Bagels

Today is the one year anniversary (or blogiversary, if you will) for Cooking With the Kiddo! Kiddo and I have been cooking for longer, but today still feels a little momentous. As such, I thought we would mark the date with something a bit difficult. Bagels.

Yup, homemade bagels. I always thought that bagels were very difficult to make, and figured it was easier to try to find a decent bagel shop than to make one. But, when I stumbled on this recipe, I decided that Kiddo and I should give it a shot in time for our first blogiversary.

This recipe tells you how to add toppings or just to make the bagels plain. The yield is for 8 bagels, so we made two everything bagels and left the rest plain. Everyone preferred the plan bagels- especially Kiddo. Also, this is a long process, but can be done in one day, I suggest starting in the morning.

Homemade Bagel Ingredients

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ TBS white sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water (you may need up to ¼ cup more)
  • 3 ½ cups bread flour or high gluten flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

Optional Toppings:
Coarse salt, fresh minced garlic, fresh minced onion, poppy or sesame seeds, or use Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning and go to town (honestly, don’t “go to town.” The everything bagels were too salty for my liking (especially with butter, they were more palatable with cream cheese, but go light on the Everything But the Bagel…).

Homemade Bagel Directions

Yield: 8 Medium Bagels Time: 1 hour 45 minutes (without a small child’s help)

  1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it stand for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until all is dissolved in the water.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  3. Pour 1/3 cup of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. You may need to add a few TBS to ¼ cup of water. After mixing, the dough should be moist and firm. I used the dough hook on an electric mixer… but you could do it by hand.
  4. On a floured surface (countertop), knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Work in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough. FYI: this is not fun. LOL. Kiddo helped knead for about as long as it took me to take a picture, and then stopped. I have pretty strong arms, but I was tired at the end of 10 minutes.
  5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the it has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (we weren’t too careful). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and do your best to make smooth, neat balls of dough (the original recipe explains a technique that I couldn’t figure out). Ours came out OKish. Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 2 minutes, and them flip them over to boil for another 2 minutes. Decrease the boiling times to 1 minute each side, if you’d prefer a less chewy (not New York Style) bagel.
  10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so after you take them out of the water, and use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before putting the bagels into the oven.
  11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and topped as desired), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 20ish minutes, until golden brown. The bottoms of our bagels were a little hard, so I will check that at 17 minutes next time (there WILL be a next time!!!).
  13. Cool on a wire rack for (if you can resist the delicious aroma of fresh baked bagels. We could not!).
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