions of the alphabet, I could just roll out the dough and cut them out. Well it seemed like a good idea until I really got into it. Then I had nothing but problems. It was very difficult to roll the dough out into something to a consistent 3/4″ thick. I could only get a couple at a time out of what I had rolled. Reshaping the dough and rolling it again was making it tougher to cut, and in the end I had a piece I had to do by hand anyway. And finally, and super weirdly I might add, when I boiled them, they expanded in very weird ways. Well, version two joined the left overs of version one in the freezer and I prepared myself emotionally to make version three.
The third time I decided that the original approach was the way to go but it was the size that I wasn’t happy with so I made 8 bagels instead of 18. This may sound like an epic reduction in how many this recipe makes, and you are not wrong, but my motivation was simply mathematical. I wanted a number that still made sense for boiling them in multiples, and how many I could fit on a pan when it was time to bake them. The sheer size of the bagels helped to ensure the spot where you join the ends together had enough “material” to actually stay connected too. Overall version three is the one I was happy with and the one shown here, and who doesn’t like a really big bagel?
These are big bagels. Not like freakishly large, but definitely above average. Certainly larger than you would get at most bagel shops or the grocery store. If you follow any of the patterns on Dave’s Bread Corner then you know I tend to try to make things bigger than is strictly necessary. Well, I guess this is no exception. Go big or go home, as usual.
The bagel making process starts off like most yeast bread recipes. Yeast. Flour. A few other ingredients. Rising time and then maybe more rising time. Boom… homemade bagels. These are great because they are pretty quick. The rising time is actually just resting time so instead of an hour it’s a mere twenty minutes. If you tried my pretzel recipe then these are sort of like that only easier. If you haven’t, well then these are harder than most breads (because you actually have to do something to the dough) and you should try my pretzels next. 🙂
The hardest part of making these bagels three times was the effect it had on my on-going efforts to lose weight. Although my loving wife would like to point out that she thinks the hardest part was shaping the bagel dough because she heard me get frustrated a number of times. The trick is practice when you are trying to join the rope of dough into a circle. If you get it right it looks like a bagel, if you get it sort of right it looks super rustic, and if you get it wrong, it looks like something they would eat on Sesame Street when talking about letters. No matter which way they end up, they will be delicious.
(Makes 8 bagels)
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 packages yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5 cups bread flour (26 ounces)
- (optional) sesame or poppy seeds as topping
Boiling Liquid Ingredients:
- 3 quarts water
- 1/3 cup honey
- Prepare your stand mixer by setting it up with the dough hook.
- Into the bowl of your stand mixer add the warm water.
- Add the sugar.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Turn your mixer on to a low speed. (I use speed 2 on my Kitchen Aid mixer.)
- Add the salt, egg, and egg yolk.
- Add oil and 1/2 cup of honey. (Try to use the same measuring cup for both the oil and the honey, and don’t clean it in between. The oil will help keep the honey from sticking to the measuring cup.)
- Let the mixture stir for 2 minutes (but leave the mixer running).
- Add the flour.
- Once the flour is incorporated, turn the mixer up to a slightly higher speed to knead the dough. (I use speed 4 on my Kitchen Aid. Please keep an eye on your mixer as it could try to walk itself across your counter and onto the floor.)
- Knead the dough for about 8 minutes. It should become firm and elastic by the end.
- Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and place it somewhere warm to rest for about 20 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and divide it into 8 equal portions. I weighed mine and they were roughly 6.1 ounces of dough each.
- To shape each bagel:
- Make each portion of dough into a rope that is roughly 16 inches long.
- Shape into a ring with the ends overlapping by about 1 inch.
- Press down on the overlapped part firmly with your hand.
- Gently reshape the flattened overlapped section back into being round.
- Place each bagel on a baking sheet as they are finished.
- Let them rest for about 15 additional minutes.
- In a large pot over High heat, add 3 quarts of water.
- Add to the pot 1/3 cup of honey and bring it to a boil.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- (optional) If you are topping with seeds, prepare small plates with the seeds at this point.
- Boiling each bagel: (Leave the pot on High heat during this process.)
- Place the bagels 2 at a time into the boiling water.
- Boil them for 1 minute and then flip them over.
- Boil them for an extra 1 minute.
- Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or spider.
- (optional) If you are topping with seeds, dip the bagels into the seeds at this point.
- Place the bagels onto a baking sheet 4 to a pan.
- Repeat until you have completed boiling all of the bagels.
- Bake the bagels on the lowest rack in your oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until medium brown.
- Let them rest for about 10 minutes on the pan. (This helps to bring out their “bagel chewiness.”)
- Remove them from the pan to a wire rack to finish cooling. (If you can avoid eating them immediately while they are still warm.)
Source: NY Times
Here are some other banging breakfast treats, courtesy of my boo.