Monday, November 24, 2008

Homemade Bagels


I love bagels. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We usually get them by the dozens and finish them between the two of us in the span of a few days. When I visited NYC a few months ago, ST and I checked out Absolute Bagels and Murray's for their bagels. I was hoping to experience the bagel epiphany,in the city that claims to have the best bagels in the US. But guess what? I realized that they don't taste much different from my neighborhood Einstein Bro's. Perhaps I don't have discerning taste bud?

I have always wanted to make bagels, but the lengthy process of mixing, proofing, shaping, boiling and baking deterred me for a long time from sinking my fingers into the dough . It wasn't until a few weeks before our trip to Asia that I got down to making my first batch of bagels.


The bagel recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook , which I find the instructions to be clear and straightforward. Although the instructions seemed lengthy, it wasn't as hard as I imagined.

To my relief, the shaping was a breeze because the dough was not sticky at all. Even the most nerve racking part- boiling the dough was quite manageable. I was mesmerized by the movement of the dough which first sank to the bottom in the boiling water, and then floated onto the top when it's ready to be baked.


For toppings, I was thinking of my favorite "everything" topping, but have to settle with things I have in the pantry. I experimented a few bagels with Furikake, which is a kind of Japanese seasoning. It gave the bagels a japanese twist but I still prefer the "everything" topping. Having said that, I like the texture of the bagels, especially when they were fresh from the oven. It is great to cross out another item on my to-bake-list before the year ends!

adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 2/3 cup warm water
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp malt syrup
1 lb 6 oz bread flour (about 4.5 cups)
1 1/2 tbsp salt
toppings: sesame seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seed , Furikake seasoning

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the active dry yeast and warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then replace whisk with dough hook. With the mixer on low, add sugar, 1 tbsp malt syrup, bread flour and salt. Knead until the dough forms, which takes about one minute. The dough will be a little sticky. Continue to knead on medium for 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.

Divide dough into 10 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 20 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray to grease. With lightly oiled hands, roll each piece of dough to be about 8″ inch long and then shape into a circle to make the bagel.

Place bagels on prepared sheets at least 2″ inch apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes or until slightly puffy.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Fill your largest, widest stockpot with about 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining malt syrup.

Gently drop bagels into the water, putting in as many as possible without them touching. After 30 seconds, flip bagels over and simmer for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the bagel and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Top with toppings of your choice.

Immediately place baking sheets in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Then rotate sheet and lower oven temp to 350F. Continue to bake until the tops of the bagels begin to turn a golden brown - about 10 minutes. Flip bagels over and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy it while it's warm or keep the remaining in the freezer, for up to 2 weeks. Reheat the frozen bagels in a preheated 350F for 5 minutes, or until warm.


Anonymous said...

I made bagels only once but it was a lot of fun!

Your results are lovely and the topping sounds delish!

Manggy said...

He-ey Mandy :) Those look perfect. Don't you ever doubt your taste buds! ;) How do you think Martha's compares to Einstein et al.?

Finla said...

Wow just beautiful.
This is one of the best homemade bagels i have ever seen.

Ms Ashley said...

They look great! I haven't made it all the way through my Martha Stewart book, but I'm sure I'll try out this recipe!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks great, I love bagels!

The Food Librarian said...

Wow! Bagels are one of those things I never thought you could even make at home! Like Naan. You did a great job!

Snooky doodle said...

wow i love bagels. they re very rare here but when i went to Canada a couple of years ago I ate them for breakfast and lunch , So chewy and great :) your bagels look so delicious :)

Dana Treat said...

Beautiful job! I can't believe that was your first time. It give me courage!

Maria said...

Bagels are on my to do list and have been for a long time. I just need to make them already! Yours looks fabulous. I might go with this recipe now, thanks!

Anonymous said...

haha! we just went to nyc and visited murray's bagels as well... i couldn't discern the difference either! glad to know that i was not the only one... i love einstein bros. bagels! and your homemade ones look great!

Anonymous said...

I love bagels too. Yours look lovely! Nothing can beat homemade:)

Anonymous said...

Those look fantastic! Congratulations on your first round of bagels :)

Beachlover said...

wow! what a nice looking bagel you have there!! I nevr try bagel b4,maybe becoz I can get it easily here..Anyway,the best bagel in NYC is H&H Bagel

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I also love bagels! And only tried to make them at home once. Yours are perfect!

Y said...

I love your choice of topping!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I tried making bagels once but they were so ugly, the poor little things... :)
Yours are wonderful, Mandy, and I love the idea of an everything topping.

thecoffeesnob said...

They look fantastic!

I flagged that recipe to try when i first got Martha's book. Three years later, it's still flagged while i bake my way through everything else in her book.

Now that i know that recipe works and that they can look that gorgeous, i have to try it as soon as possible!

dp said...

I thought baking bagels would be a nice touch for our holiday guests. Your recipe seems fairly straight forward. Do you think it would be okay to let the dough proof overnight in the fridge and do the boiling and baking in the morning? That way they could be fresh for brunch.

Deborah said...

I'll have to try this recipe, since I seem to be eating bagels like crazy lately!

Sweet Treats by Dani said...

i love bagels too, but i never dreamed of making my own.... but after reading about your experience i think i just might have a go at it :)

Anonymous said...

i think your recipes are so lovely and ur pics are so beautiful! so inspiring :)

Captain Jim said...

Tried this recipe today and I now have a new baking obsession to keep me busy during the chilly fall/winter weather! Not only was the process easy, but it was fun, even the battle with the taffy-textured barley malt syrup was amusing! And the results are definitely better than store bought, and presents some serious competition to bakeries and breakfast shops. Viva la bagel!

Fort Lauderdale catering said...

Learning how to make your very own bagel is a good thing, so that you may further appreciate how this type of bread is made. When you get involved in the process of making bagels, you will then realize that it is not just merely baking - but a work of art that needs to be mastered in order to produce top quality and delicious bagels.

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