Homemade Bagels

These bagels are no joke: crusty outside, chewy inside, and so much better than anything you could buy in a grocery store.Homemade Bagels | A Nerd Cooks

My adventures with yeast continue!  We’ve done a King Cake, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and bread in a Dutch oven.  PLUS I grilled pizzas this weekend (a life changing experience, btw).  More on that next week, most likely.

And now we have homemade bagels.  I’ve been wanting to make them for some time.  After finally doing it, and seeing how easy it is, I’ll be doing it again and again.Homemade Bagels | A Nerd Cooks

I made the sesame ones for me and the plain ones for Sean (though admittedly I’ve been eating both of them).  They’re both pretty great, if I do say so myself.

You can top them any which way you’d like.  Poppy seeds?  Go nuts.  Everything seasoning?  Do it.Homemade Bagels | A Nerd Cooks

I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction.  Her recipe is for Everything Bagels (which look amazing), but you can top them however you’d like.

You’ll need (makes 8 bagels):

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour (yes, you NEED to use bread flour here)
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup honey (or barley malt syrup)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbs water
  • toppings of your choice: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, everything seasoning, etc. (I used salt and sesame seeds)

To make the dough: Combine the warm water and yeast in a liquid measuring cup or bowl.  Whisk in the yeast until it is completely dissolved.  Set this aside for 5 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the bread flour, brown sugar, and salt.  With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly pour in the water and yeast.  Use a spatula to scrape every last bit into the mixer.

Switch the mixer to low and mix until all of the flour is incorporated.  The dough is going to look a little shredded, but that’s to be expected.  Turn the mixer up to medium and mix for 8 minutes straight.  If the dough breaks apart during this time, stop the mixer, fold the dough back together with your hands, and continue mixing on medium.  The dough is super stiff, but DO NOT add more liquid.

NOTE: Because of how stiff the dough is, I found that my mixer was actually moving around on the counter a bit as it mixed.  Stay close by and make sure it doesn’t scoot to the edge and fall off.

Shape the dough into a ball and deposit into a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the entire ball in the oil.  Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for a 1 1/2 hours.  You want the dough to be not quite doubled in size.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set a wire rack on a third baking sheet.  Set them all aside.

To shape the bagels: If you notice any air bubbles, gently punch the dough down.  Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface.  Divide it into 8 roughly equal pieces.  Perfection is not required, here!  Roll each piece of dough into a ball.  Place 4 balls of dough on each of the baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

To put holes in the bagels, pick up a dough ball and put your index finger through the center.  Use your index and middle fingers to widen the hole by rotating your fingers in a circular motion.  We’re looking for ~2-inch holes.  Lay the newly formed bagel back onto the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough balls!  Cover the bagels with a damp kitchen towel while you work.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the water bath: In a wide vessel (Dutch oven, large pot, etc.), combine the 2 quarts of water and the honey.  Whisk until the honey is dissolved.  Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down a bit so that the water is simmering.

Add the bagels, two at a time, to the water bath.  Cook for 1 minute on each side.  Remove the bagels to the wire rack to dry a bit.  Repeat with the remaining bagels.

Topping the bagels: Once all bagels have been boiled, whisk together the egg white and 1 tbs of water until frothy.  Brush the egg wash onto the tops and sides of each bagel.  Sprinkle the topping of your choice liberally onto the bagels.

Baking the bagels: Place the bagels onto the lined baking sheets again (4 to a baking sheet).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until deeply golden brown.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Have at them!  Toast and top with whatever your heart desires!

Homemade Bagels | A Nerd Cooks

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