Friday, July 17, 2009

Making Homemade Bagels

I've always wanted to make bagels and decided to try it today. I got the recipe from Martha Schulman's Great Breads.

Here it is:
  • 2 T active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 T honey or malt extract
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup unbleached white flour
The boiling part of the bagel is done in 2 1/2 quarts water with 1 T malt extract stirred into it

Toppings can be anything. Use an egg wash (1 egg white mixed with 1 T water) and then sprinkle on the topping. I used
  • black sesame seeds,
  • caraway seeds, and
  • coarse salt to make four of each kind.
The dough is a typical yeast dough. Dissolve the yeast in warm water in mixing bowl. Stir in the honey or malt extract and let stand for about 10 minutes until creamy. Stir in 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour. Add salt to the remaining 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour and the 1/2 cup white flour. Using the dough hook, knead at low speed for 2 minutes and then at medium speed for 10 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.

Start the 2 1/2 quarts of water and the malt extract to heat up so that it will be at a low boil when you need it.

Divide the risen dough into 12 equal parts, shape into balls and allow to rest for 5 minutes

Take each ball and poke a hole in it with your thumb. Widen the hole with your fingers until it is wider than you want it to be in the finished bagel. Put the bagels on a floured surface, cover with plastic or a towel and allow to rise for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 with one rack in the middle and the other in the upper third. I used my oven's convection baking.

With the water at a gentle boil, put the bagels one at a time with a slotted spoon into the simmering water. Do two or three bagels at a time. When they have boiled for 30 seconds on one side, turn over for 30 seconds on the other side. Carefully remove from the water and allow to drain on a towel as in the picture below. Repeat until all bagels are done.

Oil two baking sheets, sprinkle with cornmeal. Brush the bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle with your desired topping. Gently transfer to prepared baking sheets

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, switching the position of the sheets halfway through the baking and turning the bagels over after about 20 minutes. On convection, these were done at 23 minutes so they barely got to be turned over. Next time I'll turn them at the same time as I switch the sheets.

Cool on a rack when dark and shiny (done).

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