I’ve always thought that bagels would be difficult to make. I imagined a lengthy, complicated, messy process. No so! I was really excited to try a recipe I found on the blog called journey to thrift. (www.journeytothrift.blogspot.com). Journey to Thrift has a bunch of great recipes on it and the author writes very clearly and include pictures which really helps. I’ve just cut and pasted her recipe below in case you want to give it a shot.
I’ve made three batches of bagels now and all turned out fabulous. It takes less than an hour and requires no special talent, although a breadmaker does simplify the process tremendously. Best of all, I’m saving lots of money. These bagels cost just cents to create. Makes it very clear how so many bagel shops could be surviving even in these times. Their profit margin is huge.
So try making some bagels this weekend – you probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now. If you don’t have a breadmaker, here’s how I would make the dough:
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 ¼ cups of water.
2. Add salt and sugar.
3. Whisk together cinnamon and flour
4. Add flour to yeast mixture and knead well. (the kneading time in the breadmaker is 20 minutes – so knead as long as you can stand it and ask your kids for help.)
Note – I used all whole wheat bread flour in my recipe, and of course, snuck in a little flax seed meal (1/4 cup). I also substituted succanot for the brown sugar and they turned out just fine. Oh, and cooking these babies will make your house smell divine!
I’m planning on experimenting with taking out the cinnamon and adding asiago cheese and olive pieces. There are so many possibilities! I’m sure you could just throw in some raisins (I won’t do this because my kids believe raisins become poisonous when baked in to anything.) or nuts. I’m going to try adding eggs to the mixture next go round. Let me know if you discover any great variations!
1 1/4 cup warm water (not to exceed 110º F)
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp rapid-rise yeast
3 quarts water (for boiling)
1 tbsp honey (for boiling)
Egg Mixture (brush on before baking):
Set bread machine to dough cycle. Add ingredients into bread machine pan in order listed. Run through initial dough cycle, approximately 20 - 30 min (in my machine this took a little over 30 min). Remove from machine after kneading, and machine moves to "rise". Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Separate dough into 6 balls. Set aside one or two 1/4" balls for testing in the next step.
Preheat oven to 400º. In a large pan, set 2-3 quarts of water and 1 tbsp of honey to boil. Poke a hole in center of dough ball with your thumb and stretch to form an even circle. Set on floured surface and lightly cover in plastic wrap to rise (approximately 10-15 minutes). The plastic wrap keeps a skin from forming on the bagel surface and restricting the rise. I also covered the plastic wrap with a dish towel. I don't know that this was necessary, but it just felt like the right thing to do.
After dough has risen, check boiling water. Water should be heated to a steady rolling boil before beginning this step. Drop small "tester" dough balls into the water. If the "testers" immediately sink, and then pop back up to the surface, your water is ready for the bagels.
Drop bagels into water 2-3 at a time for 1 1/2 min on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside on a wire rack to cool for a minute or two. Repeat with remaining bagels.
Set cooled bagels on a jelly-roll pan, or like baking surface lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.
Brush tops of bagels with egg mixture (1 egg + 1 tbsp water). (I also saved my egg mixture for the next batch).
Bake for 15 min at 400º. Remove and cool on racks.
The really awesome part:
Since I buy my flour in bulk (25 lbs of bread flour is $6.99 at my local warehouse store), these (fresh & oh-so delicious) bagels cost under 75¢ to make. Wow!
My last batch stored very well for one week without any noticeable staleness or spoilage.
Note: If you want to see this recipe with pictures, check our her blog. Look in the archives. It's a February post.