I told you I'd post step-by-step bagel instructions this week. Thank you for hanging in there and waiting (im?)patienly. This is a fairly detailed recipe, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be pumping out bagels every week. They are so far superior to anything you can buy at the store. If you double the recipe, you'll be in bagels for the whole family for a while. I recommend you store your finished products in bread bags in the freezer and take them out as you want them.
Here's the bagel-making process I use.
Read through entirely before beginning.
Clear off a counter top to give yourself room. Get a large baking sheet ready (and line it with parchment if you'd like). Set a pot of water (a large stock pot) with 1/4 cup baking soda and a couple spoonfuls of sugar added on the stove. Find a big mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer, but this recipe is pretty easy to put together by hand if you don't have a stand mixer). Gather your ingredients.
Get some plates or bowls for your various toppings. For that matter, decide what toppings you'd like to use. I'll be using coarse salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon-sugar, and cheddar cheese today. Put some of each desired topping in a separate small bowl, or a small plate.
Now you're ready to begin.
*Note: Using bread flour ensures that your dough will have adequate protein in it, which gives bread the stretch and binding that it needs. This is especially important in chewy breads like bagels.
Bagels: Step-by-Step Directions
- In your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment (or by hand with a wooden spoon), combine 4 cups bread flour, 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp active dry yeast.
- Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups warm water. Begin with the lesser amount of water and add the extra if you find your dough is too dry. Take paddle off and replace with dough hook if using stand mixer.
- Knead your dough. By hand, this takes about ten minutes. Knead it on a lightly floured surface. The stand mixer with dough hook will take slightly less time (mine took 6 minutes). You're looking for smooth dough that feels nice to the touch.
- Divide your dough into 8 pieces.
- Cover them and let them rest for about 15 or 20 minutes.
- Roll each piece of dough into a snake longer than your hand. Remember when you used to play with play dough? Same thing. I find it helps to slightly dampen the palms and fingers with warm water while doing this.
- Now, mush the ends together and roll smooth.
- Let them rest again, for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and start your water to boil.
- Now it's time to BOIL your bagels. Do a few at a time. Don't crowd them in the pot. Make sure your water is at a rolling boil before you begin. Boil one minute per side.
- Remove the bagels from the water, dip tops in whatever you wish to top your bagel with, and ...
- place on a baking sheet (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with parchment. Continue boiling until all your bagels are boiled and topped.
- Baking time! Pop your baking sheet full of freshly boiled bagels into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Now, flip them over and bake another 10 minutes.
- That's it! You have made bagels! See? It didn't take all that long, and it wasn't as hard as you expected, was it? Go grab some cream cheese and have at it!