I’ve been daydreaming about making bagels at home for months and months. I was under the impression that they were super difficult, filled with extra steps and requiring special bread-making finesse. Over a long weekend, I decided to mentally prepare myself to tackle bagel-making. I was delightfully surprised that they are just as easy as making yeast breads, but with one extra step! I am amazed that I convinced myself that these would be so hard to make that it delayed my bagel bliss for months.
Living in Ohio, we don’t have access to quite the same bagels that NY/NJers do, and are often stuck with the ones that come six-in-a-bag (gasp!) So as you can imagine, we are deprived human beings until we travel up to the Northeast. You might be wondering, “can’t I just sit on my couch in my sweats and eat a delicious bagel?”
These bagels don’t require any overnight tricks, and can be made in the same day that you want to eat them! I made these on a Saturday night (I know, wild, right?) and had them Sunday morning with a delicious breakfast.
-2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
-1 ½ Tablespoons of Granulated Sugar
-1 ¼ Cups Warm Water (you may need ¼ cup more)
-3 ½ Cups (500g) Bread Flour
-1 ½ teaspoons Salt
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, minced garlic, minced onion, course salt, or whatever else you want! Make an egg wash (1 egg, beat, with a splash of water) when it comes time to top them.
Pour 1/2 cup of the warm water into a small bowl. Gently stir in yeast and sugar. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes until yeast is activated and frothy.
In a separate large bowl, mix flour and salt together. Form a small well in the bottom. Pour in the yeast mixture. Add in half of the remaining water and mix. Slowly add the remaining water, if needed, until dough forms into a nice elastic-y consistency. Dough should be moist but firm. Knead for 10 minutes by hand, or 7-8 minutes with a mixer with the dough hook attachment. Try working in as much flour as the dough will allow, to form a firm and stiff dough.
Lightly oil a large bowl and add the kneaded dough to it. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for one hour.
When dough has risen and doubled in size, punch down the dough. Divide the dough into eight equally-sized pieces. (I used a kitchen scale, but I’m a nerd and wanted them to be as perfect as possible.) Shape each piece into a smooth round. Coat a finger in flour and press into the center of a dough ball. Stretch the dough out around your finger until a bagel shape forms. Try not to overwork the dough, the smoother it remains, the better the final product will look. Complete with the remaining seven dough balls. Place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and preheat your oven to 425F. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a rapid simmer. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, drop in a bagel and let boil for one minute per side. If you want a chewier exterior, boil for two minutes per side. Use the slotted spoon to gently flip them over in the water. I only boiled two bagels per batch, so I could be sure they didn’t stick together and I could stay on top of flipping them in time. Using the slotted spoon, remove the bagel from the water.
If you are adding a topping, make your egg wash. Lightly brush the boiled bagel with egg wash and sprinkle your topping on it. Place back on the oiled baking sheet. When all are completed, bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Store in a sealed container. Delicious for 3-5 days.