From the Kitchen of Angie St. John
My family loves homemade breads, and that's good because I LOVE making them. However, some can seem quite intimidating with many steps involved.
I've made bagels in the past and have never really loved any particular recipe I've tried. However, over the past weekend, I combined a few and came up with a winner and can't wait to experiment some more with it. My husband and I have been enjoying these bagels at breakfast but our almost six year old has been wanting them for dinner with carrot sticks, and hey why not (and easy for me!). I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!
Yields 8 bagels
You will need:
1 packet active dry yeast (Don't be intimidated! I know yeast sounds scary or elaborate but I promise you - it will be OK! )
1 tablespoon sugar (use any of your choice, I used a raw sugar this time around)
1/2 cup warm water, NOT HOT
3 1/2 cups bread flour and I kept an additional 1/4 cup aside so I would have some for my hands and surface
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Topping - you can make your bagels plain or add a sprinkle of your favorite topping such as poppy, sesame or everything bagel seeds. (you will top your bagels after give them their "bath"....I'll get to that after)
What you'll need to do first is put the yeast and sugar in a bowl. Get a 1/2 cup of warm water and add that to the sugar and yeast bowl. Let it sit, don't stir it yet and set the timer for 5 minutes. After it sits for 5 minutes give it a gentle stir.
In the bowl of your stand mixer or a larger sized bowl, whisk together your bread flour and salt. Pour the yeast mixture in followed by another 1/3 cup warm water - add the water slowly. Using your dough hook of your stand mixer or your wooden spoon or spatula, start mixing your ingredients together.
Feel free to add 1 tablespoon of water as you go, as you aim for a moist but firm ball of dough.
Once you have your firm ball of dough, lightly grease another large bowl with any kind of oil and place your dough in it. Turning the dough a few times to get it lightly coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an hour, make sure it's slightly doubled in size.
This is when your floured surface comes in handy. After the hour has passed, transfer the ball of dough to floured surface and divide it in half and then turn both halves into four parts, these will end up being your bagels. Roll those parts into eight balls. Then using a finger or two, poke a hole in the center and work in clockwise. These bagels will be different shapes, that is OK, mine still all baked well together.
Once you're done shaping the bagels, let them rest on a cookie sheet topped with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 425 F and cover the bagels with a damp cloth and let them rise for 10 minutes while your oven is preheating. During this time, fill a BIG STOCK POT up with water (if you don't have a big one, just use a smaller one) and let it come to a roaring boil.
Now it's bagel "bath" time! Once water is boiling, drop 2 bagels in at a time and make sure they aren't on top of each other. If you are using a smaller stock pot, just do one bagel at a time. Boil each side for 2 minutes, rotating them with a slotted spoon. Transfer them to the cookie sheet and repeat boiling process with the remaining bagels. As the bagels come out of the stock pot, you can then carefully sprinkle your bagels with topping of your choice.
Once all bagels are boiled and sprinkled with your desired topping (plain is ok too!) it's baking time! Bake your bagels at 425 for 20 minutes or so, or until golden in color. Let them cool and ENJOY!