I was kind of intimidated at the thought of making my own bagels. It just seemed like a lot of work, and easy to screw up. But I am so glad that I did it. I can honestly say that I will never go back to store bought. The taste is so fresh, and they freeze very well! And while they do take a little bit of time, it's not really hard work. While my bagels don't look totally perfect, I assure you they taste fabulous.. and I was pretty darn proud of myself. Now if you have some extra time this weekend, I suggest you roll up your sleeves and give these a try! And don't let the lengthy directions scare you off!
recipe from Annie's Eats
For the sponge:
- 1 tsp. instant yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- cornmeal, for dusting
- toppings of your choice (cinnamon-sugar, cheese, seeds, or everything topping)
- Everything Topping - combine 4 tsp each of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, and 2 tsp salt
For the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a medium bowl. Add the water, stirring until it forms a smooth, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until it becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should get nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
To make the dough, in the same bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and honey (or brown sugar). Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining ¾ cup flour to stiffen the dough.
Knead dough for about 6 minutes with the dough hook. The dough should be firm, but still pliable and smooth. If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If it seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. Should be satiny and pliable but not tacky. Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces (recipe should make about 12 bagels). Form the pieces into rolls. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for 20 minutes.
Line two sheet pans with parchment and mist with spray oil. Shape bagels by pushing a hole through the center and stretching out the hole to 2.5 inches. Place each one 2 inches apart on the pan. Mist bagels with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Check to see if they are ready to be refrigerated by using the float test. Fill a small bowl with room temp/cool water. Test one bagel by putting it into the water and if it floats within 10 seconds then they are ready for the fridge. If it does not float, return to the pan and continue to let them set at room temp for 20 more minutes or until it passes the float test.
The following day (or when you're ready to bake them), preheat oven to 500 F. Bring large pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon nearby and your toppings ready. Remove bagels from the fridge and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as will fit (should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute, flip them over and boil another minute. if you like chewy bagels, you can boil 2 minutes per side instead.
While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment lined sheet pans with cornmeal. If you are topping the bagels, do it as soon as they come out of the water. When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the middle shelves in the over and bake 5 minutes, then rotate the pans. After rotating, lower the oven to 450 F and continue baking about 5 minutes or until bagels are light golden brown. Remove the pans from oven and let bagels cool on rack for 15 minutes before serving.
Enjoy their amazingness!