I made some bagels today using my sourdough yeast. Compared with the last lot I made, these are total winners. Carb-fest ahead… People think that making bagels is difficult (I did), but it’s really no harder than making a loaf of bread. It takes perhaps an hour to do if you know your way around your own kitchen. My first real attempt at these was best described as ‘OK’ and would compare with BP’s attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf Of Mexico… A bagel is first briefly boiled, and then baked – the bits required before come with practice.
Homemade bagel recipe
T = Tablespoon t – Teaspoon
4 cups bread flour (sifted to get rid of lumps)
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 t instant yeast (I used my sourdough culture)
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups (American measure – conversion here) of warm water.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it’s really stiff, or you will not get all the dry flour mixed in.
Knead for about ten minutes or until the dough is uniform and smooth. Dust your hands with flour to prevent sticking but do NOT add extra flour…
Divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls and put to one side for 10-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pre heat your oven to 425F.
Take each of the dough balls and, using both hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant hand (I am left-handed so wrapped it around that). The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers.
Now take the two overlapping ends and use your palm to roll the two ends together. Once the dough is joined together you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! This is the only part of the process that can take a little practice before your bagels will look really professional. Don’t be surprised if they don’t look perfect at first as it takes practice. My first one with this method fell apart as I lifted it from the boiling pan of water… most ‘interesting’ for me as I was wearing shorts and sandals… 😉
Now leave the bagels to for about 20 minutes. Prepare a pan of water by bringing it to a boil. Prepare a large baking tray by either greasing it lightly or using cooking paper. I used the latter. After about 20 minutes your bagels will (should) begin to look slightly puffy.
Add to your boiling water – until you get the hang of it, I recommend one at a time but I normally do two at a time. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out and either let dry for a minute and put them on your baking tray or dip in the appropriate topping – see below. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled. Put the tray in the oven and after 10 minutes flip the bagels over. Bake the other side for another ten minutes. That’s it…
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what’s got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!
Choose your own topping to add or leave them plain. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels. I also do a garlic and onion combo which is delicious…