Bagels

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Every couple of months I try and make bagels, the ones we get at the grocery store just aren’t the same as authentic bagels I used to be able to get at this wonderful bagel shop downtown (it’s not there anymore which is really upsetting as they had the most amazing Pumpernickel bagels!).  The bagels we get in the grocery store seem like they are just bread dough shaped into bagels and baked off.  Not great.

This takes a little time, so I usually do this on a weekend, starting Saturday afternoon.

Start off by measuring out your water, yeast, honey, salt and flour into your mixing bowl.

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Turn your mixer on low (2 – Kitchenaid) for 3 minutes.  The dough will still look pretty rough at this point.

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Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, and then turn the mixer back on for 3 more minutes at low (2 – Kitchenaid).

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This is a rather firm dough, slightly tacky.  At this point, shape the dough into a ball and place in a well greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.  (I put the bowl in my oven with the light turned on as this is the warmest place in the house).

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After an hour, remove the dough, punch it down and divide the dough into either 6 or 8 bagels (6 will give you larger bagels – I tend to go for 8, as we like our bagels slightly smaller).  There are so many videos showing you how to form the dough into balls, so I’m not even going to try and explain that here.  It’s really easy though.

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At this point, to get them to look like bagels, you can either roll them into a long rope, folding around your hand and pressing the seams together, or you can do like I do, from the top down, press your thumb straight through the middle, and then with your fingers, gently start stretching the dough, until you have a bagel shape.  If you want the holes larger than what I have, just stretch the dough larger.

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At this point, cover your pan with plastic wrap and place this in the fridge over night (or up to 2 days).  The next day, take the bagels out the fridge and allow to come to room temperature – 60 to 90 minutes.  The dough will have had a nice long rise in the fridge overnight and you will definitely notice a difference.

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After 60 minutes, check to make sure your bagels are ready to be boiled and bake.  Simply take a small bowl of cold (it must be cold) water and place one of your bagels in the cold water.  If it floats, they’re ready, if it doesn’t float, let them sit for another 15 minutes and check again.

When you’re ready to start poaching your bagels, pre-heat your oven to 500°F.  Get a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Once the water starts to boil, reduce the temperature so that you maintain a simmer and add in your baking powder, salt and honey.

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Using a slotted spoon, place your bagels in the simmering water for 2 minutes (1 minute per side).  I do this one at a time, as I don’t have enough room in my pot that I use for 2 bagels – maybe I do, but I like to have room to flip them over.

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When you remove them from the water using your slotted spoon, place a wadded up paper towel underneath to absorb any excess water coming off, and then place your bagels onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper (just a quick spray of Pam will do it).  **You want to spray your parchment paper or else when you are baking the bagels, they could potentially bake into the parchment paper and this is not something you want to have happen.

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You will notice that your bagels look a little deflated after their “bath”, but that’s okay, they will puff up again in the oven.  As soon as you are ready to put your bagels into the oven, reduce the temperature to 450°F and then quickly put your bagels in the oven.

Bake the bagels for 16 to 20 minutes, depending on how many you’ve made.

I used my “baking stone” (okay it’s a dark metal sheet pan), so I just slid them onto it and it was very difficult to then turn them around half way through, so if you have them on a sheet pan it will be a lot easier to turn the pan around half way through baking to get a more even colour on your bagels.  Of course, my boys like their bagels not so dark, so it works for us.

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Once you remove the bagels from the oven, allow them to cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.  If you are going to store these for a while, and you want to freeze them, remember to pre-slice them so that when you go to pop them in the toaster you can do this straight from the freezer.

 

Bagels

(Original Recipe from here)

 

Dough:

  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm water (105 to 110°F)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (all purpose or bread)

 

Poaching liquid:

  • Enough water to fill your pot
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Honey  **I just free pour this
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

For the dough:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together water, honey, yeast, salt and flour.
  2. On low speed (2) with the dough hook, knead the dough for 3 minutes.  Stop the mixer and allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.  Turn the mixer back on to low speed (2) for another 3 minutes.
  3. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Divide dough into 6 or 8 portions.  Form the portions of dough in round balls.
  5. Using your thumb, poke a hole through the top of the balls and gently stretch the dough into a bagel.
  6. Slightly spray your parchment lined baking sheet with oil and place your bagel shaped dough onto the baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night (or up to 2 days).

Baking:

  1. 60 to 90 minutes before baking the bagels remove from the fridge.  After 60 minutes, check to see if the bagels pass the “float” test.  Place one bagel in a bowl of cold water, if it floats they’re ready to be boiled and baked.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 500°F.
  3. **Get your sheet pan ready, lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with oil**
  4. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.  Measure out your baking soda and salt.
  5. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.  First pour in your honey (again, I free pour this) and get your slotted spoon ready, as when you dump in the baking soda this is going to foam up (violently) on you.  Give it a quick stir.
  6. Then if you have room and can do 2 or even 3 bagels at a time, start placing your bagels in the water and “poach” them for 1 minute per side.
  7. Remove from the water with the slotted spoon, and place on your parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
  9. **if you are going to top your bagels with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, do this when they first come out of the water, so that the seeds will stick to them**
  10. Once all bagels have been “poached”, and you are ready to place them in the oven, turn your oven temperature down to 450°F and place your pan of bagels in the oven.
  11. Bake the bagels for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the bagels), turning your pan half way through to ensure even browning.
  12. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before eating (this will be the hardest part!).

Enjoy!

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