homemade bagels…

Our family enjoys a good bagel. Good bagels are harder to find out here in the Mid-West. The closest we have is Einstein Brothers. Store bought bagels just don’t measure up. Periodically my husband gets a craving for bagels. When that happens, we pack our family up on a weekend morning and head over to Einstein Brothers, where we easily spend 1 – 1 1/2 hours consuming bagels, drinking coffee (my husband), caffeine free soda (me), or milk (the kids), and chatting with one another. We talk about our future plans, what we want to learn more about, what activities we’d like to try, or our hopes for our dream house and life. It’s a relaxing time, and though bagels at home can’t replac the experience, having some good bagels at home would be very much welcomed.

I was excited when I found out about this bagel recipe. I decided I had to try it. I had never made bagels before, but my culinary skills are ever expanding in my attempt to make most of our food. I have to say that the taste and texture are really very good; I see myself making these quite often for our family.

BAGELS! GLORIOUS & HOMEMADE BAGELS!
(Modified from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)

What you’ll need (I made these slightly smaller, making 12 bagels – a nice size for my kids and smaller for the adults in our house who don’t need to consume a huge bagel) . . .

  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-2/3 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (substituting honey worked very well)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (honey, again)
  • 3 cups bread flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1-1/2 cups wheat pastry flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons table salt
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt, rye seeds, etc., etc.
  • Vegetable oil (for bowl)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Parchment paper (I just put the bagels on silicone baking mats)

Method . . .

  1. Add yeast to the warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes. You should be able to see foam.
  2. With an electric mixer, mix together  the sugar, molasses, flours, and salt. Knead for about 1 minute (until a slightly tacky dough forms). You may need to add more flour or water depending on the consistency. If so, just add in 1 tablespoon amounts. I found I needed to add some water with the whole wheat flour.
  3. Continue to knead dough for about 5 more minutes, and then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
  4. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. This didn’t rise as much as I was expecting, but it doesn’t have as much yeast as bread doughs.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Cover with a  kitchen towel and let  rest for about 20 minutes.
  6. With lightly oiled hands, roll each piece of dough into a rope. Form a circle around your hand and then press the two ends (rather, roll them) together to seal. Make the rope thinner than you think and exaggerate the hole in your bagel. I didn’t, and the holes closed while baking.
  7. Place the bagels 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap and let rest until puffed (about 20 minutes).

Cooking/baking . . .

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 C) .
  2. Fill a large stockpot  with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Gently drop bagels into the water (as many as will comfortably fit without touching each other). After 30 seconds, use a slotted spoon to gently flip the bagels over ; simmer for yet another 30 seconds.
  4. Return the bagels to the baking sheets. Top them with the seeds or salt (you must do this when the bagels are still wet so everything sticks to them).
  5. Immediately place sheets in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then rotate the sheets and reduce the temperature to  350 degrees F (176-ish degrees C). Bake until golden brown (approximately 10 minutes).
  6. Use a spatula and flip bagels over. Continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until the back-sides are golden brown as well.
  7. Transfer bagels to wire rack to cool!

When it came time to bake these, the baby was fussy. I decided that she just wasn’t in the mood to wait around while I spent time boiling bagels and messing with a super hot oven. I considered trashing them, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I stuck them in the oven at 350 degrees F and timed them for 15 minutes. They weren’t golden brown, but the taste and texture was still really good. I can’t wait to try making the the correct way.

3 thoughts on “homemade bagels…

    • What I ended up doing was no more than making 5 minute artisan bread. The dough rises just like making bread. The only thing that would have taken more time (which I didn’t get to do) was boiling them before baking. I want to try them with the boiling, as I think it would give the outside that awesome thick chewy texture. The tase was good. These were so much less expensive than buying them at the grocery store or Costco and they stayed fresh it a ziplock bag for much longer than purchased ones. I also liked making them smaller, as there is less waste from little ones.