I admit, making bagels was one of those things I always shied away from because I honestly thought it was too difficult. I have bagel aficionados in my house and I was leery of the criticism as well. We normally go to NYC several times a year and I always go to my favorite bagel shop and buy several dozen to freeze.
Okay so willingly, I searched the internet to view some bagel recipes, being a bagel-making virgin and all, and stumbled upon The Sophisticated Gourmet’s NYC version and happily started on my bagel journey albeit with a few adaptations.
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 /1/4 cup of warm water (avoid hot but warm)
3.5 cups of high gluten flour (or bread flour if you can’t locate it.) I used Sir Lancelot by King Arthur’s
1.5 teaspoon of salt
Egg, whisked for egg wash
Toppings for everything bagels: In a bowl I mixed 1 tsp of each: caraway seeds, coarse salt, fennel seeds, cracked pepper corns, poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds.
Toppings for cinnamon and sugar: 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, brown sugar and regular granulated sugar.
In a measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of warm water and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve then add the yeast on top and let it sit (don’t mix). Let this sit for 5 minutes. Then stir the yeast to blend.
In a stand mixer bowl, add the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and the pour the yeast/sugar mixture (after it’s complete) into the center. Also, add the 3/4 cup water. With the dough hook, mix to combine for about 6 -8 minutes. If the dough is still dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time to add additional moisture.
Onto a floured countertop, remove the dough from the stand mixer and knead it by hand for about 8 minutes or until elastic.
Take a large bowl and oil the interior. Add the dough and cover with a damp towel. Set in a draft-free location. I typically place it in the microwave. Do this for one hour. Punch down the dough after one hour and let rest for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the dough and divide into 10 smaller round balls. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. After an additional 10 minutes remove each ball. Lay it flat and press with the heel of your hand to flatten the bagel a big (don’t crush it) on the floured countertop and press your index finger in the center and exaggerate the hole size. Repeat.
Preheat your oven to 425. On the stove top, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the water down to a simmer. Working in batches, add one or two bagels to the water and let it cook for one minute on one side then repeat on the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the baking sheet with a Silpat. Repeat until each bagel has been boiled on each side. Take your egg wash and brush on the top of each bagel. Sprinkle your topping on each bagel. Place in the oven and bake for 22-24 minutes. Remove and let cool. Store in ziploc baggies.