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Easy Homemade Bagels

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I wanted to make my own bagels, but when I went to my most trusted baking source (King Arthur Flour) all the recipes required for me to make a dough starter, 24 hours before. I wanted them now! Luckily, I stumbled across a recipe from "Mel's Kitchen Cafe". She's also a trusted recipe source, and she didn't make a starter. I followed her recipe (well, it's really King Arthur Flour's) and my bagels turned out perfect!

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Rate this recipe 4.6/5 (26 Votes)

Ingredients

  • DOUGH:
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (recommended, SAF instant yeast)
  • 4 cups (17-ounces) bread flour* (recommended King Arthur Flour unbleached 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

Details

Servings 8
Preparation time 120mins
Cooking time 140mins
Adapted from afeastfortheeyes.net

Preparation

Step 1

Notes: I invested in a baking stone, and that is how I get crispy pizza crusts, and crispy baked rolls. I also use parchment paper, and cannot be without it. I buy mine pre-cut from King Arthur Flour.com.

I also found that a "spider"(shallow wire mesh basket with a long handle) made flipping over the bagels, draining them and placing them on the baking sheet really easy to do. I never, EVER use cheaper bleached flour. In my honest opinion, King Arthur Flour is worth the extra cost, because it's non-GMO, not bleached with scary chemicals, and has a high gluten content.

Important: I used my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, because it's less elbow grease than kneading this dough by hand. I also invested in a pizza peel, that makes the transfer of my breads/pizza much easier to do.

*Mel's notes: I never have bread flour on hand, so I always use all-purpose flour, subbing 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten in for every cup of flour (or 1 tablespoon gluten for about every 5 ounces of flour if you prefer to weigh your ingredients). For this doubled recipe, I used 16 ounces of whole wheat flour, about 3 ounces of gluten and made up the rest of the 34 ounces with all-purpose flour.

Manual/Mixer Method:

To make this dough in a mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients and on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. (To make this dough by hand combine all of the dough ingredients and knead vigorously, by hand for 10 to 15 minutes.)

Mel's notes: Since a high-protein bread flour is used here (or a combination of all-purpose flour and gluten), it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten. The dough will be stiffer than other soft yeast dough but will still be pliable and smooth once it has finished kneading. It should be stiff and floured enough not to leave much residue on your fingers after pinching a piece but not so stiff that you can’t easily pinch off pieces of dough and work with it.

My note: I used the dough hook, and the dough had developed enough gluten after ten minutes.

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.

Note: I use my oven as a "proofing drawer". I turn the oven on WARM for one minute, then turn off the oven. My dough had risen, beautifully, in less than an hour!

Transfer the puffed/risen dough to a work surface and divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it 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.

Note: I forgot to cover the dough, and it developed a bit of a crust, giving the bagels a slightly wrinkled look. My bagels still turned out great, but next time I won't forget to cover them while resting.

Once they have rested, one-by-one, 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. You can use a large pot or a deep straight-edged skillet.

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

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 Asiago or another 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 as deep brown as you like. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.

My notes: My bagels were a perfect golden brown at 20 minutes. I always cool my breads on a rack, so that the bottoms don't become soggy.

This recipe made 8 HUGE bagels! I baked four at a time, and it was no problem for the second batch to rest. Both batches turned out beautifully. I think that the egg white wash really helped to give a beautiful color.

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