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Homemade Bagels

May 8, 2011

Homemade Bagels

It’s been a lovely weekend for us here at Saucy & Bossy. On Friday night, we went out to see my friend/ex-drummer Paul Murray’s new band, ChainDrive, which was a great time. My other ex-bandmates from Coaster Thieves were also present, which made for a great impromptu reunion, in the town where we used to practice!

Bagels, really? You can make those? Oh yes.

About a month ago, I started getting the itch for breadmaking again, and came across this post on Serious Eats. After some days of questioning whether I had this one in me and some waffling, we picked up the necessary ingredients and I put the proper gears in motion on a Saturday night to make these bagels just in time for breakfast on Sunday morning. I was surprised at how good they were, texture-wise. They had a nice crispy-outside and a luscious, chewy inside, just like bagels are supposed to be. Next time I will probably add a little more salt, but otherwise they were pretty close to perfect!

While this seems like a daunting task, it’s not terribly different than other bread or roll recipes, aside from the extra boiling and shaping step. The egg wash gives a nice light-brown shine, and I used some sesame seeds we had on hand to make half the batch sesame, and half plain. I grabbed some of the chives we always have in the garden, chopped ’em up and mixed them in with some cream cheese, and we were ready!

Homemade Bagels (Makes 10)

Adapted from Serious Eats 

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (I suggest more, at least doubled)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (120 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
  • sesame seeds, chopped garlic, minced onion, poppy seeds, pretzel salt (optional)
  1. Add all of the dry ingredients (except the extra sugar) into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixed. With processor running, slowly add the water. Process until dough comes together and starts to ride up over the blade, about 30 seconds. Process for another 30 seconds or until dough is shiny and elastic. Don’t overmix.
  2. Spray or oil a large bowl and turn balled up dough into the bottom. Spray the top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour. The longer this goes, the better the flavor will be. I did it overnight.
  3. When the dough is ready to go, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and put a pot of 6 quarts of water and remaining sugar to boil.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press lightly to expel any excess gas. Divide dough into 10 equal portions. If I were doing this again, I would do 8 so they’re a little bigger.
  5. Ball each portion of dough, and then one by one, roll out with your hands until they’re about 7 inches in length. Take a rope and wrap it around your four fingers and press to seal the seam. Roll each seam gently on the cutting board to further seal it. If you need a little help sealing the seams, use a little bit of water. As each one is ready, set them on a lightly oiled baking sheet covered in a cotton towel to let rise a bit more while you work on the rest.
  6. When your water is boiling, add bagels (two at a time) to pot, and cook for 1 minute, turning at the 30-second mark. Pat the boiled bagels dry gently with a towel and place on a cooling rack.
  7. After all bagels are on the cooling rack, brush with egg-wash and sprinkle toppings evenly as desired. Put bagels on greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until just golden. Flip them and cook for another 10 minutes.
  8. This is the hardest part. Wait at least 20-30 minutes for bagels to cool before you cut them. After that, dig in and enjoy your hard work!
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