Better Than Store Bought Bagels
During this crazy time, I have found making bread to be a wonderfully creative, and somewhat therapeutic, outlet. If I can’t be working a party, why not work some dough! And there’s nothing better than a freshly-baked bagel to have with your coffee or tea in the morning. So here’s my gift to you — my better-than-store-bought bagels in multiple varieties.
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons active or instant dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 egg white
- 12 cups boiling water for boiling the bagels
Optional toppings:sesame seeds, poppy seeds, everything seasoning, grated cheddar cheese, salt or whatever suits your fancy
Combine 2 cups of warm water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy for about 5 minutes.In another bowl, mix 4 cups of flour and salt and then gradually add to the yeast mixture until it comes together.Pour out dough onto a clean, lightly floured, surface and add 1 to 1 1/2 additional cups of flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, to make a stiff dough.Knead until smooth and no longer sticky for about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed.Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat so plastic wrap will not stick to the dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise for about an hour in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled. Cover 2 baking sheets with foil and grease with the remaining oil.Once the dough is ready remove from the bowl and punch it down. Divide into 12 equal balls of dough.Roll each ball into 8-inch equal logs making sure the width of the log is the same throughout. Pinch the ends together to make a circle (bagel) with an oversized hole.Place each “bagel” on the prepared baking sheet making sure there is space between each “bagel” as they will increase in size during this process. Cover with a clean cloth, and leave to rise for 20 minutes.Preheat oven to 400 degrees FIn a large pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In small batches drop the bagels into the water and boil on one side for about 30 seconds to a minute and then flip each bagel and boil the flip side for another minute or so.Remove immediately from the water with tongs or a spatula and place on a plate and towel dry and cool slightly. Prepare individual bowls with desired toppings for dunking.Brush the top and sides of each bagel with egg whites and then dip into desired toppings.Place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. First for 15 to 17 minutes on the middle rack till the bottoms are brown and then move to the top rack to finish till lightly browned all over.Eat these plain or with a traditional schmeer of cream cheese and lox.