Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Homemade Bagels!

Why would anyone want to make homemade bagels, you ask? Maybe you're super broke but bagels sound great, and after all you do have flour, salt, sugar, and water on hand. Plus you can brag to everyone that you don't eat "store-bought" [insert look of disgust here] bagels.
First off, a word of warning. Do not attempt to make bagels when it's over 10 degrees outside- you'll roast. Also, just give it up if you have an oven that looks like this:
Now then. You probably have all the stuff you'll need already. The only thing I had to buy was a packet of yeast, which is like 25 cents. If you don't know what I'm talking about, looks like this:

Here's the list of ingredients:
  • 6-7 cups flour
  • 1 TB salt
  • 2 TB sugar (or in my experience, a whole lot more)
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 ounce-package rapid-rise yeast or 1 TB fresh yeast (whatever that is)
  • 1 TB vegetable oil
  • cooking spray
  • plastic wrap

1. Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. In a separate bow, mix sugar and oil with the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a wooden spoon.

2. Knead dough by hand or with a dough hook, trying to add more flour if you can until smooth and elastic- about 10 minutes. Put in oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around.

Cover with plastic wrap. Rise 1 hour until finger poke impression remains.

At this point, I find it handy to go ahead and heat up the oven. The recipe says it should be 550 degrees, but mine only went up to 525- still hot enough to burn the little boogers to a crisp very quickly. If you put your dough close to the oven, it will help it rise a bit too.

Moving on..
3. Punch down the dough well (this part is fun!) Knead, and divide into 3 pieces. Roll eah piece into a rope, cut rope in 5 pieces.
Because I'd like to have bagels sometime this year, and without developing arthritis in my hands, I opted to skip all that nonsense. I'm sure it's better to do it the way the recipe says, maybe it makes the dough better or something I don't know. But after a long time of dividing, rolling, dividing again, I got tired and just tore off hunks of the dough to form into the ring for the bagel.
***Returning to recipe***
Roll each into a ball, roll into rope, curl around to form ring. Seal ends by overlapping and pinch together. Set on greased baking sheets, cover with towels for 20 minutes until puffy.

Boil a large pot of water with 2 TB of sugar. (says the recipe)
I used a stockpot, but looking back I think something more shallow would have worked better- like a dutch oven. Cuz you really don't need all that water to float a few bagels, and you'll need a ton more sugar. The first batch I poached were really bitter on the outside, so I added gobs more sugar and the next batch was much better.
Now the recipe says to drop 2-3 bagels at a time into the boiling water for 1 minute, turning once. Oops. I dumped as many as I could in at a time. Meh.
Put back onto oiled baking sheets.

Enter Doubting Husband: "Gee, hun, those look ... uh... really..mm... yummy?"

After you've shoo-ed the ungrateful family members from the steaming kitchen, Bake the bagels 10-15 minutes (says recipe) until shiny and golden brown.
I think the recipe is out to get you. It knows at this point you're nearing a heat stroke and wants to ruin all your hard work. Don't listen to it.
Even at 525 degrees, my bagels were burnt at 10 minutes. I left them in for 8- much better.
That shady recipe.



Splendid Little Stars said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! I have been thinking lately about making bagels. I made them once or twice a l-o-n-g time ago. Now here's some incentive!

Jessica said...

Hehe. That's awesome! I wanna try making these now :)

Good Girls Studio said...

wow! I'm impressed! I'll have to try this with the kiddo this weekend (he would eat his body weight in bagels if I let him!):)

The Design Boards said...

I tried to make homemade bagels once, they were a total disaster! I don't know if I'm brave enough to take up the challenge again!

henzy said...

the bagels look great. very impressed