Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 29, 2011

Homemade Bagels

It’s not easy to get bagels around here. Nineteen miles away, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts in Breezewood, PA. They make bagels. Everyone assures me ‘they’re not that bad’. Whoa. Ringing endorsement there. So here’s my bagel recipe.

Homemade Bagels

For the bagels:

1/2 c. warm water

1 1/2 TBSP barley malt, honey, rice syrup, sorghum  or light molasses

1 pkg yeast

10 oz, 1 1/4 cup, warm water

2 1/2 tsp salt

2 cups whole wheat bread flour

3 cups all purpose white flour

Toppings given below bagel instructions

Stir your chosen sweetener into the 1/2 cup of warm water. Add the yeast and allow to bloom for five minutes. Put the salt and whole wheat bread flour into a large bowl, or the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Add the larger amount of warm water to the yeast mixture. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture using a wooden spoon or the paddle beater for your stand mixer. Beat this continuously for ten minutes. Now add the all purpose flour. Beat at first, then switch to hand-kneading or the bread hook attachment on your stand mixer, for ten more minutes. The dough should be very firm and quite springy when you’re done. If it’s not, then knead for another five minutes. Oil the dough lightly, set it in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and allow it to double in size (depending on the temperature in your kitchen this can take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours).

Fold the dough under itself at the edges of the bowl, going all the way around. This is ‘punching’ the dough down. Let the dough rise until doubled a second time. The second rise should take only 1 to 1 1/2 hours. ‘Punch’ the dough down again and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the dough into uniform chunks. I use a scale for this, as a constant weight for the dough allows the bagels to finish cooking at the same time. At 1.5 oz, 43 grams, I get 26 bagels. These are nice mini-bagels. Maybe you want a bagel as big as your head or whatever, if so scale up to your preferred volume.

Roll each dough blob into a smooth ball. Pinch a hole through the middle of the dough ball and widen it slightly. Set the bagels on an oiled baking sheet or a baking sheet covered with parchment. Let them have about an inch of space all the way around. Cover them lightly with a tea towel or plastic wrap (they’ll be less likely to stick to the tea towel). Let them rest and rise for thirty minutes. After fifteen minutes, set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Preheat the oven to 425°.

When 30 minutes have elapsed, gently lift your bagels from the baking sheet and place as many as you can comfortably manage, and as fit with room to spare, in the boiling water. Give them a minute, then turn them over and let them boil for another minute. Drain them slightly, and replace them on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake one sheet at a time for 20-28 minutes, depending on the size of the bagel you’re making. Allow them to cool completely, about 30 minutes, before consuming (right).


Sesame seeds

Poppy seeds

Kosher salt

Put a 1/2 cup of any of these (or a total of a 1/2 cup of all of them if you want ‘everything bagels’) on a saucer. When you pull the bagels from the boiling water, set them on the saucer, then invert the bagel when you place it on the baking tray (so that the topping is on the top). Bake them off as above.

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes in oil

3 TBSP minced sautéed onions

3 TBSP minced sautéed garlic

With these toppings, knead them into the dough before the ten minute rest and the shaping. Proceed as above from the shaping instructions.


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