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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Megan's Bagels

This is my favorite recipe for bagels that I found in a King Arthur Flour baking book. My family and I like to have fresh baked bagels in the mornings sometimes. But in order for us to eat at eight, I have to wake up at around five to start the dough with my little helper Megan (10). The dough then has to sit for an hour and a half so I get to go back to bed until six forty-five-ish. Waking up early is definitely worth it though, because these bagels are quite the complement attractor.



It is obviously easier to go to the store and get some very convenient bagels for you breakfast table. But it is more rewarding to be able to customize your homemade bagels to your own personal taste. For example, I think they are a little salty  so I half the salt, and I wanted to make them a little healthier so I used one cup whole wheat flour.

        


Basic Bagels                                                                                                            


Makes 8 Bagels

DOUGH
1 Tbs. instant yeast
4 cups flour (Bread flour works best.)
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 1/2 cups warm water

WATER BATH
2 quarts (8 cups) water
2 Tbs. non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 Tbs granulated sugar

Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead vigorously by hand for 10-15 minutes or by stand mixer for 10 minutes. the dough will be stiff comparatively to other doughs. place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it. Set aside for 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water and malt (or sugar, which I used) to a very gentle boil in a wide pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it is about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4" across). Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Transfer the bagels to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.


Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they're browned to your preference. To top with seeds, remove them from the oven after about 15 minutes, brush with water, and sprinkle with seeds. Return to the oven to finish baking.

Cool the bagels on a rack for a few minutes, but serve them while their still warm.

Variations:

Sesame Seed Bagels: Brush each bagel, just before baking, with a glaze made of 1 egg white beaten until frothy with 1 tablespoon water. Glaze each bagel and sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds.

Onion Bagels: Bake bagels for 20 to 22 minutes and remove pan from oven, keeping the oven on. Working with one bagel at a time glaze as instructed above and sprinkle with minced, dried onion. Bake for 2 more minutes.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels: Knead about 2/3 cup of raisins into the dough towards the end of the kneading process. Just before you're done kneading, sprinkle your work surface heavily with cinnamon-sugar and give the dough a few more turns. Divide the dough into eight pieces, or more if doubling, form each piece into a ball, and roll each ball in additional cinnamon-sugar. Let rest and shape as directed above.


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