Last weekend I spent a therapeutic Sunday baking up a storm starting with homemade bagels! The process was long, but most of that time was the dough rising, which happens a three times. All of the effort involved was surely worth it as the outside of these bagels had that perfect slight “crunch” to the outside “crust” and soft doughiness on the inside.
I didn’t think to make the “starter” that most recipes call for Saturday night, so I scoured the internet for a recipe that doesn’t involve prepping the dough the night before and found one in my Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. I modified just a few things as I was out of a couple of the ingredients and didn’t have barley malt syrup.
Bagels! (from scratch!)
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 2/3 cup warm water
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 lb 6 oz flour (this is about 4.5 cups)
1 1/2 tbsp salt
toppings (I used sesame seeds)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together yeast and water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then replace whisk with dough hook. With the mixer on low, add sugar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, flour and salt. Knead until the dough forms, which takes about one minute. The dough will be a little sticky. Continue to knead on medium for 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
Divide dough into 10 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 20 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment and spray with cooking spray to grease. With lightly oiled hands (they really will need to be oiled, the dough is sticky!), roll each piece of dough to be about 8″ long and then shape into a circle to make the bagel.
Place bagels on prepared sheets at least 2″ apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes or until slightly puffy.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Fill your largest, widest stockpot with about 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining brown sugar.
Gently drop bagels into the water, putting in as many as possible without them touching. After 30 seconds, flip bagels over and simmer for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the bagel and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Top with sesame seeds or salt or whatever topping you’d like.
Immediately place baking sheets in oven and bake for 5 minutes. Then rotate sheet and lower oven temp to 350. Continue to bake until the tops of the bagels begin to turn a golden brown – about 10 minutes. Flip bagels over and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and enjoy immediately, or save for later.