Homemade Bagels

Foodista Cookbook Entry

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.


6 cups and ⅔ to 7 white bread flour, plus more as necessary for kneading
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon package (about ¼ oz) rapid-rise yeast, like Fleischmann's or 1 fresh yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
2 cups and ¼ warm water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons malt or sugar, for poaching bagels
2 to 3 baking sheets, oiled or greased


Combine flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, add sugar and oil to the warm water. Make a well in your dry ingredients and add liquid, mixing to a dough with a spoon or spatula.
Knead dough either by hand or with a stand mixer with dough hook, trying to add more flour if you can. This dough is meant to be more on the dry side, so avoid wet and sticky at all costs. Keep working the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic - even with a mixer, this will take about 10 minutes. The dough will be stiff and hard, but just throw some elbow grease in there.
Put your dough ball into a large oiled bowl, rotating once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for approximately one hour. It should be well-risen and when you poke your finger into the dough, the impression should remain.
Place dough on a workable surface and punch (Nigella says "really punch") and then give another good knead. Divide dough into three pieces. Using hands, roll each piece into a long rope, then cut your rope into five pieces. With the palm of your hand, form each of the five pieces into a ball, then roll each ball into another rope. These smaller ropes constitute your bagels - just curl them around to form a ring, and pinch and crimp the ends into each other until the circle feels complete. At this point it's a good idea to put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When the water starts to boil, add your malt or sugar.
Set formed bagels on oiled or greased baking sheet, cover with tea towels and let sit for about 20 minutes. They should puff up a bit during their rest. Preheat oven to 500 degrees or your max oven temperature.
When your malted or sugared water is boiling, drop in a couple bagels at a time, poaching each side for about one minute. (A large spatula or slotted spoon should help you with this part.) Put poached bagels back on oiled baking sheets, well-spaced apart. If you wish to top them with sesame or poppy seeds, onions or garlic or salt, now is a good time. You can either sprinkle them or put a decent amount of your topping on a plate and dip the top of each poached bagel in the toppings.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until these little sweethearts are shiny and golden brown.




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?


15.0 bagels


Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 6:07pm


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