Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Bagels

It's not to often that I blow my own horn. However I'm going to take a moment to do just that.. HOLY MOLY I made bagels!!!! B-A-G-E-L-S!! not just any run of the mill bagels, but honest to goodness decent bagels! This is the first recipe using yeast that came out the first time I made it. I usually have to start over for one reason or another..not this time:)
I can't find bagels here and when I do find them I always wished I hadn't spent the money to buy them. Now to be honest, if I lived back home I never would of made these. It's just to easy to go to the store and pick out your favorite flavor and be on your way. Since I can't do that anymore I turned to Nigella for the answer. She answered in a big way! These are great bagels. Nigella said bagels need to be chewy,not airy,with a tightly woven crumb..thats just what we got. 
Before I get into the recipe I wanted to mention to my expat readers in the netherlands that I bought the bread mix from AH. I bought the multi grain one because I could not find just plain bread flower. If you use this I would cut down on the salt a bit. Mine came out slightly salty but I think it's due to some already being in the mix. One bag of the mix is 6-2/3 cups but you need another bag to knead in more dough. Ok here is the recipe with photos to help out!

Bagels..makes 15
6-2/3 -7 cups Bread Flour,plus more for kneading
1 TBL Salt
1 package(1/4ounce) rapid-rise Yeast
2 TBL Sugar
1 TBL Vegeatable oil,plus more for greasing
2-1/4 cups Warm Water,plus more as needed(I did not need any extra)
2 TBL Malt or Sugar..I used sugar
2-3 Baking Sheets,oiled or greased. I used parchment.

1. Combine the flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Add the sugar and oil to the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
2. Knead the dough either by hand or with a dough hook, trying to add more flour if you can. **I added just under the 7 cups and did it by hand! My husband actually kneaded it for me! ** The dough will be very stiff and hard to work with but keep doing until you have a smooth. elastic dough..wich takes 10 minutes even if you use the dough hook.
 Form the dough into a ball, and put it into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it to rise for about 1 hour. It should be well risen, and , when you poke it with your finger, the impression should remain.
 You can see the poke I made in the middle and how it stayed.
3. As you begin to shape your bagels get a large pot of water on the boil. When it starts to boil add in the sugar. 
4. Punch the dough down really hard and plop it onto the counter top. Give it a quick knead and then divide the dough into 3 pieces. Take those 3 pieces and using a pizza cutter or knife cut each one into 5 pieces..for a total of 15 pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a ball. Then take a finger and poke a hole in the middle and gently open the hole up bigger by pulling it apart gently. Set the bagels on cookie sheets and cover either with a tea towel or plastic wrap for 20 minutes by wich time they should be nice and puffy.
5.Pre heat oven to 500 or over oven actually won't go as high as that but get it up as high as you can.
6. When the malted water is boiling and your bagels are good and puffy,start poaching them. Drop a couple of bagels at a time into the boiling water and boil for 1 minute, turning them once. Use a couple of spatulas to flip them over and remove them. When the minute is up place back onto the oiled baking sheets.
 Your bagels will puff up even more when in the water. Bake them for 10-15 minutes or until they are shiny and golden brown. I needed the full 15 but my oven is never right anyway.
Place them onto wire racks to cool. When they are totally cool they take on the chewy texture of a bagel. I know this was a long post but I'm hoping my photos will help out anyone else who wants to attempt bagel making.

I was really pleased with this recipe and plan to make more in different flavors.