When I was a kid, my family got all of our bagels from our friend's bagel shop, Bagels and More, in Beloit Wisconsin (the website is currently under construction). Mmm, they were delicious. Because of that, I've become very picky about my bagels. When I saw this recipe for homemade bagels, I was really excited and just had to try them!
Adapted from Our Kitchen
Makes 12 bagels
For the Starter:
1 Teaspoon instant dry yeast
4 Cups bread flour
2 1/2 Cups water
For the Dough:
1/2 Teaspoon instant dry yeast
3 3/4 Cups bread flour
2 3/4 Teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon malt syrup, molasses, or maple syrup
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, crispy garlic
Cornmeal for the baking tray (I used polenta)
1 Tablespoon of baking soda for the water
Mix the ingredients for the starter. Make sure they are mixed thoroughly and then cover the bowl and set aside somewhere warm for 2 hours. The starter will rise in that time.
"Knock back" the starter by pushing the air out of it with a spoon. Mix in the ingredients for the dough, reserving 3/4 cups of the flour for kneading.
Knead the dough on a floured surface, adding four as needed. The kneading will take a fair amount of time, about 10 minutes, until smooth.
Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. This works better if the dough is a bit wet so dampen our hands or the surface that you are rolling it into a ball on. Place the balls on a tray and let them rest for 20 minutes.
To shape the bales, push your thumb through the center of the ball and then place both thums in the whole and rotate the dough around your thumbs, pushing out a bit to spread the dough. Place the bagels on a try lined with well oiled wax paper. Once they are all shaped, brush the tops with oil and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rise for 20 minutes or until one can be dropped in a cold bowl of water and will float directly to the top.
At this point, they can be boil and baked but it is much better to place them in the fridge over night to let the flavors and texture develop.
The next day, preheat the oven to 275 degrees and bring a pot of water to boil with a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved inside. Gently place about 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water. Let them boil for one minute on each side. use a slotted spoon to flip the bagels over and to fish them out. of the water. Once they are done, place them on a tray sprinkled with corn meal or polenta. Top with the toppings while the bagels are still wet. I used sesame seeds--my favorite! Repeat with all of the bagels.
Place the bagels in the oven for 10 minutes and then raise the temperature and cook until firm and browned, about 20 more minutes.
Mmm, it was so fun to have fresh-baked bagels. I was a little skeptical of the taste at first, but then I realized that I forgot the sweetener! Opps! They still tasted delicious, but I'm sure they would be much better if I hadn't made that mistake. I'm not going to lie, these are definitely time consuming, but I love having a day full of baking on a slow weekend.
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