While scrolling through Snapchat stories one day, I saw that a friend was making homemade bagels and I thought to myself, "I bet I could do that." I love eating bagels for breakfast (my poor roommates have been frustrated for years by with sprinkles of poppy and sesame seed covering the kitchen counters in the mornings) but good bagels aren't cheap When I was at Trader Joe's, picked up the "Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning" and knew I had to try it on a homemade bagel.
I searched the internet for the best recipe and ended up on the one below. It's quite easy to make and the parts that are probably new to you are a fun adventure. The recipe calls for high gluten flour, which is also known as bread flour. It isn't much different than all-purpose flour, so if that's all you have, it will still work. It will be chewier and more like an artisan bagel with the high gluten flour.
My one caveat to this recipe is that my experience was not injury free. I got overly excited about trying the delicious looking bagels, so I tried to cut one before it had properly cooled and ended up slightly burning my fingers. Then the next day, I was trying to slice a bagel with a bread knife and it slipped, cutting my pointer fingernail in half. It was bloody and terrible (but thankfully the bagel was spared). This is just to say, be careful. Take your time and it's totally worth it.
Once you let the bagels cool down completely, I recommend wrapping them in a dish towel or paper bag, so they don't release steam in an airtight bag. Then, the bagels can be kept in a ziplock bag and will last around 6 days. They can also be frozen if you want to make them in advance.
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Makes: 8 bagels
Recipe adapted from: Sophisticated Gourmet
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/4 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups (500g) bread flour or high gluten flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg (optional)
Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (optional)
1. In a large measuring cup, combine warm water and sugar. When sugar has mostly dissolved, add yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. When proofed, stir in yeast mixture. Stir until combined and turn on to a floured surface to knead. Continue to add more flour to keep from sticking and knead for 5-10 minutes until it forms a smooth and elastic ball. Work in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
3. Lightly brush a bowl with oil and put the dough in. Cover with a damp dish towel and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled (approximately 1 hour). Punch the dough down and let it rest another 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
4. Divide the dough into 6 or 8 equal pieces (depending on how large you like your bagels. I prefer 6), each in a round ball. Take a dough ball and press it gently against the work surface, moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured below). Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
5. Gently press your finger of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the hole and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
6. After shaping bagels, cover with a damp dish towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
7. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Use a slotted spoon to lower the bagels into the water, as many as will fit in the pot at a time. Let them float on the surface of the water for about 1 minute on each side. Leaving them longer will result in a chewier bagel, which some prefer.
8. If you want toppings, brush the tops with an egg wash and put on your toppings like Everything Bagel, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced garlic, minced onion, etc.
9. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with butter or cream cheese, as desired!