Sunday, October 17, 2010

Homemade Bagels

Every once in awhile, I'll crave bagels. Since I craved them on a Sunday morning, I couldn't go out and buy them. I remembered that I stumbled across a homemade bagel recipe in one of my cookbooks recently. I thought I'd give it a whirl! They are far from perfect, and they are from from looking perfect. However, I loved the taste and texture of them. If you have a few hours to kill on a lazy Sunday morning, you should given 'em a try!Homemade Bagels:
adapted from Blue Ribbon Recipes by Barbara Greenman

2 - 2 1/2 c flour
2 1/4 t (1 pkg) yeast
3/4 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
2 quarts water
1 1/2 t sugar
1 egg, beaten

Combine the yeast and 3/4 c flour in a mixing bowl. Add the warm water, sugar, and salt to the bowl. Turn the mixer onto low and mix it for about 30 seconds. Turn it to high and mix it for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining flour in 1/4 c increments- mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition.
Once you can't incorporate any more flour, turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead it for 6-8 minutes. If I make these again, which I'm sure I will, I will use the breadmaker. I love how cookbooks always say, "knead for 6-8 minutes or until it's smooth and elastic." Right. I may as well make a sculpture of Homer Simpson out of a stick of butter. Maybe I don't know the correct kneading techniques, but whoever thinks that kneading bagel dough for 6-8 minutes is an easy task, they must be taking crazy pills. Feel free to keep all of this in a breadmaker until it's smooth and elastic- then turn it out. Let it rest for ten minutes. The picture below was pre-kneaded.
The picture below was post-kneaded. It looks a little better.
Break the dough into 6 balls. Roll it around until it resembles a kind of round ball.
Poke your thumb down through the middle of it.
Push your thumb through the other side.
Use your fingers to widen the hole to about 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
Keep them all on a greased baking sheet. Let them rise for 20 minutes.
Heat the broiler to high. Place the bagels about 5 inches from the heat source. Flip them over half way through so they don't get too brown. While they are in the broiler, prepare the 2 quarts of water and sugar. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer.
Preheat the oven to 375. Put the bagels in the simmering water. Cook them on each side for 3-4 minutes. Cooking them in water is what gives them the bagely texture. Once they're done, take them out and put them on a paper towel lined plate.
Brush them with egg.
Bake them for 25-30 minutes. They'll come out brown and toasty.
I turned mine into a breakfast sandwich- just scrambled eggs and cheese.
My kids wanted cream cheese and strawberry jam.
Like I said, they don't look anything like the bagels at the store, but they are just as good. It was fun to make them, and I'm looking forward to doing it again sometime with a breadmaker.

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