I have always wanted to try to make bagels, but was intimidated by the process. Yesterday, I was bored and decided to give it a whirl, there are a few steps and it is a hurry up and wait type of thing, but I made 12 awesome Bagel's. I am so proud of myself!
These bagels start with an overnight starter for extra flavor!
These are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, and positively delish! I am not sure I will ever buy them again! This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour Website, I find many great recipes there.
1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour (I used Better for Bread Flour)
1/4 cup cool water
pinch of yeast
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 1/4 cups cool water
1 3/4 teaspoons salt (next time I will use 2 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
Water bath water to fill a 10"-diameter pan about 1" deep
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
Combine the starter ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight
2nd step (Next Day)
Combine the puffy starter with all of the dough ingredients and knead—by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine—to form a stiff but not dry dough. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchenaide Mixer, and let it work for about 10 minutes till the bread was smooth)
Since we're using a high-protein bread flour here, you might notice it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set it aside to rise for 1 hour.
Gently deflate the dough, and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They'll puff up very slightly.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water and malt (or sugar) to a very gentle boil in a wide-diameter (about 10") pan.
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, 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 3 ½" across).
Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, (I used a Silpat) and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they're as deep brown as you like. To top with seeds, remove them from the oven after about 15 minutes, spray with water or Quick Shine, and sprinkle with seeds. Return to the oven to finish baking. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a rack.