Can I just tell you how purely satisfied I am with myself right now? I have made the most beautiful, delicious, unbelievably awesome homemade bagels…ever. They are so good that I am making a second batch as I type. And what really makes me smile with glee is that two years ago my mother tried in vain for three months to make bagels and failed left and right. It was the only baking disaster I think she’s ever had. One batch was so salty you couldn’t eat them, another so hard you’d break a tooth, and then there was the infamous ‘clam chowder’ bagel that somehow tasted like, well, clam chowder.
Anyway, I’m going to spread the love like a great big schmear of cream cheese. Below is the recipe. Make, enjoy and be awesome too. Happy Holiday!
1 1/2 t. yeast
2 1/2 c. warm water (between 105 and 110 degrees F)
4 c. bread flour
2 3/4 t. salt
1 T. granulated brown sugar
3 to 3 3/4 c. bread flour
1 T. vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, stir yeast and warm water together. Mix in 4 c. flour until fully combined (but not over worked). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 2 to 3 hours or until the sponge pushes against the plastic wrap.
- In a separate large bowl, combine salt and sugar and 3 c. flour. When the sponge is ready, transfer it to the flour mixture and vegetable oil and incorporate fully. If the dough is too dry add water a 1/4 c. at a time or until dough comes together in a sticky form.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Add flour a little at a time if necessary. In the end, the dough (about four to five minutes in) should not need any more flour on the counter because it has stopped sticking. Keep kneading for the full time, dough will be stiff but silky.
- Separate the dough into 12 equal balls. To make the whole use your thumb to create the separation and then twirl around your finger on the counter (kind of like a hula hoop). Place the twelve bagels onto a sprayed baking sheet with a little corn meal scattered across it.
- Set aside and let rise 20 to 40 minutes. You don’t want them to get too big as they will increase in size when they are boiled and baked, but you do need them to rest and rise somewhat.
- Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Boil water in a large stock pan. Add 1 t. baking soda. Drop bagels in two at a time and let boil for 30 seconds per side (1 minute total) and place freshly boiled bagels onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed and dusted with corn meal. Repeat until all bagels are boiled.
- At this point you can pop them into the oven or top them with your choice of whatever (salt, poppy seeds, Italian seasoning, etc.).
- Bake for 5 minutes at 500 degrees F. Turn the tray in the oven and bring the heat down to 450 degrees F. Bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden on the top and bottom.
- Let cool (if you can) for five or so minutes and then dig in. You won’t be able to stop yourself because they will look so pretty and yummy and tempting.
If you try them, let me know how they turn out.