Chewy Fresh Bagels
I made my own bagels from scratch! I was so proud of myself for taking on this project, which for some reason always seemed too hard to even try. But, it actually wasn’t that difficult- it mostly required a lot of waiting for the dough to rise (I’m learning that this bread making business usually does). I had a great time making each bagel flavor unique. I topped them with: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onions, cheese, pesto, fresh onions, salt, cinnamon-raisin, and Spike seasoning. I can’t say which flavor I ended up liking best, as they were all delicious! This recipe, from The Baker’s Apprentice, makes 12 bagels. I ate some fresh from the oven and sliced and froze the leftovers for easy popping into the toaster!
For the Sponge:
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 cups water, at room temperature
For the Dough:
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
For the Final Steps:
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, rehydrated dried minced garlic or onions, shredded cheese, or other creative toppings.
To Make the Sponge:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yeast into the flour.
- Whisk the water into the flour mixture until it forms a smooth, sticky batter.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until it is foamy and double in size, approximately 2 hours.
To Make the Bagels:
- Stir the yeast into the sponge.
- Stir in 3 cups of flour and all of the salt and malt until the dough forms a ball, adding as much of the remaining flour as needed to form a cohesive dough.
- Knead the dough with the dough hook for 6 minutes on medium speed, adding flour or water as needed to create a smooth and pliable dough.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and mist with oil.
- Divide dough into 4 1.5 ounce pieces and form into balls and place on baking sheets.
- Cover the dough with a damp towel and rest for 20 minutes.
- Shape the dough into bagel form by poking and hole in the middle of each ball and stretching from the center out.
- Mist the dough with oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Rest for 20 minutes.
- Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded. To do this, fill a small bowl with cool water and drop a bagel into the water. If it floats within 10 minutes, it is ready for the next step, if not, let them rise for 15 minutes longer and then test again.
- When one of the bagels passes the float test, cover the bagels with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the baking soda.
- Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop into the boiling water. After 1 minute, flip with a slotted spoon or spatula and boil for 1 minute on the other side.
- While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the parchment paper with cornmeal.
- Transfer the boiled bagels back to the pans.
- Sprinkle toppings on the bagels.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate pans and reduce temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 5 more minutes or until bagels are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack for 15 minutes.