Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
We’re back! We had a long, lovely Christmas break, spending time with family and friends as well as a few days back in our cozy house. We will also remember this Christmas as the year I got strep throat + bronchitis while traveling several thousand miles from home…that was fun. I’ve never been so thankful for an inhaler, health insurance, and our comfy couch!
As soon as we got back to Portland, we spent three straight days on that comfy couch while I recovered…and then we got a little stir crazy. Homemade bagels have been on my list for ages and we somehow had a bunch of cream cheese in the house. Bagel time!
Every bagel recipe I’ve read has some version of “I can’t go back to store bought bagels now.” People, those are true words. As soon as these were done, Ryan said, “I can’t wait to make more bagels next weekend!” When your husband volunteers to make homemade bagels a week in advance, you’re living the good life. I’ll just say it. Clearly reducing carbs is not a New Year’s resolution in this family.
I always have mixed feelings about the new year, but any year with homemade bagels is automatically a winner, right? Let’s make more bread this year.
Makes 12 bagels
I used this recipe straight-up with no changes since I’m a bagel newbie. I made a few plain ones, some with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, and several with Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (similar to Mrs. Dash) — these ones were my favorite! I always go for the “everything” bagel.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 cups water, warm (100-110°F)
4 cups bread flour (not all-purpose)
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg, for egg wash
seasonings, if desired
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine yeast, sugar and water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in flour and salt. Mix dough thoroughly until it comes together in a large ball, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Add an additional tablespoon of flour or water, if needed.
If kneading by hand, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead dough with the dough hook until elastic, about 8 minutes on a low speed. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
When dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces (first quarters, then thirds). Shape each piece into a tight ball as illustrated below, pinching the corners together at the bottom of the piece of dough. When all the balls are shaped, let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered with a clean dish towel.
Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and preheat the oven to 400°F. Once dough balls have rested, the bagel shape can be formed. Using your fingers, poke a hole through the center of each dough ball. Stretch out the dough into a ring with your fingers and be sure to make the hole a little larger than you want the finished bagel to have, as it will shrink slightly while the bagel is expanding during the baking process. Let bagels rest for about 10 minutes.
Working four at a time, drop the bagels carefully into the boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip and boil for an additional minute. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer bagels to a clean towel to drain for a moment, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining bagels.
Brush boiled bagels with lightly beaten egg (a pastry or bbq brush is a good tool for this) and season if desired. Bake for 20-24 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and toast to serve.