Of everything I make, bagels are probably my favorite. They’re much easier than I would have originally thought, the flavor combinations are endless, and they are just totally delicious!
I’ve posted this recipe before, but I’ll do it again to make it easier for everyone, myself included. The only difficult part for me is shaping, but really, who cares? The bagels will be delicious regardless.
The steps may seem like a hassle, but please let me assure you, they’re not. These take a few hours, but nearly all the time is inactive. I made this batch while studying yesterday.
- 1.5 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1.5 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ~4.5 cup bread flour
- Mix together yeast, sugar and water and set aside until foamy, which will take about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine salt and 2 cups flour together in another bowl and add to foamy yeast mixture.
- Slowly add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Dough should condense around the dough hook and peel away from the edge of the bowl.
- If you are doing this by hand and not a stand mixer, go by feel. The dough should feel slightly sticky and tacky, but you can pick it up and handle it easily.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel.
- Let rise until about double, or an hour or so.
- Punch the dough down and reshape into a ball, letting rise again, for about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 and begin boiling a large pot of water.
- Punch dough down and divide into 12 equal pieces (this is much easier if you have a food scale).
- Let pieces rest for 5 minutes under a kitchen towel.
- Begin shaping pieces. You can either roll into a long rope and try to connect and roll the ends together (which doesn’t work for me), or what I do is roll the dough into a small bowl and slightly flatten it. Then I just punch a hole into the middle with my thumb and stretch it out a bit. Not gorgeous, but I’m no professional.
- Shape the 12 pieces and then let rest about 10-15 minutes under the towel.
- Once water is rapidly boiling, using a spatula, carefully place 2-3 bagels into the water.
- Boil for 30-45 seconds and flip the bagels. Boil for 30-45 seconds on that side and remove onto a cooling rack using a slotted spoon or spatula.
- Repeat for all bagels.
- At this point you can add toppings. Brent’s favorite is the everything bagel, for which I use grill seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and caraway seeds sprinkled onto the top, but you could do cheese and herbs, sesame seed, whatever…
- Place bagels onto baking sheet and bake 35 minutes or so, flipping the bagels over halfway through.
I know a lot of people are intimidated by yeast, and even those who make bread probably think making your own bagels is a bit weird, but there is no reason not to. Yes, you could buy bagels at the store, but bagels shouldn’t have more than 5 ingredients, and they definitely taste better without preservatives or HFCS. You could buy them from a bakery or something, but they would be huge calorie bombs, plus these taste better. Really, they do.
Like I said, flavors can be anything. If you want to flavor the whole bagels, just mix in your flavorings in the shaping stage. I’ve done cranberry-orange bagels, pesto, sun-dried tomato, garlic-Parmesan, cinnamon-raisin. So many options! I use the bagels for sandwiches a lot, like last night’s burgers, and don’t worry about having 12 bagels laying around, they freeze really well. I slice them and stick them in the freezer and then just toast them right from the freezer. Works out perfectly!
Well, that’s my story. I hope at least one or a few of you will think about making bagels.
So after work, I have an info session with the director the nursing program. I’m stressing a bit — my entrance exam is next week! I’m not sure if I am as ready as I could be, but I just really want to get it over with so that I can stop stressing about it.