Slowly I’m tackling baking projects that I once passed off as ‘too _______’ to do myself – whether that was too complicated, time consuming, fussy, whatever. It’s easy to assume that just because you don’t often (or ever) make a certain something it’s because you can’t! Bagels were one of those things for me. Surely everyone buys them because they’re complex or finicky little critters…alas, this is totally not the case.
My guy eats a boatload of bagels. I buy them at the grocery store or market without batting an eyelash, until I stumbled upon a food blog post claiming that bagels ain’t no big thang to do. I was intrigued, actually took a moment to read the friggin recipe, and immediately felt kind of dumb.
WHY HAVE I BEEN BUYING BAGELS?
They are drop-dead simple. They take a little while to rise (only twice) but other than that, the bang you get for your effort buck on these is humongous. It was damn near impossible not to gobble them all up straight out of the oven. We put a pretty good dent in the batch of 8 within an hour of them being done, and gave a few away with a few cheers from receiving friends.
Tomorrow I’m going to experiment with fresh herbs in this recipe, it’s mega versatile and can be just about anything you want it to be!
adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water, lukewarm
Glaze and Everything Bagel Topping
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried onions
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg white
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment OR mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well, and add wet ingredients. Set on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes OR mix (with a spoon/hands) your little heart out! The dough will be quite stiff. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise til it’s puffed up, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Mix together all of the everything bagel topping ingredients, except for the egg white and set aside.
When your dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, and divide it into eight blobs, roll each into a nice little ball. Cover them with plastic wrap, and let rest for another 30 minutes.
While the dough balls are resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. I used my dutch oven and it worked great! Preheat your oven to 425°F.
When the dough balls are finished rising, poke a hole through the center of each, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). Beware of flying dough balls at this point! It’s easy to launch one across the kitchen during this step if you’re not careful! Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, into the simmering water bath. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Just before baking, with the glaze made of 1 egg white beaten till frothy with 1 tablespoon of water; glaze each bagel, and sprinkle heavily with everything bagel topping. This is the step where you can really customize the flavour, or just keep ‘em plain if that’s your thing.
Bake the bagels for 20 minutes or so, or until they’re golden brown to your liking. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack, if you can!