Category: Main Dishes | Blog URL: http://www.creamandsugarkitchen.com/cream-sugar/2009/11/2509.html
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Jaime Davis
About a month ago, I noticed that my friend Sara kept Twittering and Facebooking about homemade bagels. When I first read the words "homemade" and "bagels" next to each other, my ears perked up like a hound dog's...what the what? I kept thinking, "she must be off her rocker, mayor and sole inhabitant of Crazertown." For some strange reason I had lumped bagels with baguettes as an impossible bread that absolutely cannot be baked in an ordinary home kitchen.
Sara sure did prove me wrong. Working from a Nigella Lawson recipe out of "How to be a Domestic Goddess," the bagels were soft and chewy with a positively dreamy, crunchy outer layer. After noshing and savoring these homemade treats, I can honestly say I never ever want to eat another store-bought or day old café bagel again. The texture and taste goes beyond just "fresh"...heavenly seems a better descriptor, especially straight out of the oven with some butter and jam or cream cheese (or plain).
The technique needed for this recipe isn't that advanced - just make sure to block out a few hours and prepare yourself to flex a bit of muscle. I think you'll agree that once you've tried these at-home bagels you won't go looking for them elsewhere.
Let us begin, shall we?
This is flour mixed with salt and yeast.
This is water mixed with oil (!) and sugar.
Flour meets water.
What I love most about this recipe is that you can do it completely by hand. After incorporating liquid into the flour, you need to shape it by hand into a dough.
Remove dough from the bowl and knead it for approximately 10 minutes, manipulating it until it's elastic and smooth.
Your dough needs to be on the dry side, so if you end up with stickiness of any kind, just add flour little by little and incorporate.
You should end up with something like this.
Plop your dough ball lovingly into an oiled bowl and give it a nice little bath. Cover and let it rest (read: rise) for about one hour.
Holy matzoh ball soup! That's a big dough ball. You'll also know it's ready if you poke it with your finger and the impression remains.
Now you get to punch your dough! Super fun! And therapeutic!
Cut into three sections...
Roll each section into a long rope...
And then separate each rope into five pieces. These pieces will then each become a bagel! Yum.
This is my favorite part - shaping the bagel! Remember those five pieces from the long rope? Shape each one into ropes as well and then form little twisted rings. Crimp, pinch, and fold ends until they essentially disappear, forming a complete circle.
So you're ALMOST ready to poach and then bake and then eat these cute 'lil suckers! At this point the dough needs to rest again (jeez), covered with tea towels on oiled baking sheets for about 20 minutes.
Time for poaching. When your water starts to boil, add some malt (or malted milk or sugar). This gives the bread some sheen. Your bagels need about a minute on each side in the water bath.
(In a Maria Bamford-style little girl voice) Oh hi, I'm a poached bagel! But I'm getting very chilly out here...can't wait to dip into the 500 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes!
I wish you could taste how good these are.
Or better yet, why not make some of your own?