Friday, December 28, 2012

Basic Bagels

One of the first posts I did, back in August 2009, when I was just getting started with this blog, was for the bagels I make.  It's probably my "signature" bake good that everyone from California to Massachusetts to Connecticut and now in Washington, know me by:-D

My mother never made bagels.  In fact, I don't think we had ever heard of them when I was growing up.  She made yeast rolls or bread, but never a bagel.  It was in the early 70s that I discovered bagels and I've been making them ever since.  This morning, I not only treated the guys to bagels, but I went a step further and smoked a couple of salmon fillets with alder wood for them to have with their bagels...yes, I do spoil my family!
The bagel shape is literally hundreds of years old.  The "hole" in the middle not only helps baked them more evenly, but it had a practical use too.  They could be placed on a dowel on through a string to transport easily. Traditionally, sesame or poppy seeds are sprinkled on top, but if you go by your favorite bagel shop, I bet you'd see many varieties--from chocolate chip, dried cherries or cranberries to pumpernickel, rye, or pumpkin.

Basic Bagels
5 to 6 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 T granulated sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
2 pkgs (about 2 T) active dry yeast
1 tsp. honey
1 to 1 1/2 cups warm warm (in addition to the 1/2 cup used with the yeast to proof)

In a 1 cup measure, add 1/2 cup very warm water (105-110F-degrees)
Sprinkle the yeast over the water and add the honey.  Use a mini-whisk to stir the yeast completely into the water.  Set aside to proof, about 5 to 7 minutes (depends on the warmth of your kitchen).

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, using the bread hook, measure out the flour.  (I have a 6qt. bowl, so I measured out 6 cups of flour--if you have a 5 qt. bowl, you may want to do 4 1/2 or 5).
Add the sugar and salt and mix slightly to combine on low speed.

Add the proofed yeast to the bowl and turn the speed up to #2 to start the process.  Measure out another 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water and slowly pour it while the mixer is running.  As the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl, you've added enough water.
Continue to knead in the mixer about 2 minutes more.  Stop the mixer and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board.  Knead by hand a few times to create a smooth dough.
Place this ball in a bowl (or dough bucket) that has been lightly sprayed with a non-stick baking spray.  cover top with plastic wrap (or the lid) and allow to rise until doubled--about 40 to 45 minutes.

Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil in a large pot.  Lower to a simmer. Preheat oven to 400F-degrees and spray a large sheet pan with a non-stick baking spray.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board again and divide into 12 pieces (if you've done 6 cups of flour) or 10 pieces (if you've done 5 cups of flour).
To make the signature hole in the middle--poke your thumb through the dough and then your fingers to stretch the opening, keeping the bagel shape round.

After all the bagels have had their "hole" made, cover with a dry, cotton towel.  Place about three bagels at a time into the simmering water, right-side-down.

Simmer for about 3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to flip them over.  Simmer about 1 minute more, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
I use a product called Quick Shine to spray the tops so the sesame or poppy seeds will adhere and it gives the tops a finished look that you find in bakeries.  Alternatively, you can brush the tops with an  egg mixed with 1 T water to adhere seeds with.

Bake 20 to 22 minutes.  Let rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.

I will warn you that once you subject your family to fresh, homemade bagels, they will never eat another "store bought" one again! Enjoy!

19 comments:

  1. Wow, can I come over?! :) I have it in my mind to make pretzels but am kinda afraid. Now, with your explanation and photos I just might try these first. I bet your house smelled wonderful and those boys were very, very thankful. Indeed. :)) Lv, me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also made these yesterday afternoon and just couldn't resist a sample even after dinner last night. ;) Soooo gooood, Susan! Great flavor and just the right amount of chewiness. I'm having one for breakfast with cream cheese and homemade apricot jam. Thanks for sharing this great recipe and your step-by-step was invaluable! Lv, me

      Delete
  2. Susan, These bagels look so good. I'm going to forward this post to my daughter. As you know I don't like to spend too much time in the kitchen but my daughter loves to cook. Joyous Wishes, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  3. I did a post on making bagels one time! They take a little time..but oh, they are worth it! We love them! Yours look amazing. Love the spray on that you used. I'll have to look for some of that! Hugs1

    ReplyDelete
  4. Susan I have never made bagels. We love them at our home. I'll have to try your recipe---they look beautiful. Your creations always make my mouth water! Happy New Year friend! xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bagels are one bread I haven't tried yet. I really need to, I spend a small fortune on them at the bakery. :) Yours look beautiful and make me want to give them a try. Have a fabulous weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is the first and only post I read this morning - didn't get around to reading any others, because I suddenly realised that I wanted to make bagels - now! I just know my family are going to love them!
    Thanks Susan. I'll let you know how I get on. xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will have to make these. I was so disappointed with shop-bought bagels that I have only eaten them once. I think home-made will be an entirely different thing! Thanks Susan. x

    ReplyDelete
  8. You know, i'm a Montreal-style bagel girl, but those look MARVELLOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are an ambitious baker! This looks like a lot of work to me. My favorite bagel is one made by Einstein Bakery and sold at Target. It's called the Everything Bagel. It has cranberries, nuts, raisins and lots of other good stuff. Of course, the smoked salmon probably wouldn't taste that good on it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I should have added...if you're adding dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.), knead them in before the first rising. If you are adding chocolate, maple, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc. chips, add them in before you form them into their shape. The "heat" of rising will melt chips!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I made a batch this morning - they were much appreciated and enjoyed by the extended family at breakfast time. I was too busy to eat one then, so I ate mine at tea time. It was soooo good! The right amount of chewiness, tasty, satisfying. Thank you, Susan. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are my favorite too--I'm happy your family found them yummy. Happy New Year to you and your family, XOXO

      Delete
  12. Oh Susan. I've never made bagels. Wowsers. Hope you had a nice day today. Hope, also, the rest of the week will be excellent! Thanks for all your faithful visits. Susan

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful bagels, Susan. I am a sucker for anything prepared with yeast, natural or commercial. You definitely did an excellent job in this.
    Once again, wishing you a healthy and happy new year, Susan!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love bagels but would never think of baking my own! Thanks for the inspiration! Hugs, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  15. Today I bought bread flour and yeast so my little baker and I can try these out tomorrow. She loves any cooking / baking project where she gets to dig her hands in :-). Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    With love and ladybug hugs,
    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  16. One of these days, I need to make homemade bagels! I'm pinning this to my pinterest board to help me remember! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have ALWAYS wanted to make bagels and I think that will be a goal for 2013. Now I know where to come for a tutorial:)

    ReplyDelete

Old Fashioned Soft Oatmeal~Raisin~Pecan Cookies

I love crunchy chocolate chip cookies, but my oatmeal cookies need to be soft and chewy. Yes, I'm quirky, but if you have the same...