Bagels have always been one of my favorite foods, but I didn't realize how much I loved them till I had gestational diabetes when pregnant. During that time, I started fantasizing about circles of awesome CARBS! Because there is only one place in town to get bagels and it is hard to justify packing up the kiddo, driving across town, and paying $3 for one bagel, I decided "it can't be that hard to make bagels." And you know what? It isn't.
I started with a wonderful post from Deliciously Yum called "Two Hour Bagels" and then I made adjustments to make it easier and make them fluffier. My favorite flavor is Everything Bagels so I included those extra ingredients. This is my result:
1 1/3 cups warm (110 degree) water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dough forming
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
Poppy seeds (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Coarse Sea Salt (optional)
Onion flakes (optional)
NOTE: The most important thing is to get yeast that is not expired or expiring soon. This makes a WORLD of difference.
- I use a breadmaker on the DOUGH setting to make the dough. Quicker and less mess. Pour the warm water into the breadmaker first. Then dump the flour, sugar, and salt on top. Take your finger and make a little indention in the top and pour the yeast in. Hit start. My breadmaker takes 1.5 hours.
- Put a large pot of water on a burner on HIGH so that it is boiling by later step. If you have a cookie cooling rack, lay that out as well. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Take a cutting board and cover in flour. Dump dough from breadmaker bin onto cutting board. Let sit for 10 minutes to re-rise.
- Cut the dough into strips like image. Pick up strip by one end and pick up so it stretches out a bit (think like making pretzels from scratch).
NOTE: since the dough blog is roundish, cut the end strips wider so when you pick them up by the end, then end up being about the same length.
- Take strip and make into bagel-shaped circle.
NOTE: the ends of the dough don't mash together like Play-Doh will, so just get them close enough (see explanation). Let dough sit for another ten minutes.
- Two at a time, drop dough bagels into pot of boiling water. Leave stay 45 seconds, then flip and do 45 seconds on other side. Remove and put on cookie cooling rack to drip dry.
- (optional step) Scramble one egg and brush raw egg onto tops of dough bagels. Do this if you like a darker more pronounced crust.
- (optional step) Apply any seasonings to top of dough bagel. I tend to make some Everything for me and a few Plain for the Hubby.
- Many recipes suggest cooking on parchment paper. My grocery store didn't have it, so I bake on a pizza stone which works well. Space out dough bagels on pizza stone and place in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes (or until desired brownness).
So the reason I make the dough into strips is because I like plump, fluffy bagels and my first few attempts looked more like hockey pucks. Part of that was using yeast that didn't expire in 2012, but I couldn't use the technique from Deliciously Yum to make balls of the dough and just put my finger through without the bagels getting seriously squished. Doing the strips works well, but the ends of the strip don't really connect well, meaning that the cicle can come undone while boiling. I really don't care and when I put them on the pizza stone, I just re-overlap them and it bakes together. As I friend pointed out, my bagels are shaped like a Boppy Pillow. Maybe I should have titled this post, "Boppy Pillow Shaped Bagels."