Homemade Bagels

There is not much better than a homemade bagel fresh out of the oven.  I couldn’t believe how good these were. They tasted so fresh and chewy! This is actually the third time I’ve made homemade bagels. For the first batch, I wasn’t a big fan of the recipe I used. For the second batch I used the recipe I’m sharing with you today, but I didn’t add enough flour so the bagels were very flat. They tasted great, but they looked kind of funny. So I decided to make a third batch and perfect my technique. Mike wasn’t complaining about this at all – he loved eating all the bagel rejects! These ones turned out great – soft, chewy, and with that unmistakable bagel flavor. Plus, now that I’ve had so much practice, the process of making these isn’t intimidating at all! If you like homemade bread (who doesn’t??), give these a try. And if for some reason they don’t turn out right the first time, they’re definitely worth the extra effort of trying again! :)

Homemade Bagels

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Homemade Bagels

Ingredients:

Bagel Dough:
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 - 4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water

Water Bath
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions:

Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and use the dough hook to knead on medium low speed for 5-10 minutes. You can also knead by hand for 10 to 15 minutes. Start with 4 cups of flour and add extra if needed as kneading. The dough should be stiff enough not to stick to your fingers much, but will still be pliable and smooth once it has finished kneading. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set it aside to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until it is noticeably puffy.

Transfer the risen dough to a work surface and divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball. Place the balls on a lined or lightly greased baking tray and cover lightly. Let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up very slightly.

Once they have rested, use your thumb to poke a hole through the center of each ball then twirl the dough and use your other fingers to stretch the hole until it is about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The entire bagel will be around 4 inches across. Place the shaped bagels on a lined baking tray (the same one that you’ll bake them on).

Prepare the water bath by heating the water and sugars to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat your oven to 425.

Transfer the bagels, three or four at a time, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over using a wide spatula, and cook 1 minute more. Using a wide spatula, carefully remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.

Top the bagels with your desired ingredients. If you are going to use a dry topping, such as sesame seeds or poppy seeds, whisk together 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon water and brush each bagel with the mixture before topping heavily with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, etc. If using cheese, there is no need to brush the bagels with an egg white glaze, simply place the shredded cheese on the bagels.

Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re deep brown. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.

from King Arthur Flour, as seen on Mel's Kitchen Cafe