I always thought making bagels would be exhausting and difficult. I was in for a surprise. While there are many steps in the process it was not as intimidating as I thought it would be. I made of the dough the day before and placed them in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning they were ready to boil and bake. Fresh bagels for breakfast sure do taste better than the steamed bagels from the grocery store. I threw some scrambled eggs on top and I was ready for the day!
Adapted from The Bread Bakers Apprentice
1 tsp yeast
18 oz. bread flour
20 oz. water, at room temp.
1/2 tsp yeast
17 oz. bread flour
2 3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp barley malt syrup
For the boiling and topping:
1 tbsp baking soda
Semolina or cornmeal for dusting
Toppings of choice (I'm a big fan of everything bagels so I threw a bunch of seeds and salt together)
1) For the sponge, mix yeast and flour in mixing bowl, then add water and mix until dough is smooth and sticky (consistency of pancake batter). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours, or until doubled in size
2) To make the dough mix the additional yeast to the sponge and stir to combine. Then add 3 cups of the flour, salt, and barley malt syrup and mix with dough hook until dough forms a ball, then gradually mix in remaining flour
3) Knead dough for at least 6 minutes using the machine (or 10 minutes by hand). The dough will be very stiff and if you are doing this by hand you will get a workout. Tear off a piece of dough and stretch it until you can see through it and it doesn't tear (this is called the windowpane test).
4) Divide dough in 4 1/2 oz pieces and form into rolls. Cover rolls with damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes and line pans with parchment paper and coat with spray oil
5) Shape rolls into bagels by tearing a whole into center of bagels and shape, repeat for each bagel and place on parchment paper, then spray with oil and cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp. for 20 minutes
6) Bagels are ready to rest overnight if they pass the "float test". To do this fill a large bowl with water and drop 1 bagel into the bowl. If it floats it is ready. If not let them rest for a little while longer, checking every 10 minutes or so. Then re-cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight and up to 2 days
7) When you are ready to make the bagels preheat oven to 500 F with racks in center of oven. Boil water in a large pot of water and then add the baking soda
8) Drop bagels in water (as many will fit comfortably, about 3 or 4) and boil for 1-2 minutes (the longer they boil the chewier they will be). Flip them over and boil for an additional minute or two. Place on semolina dusted parchment paper and top with toppings of choice. When all bagels are ready to be baked place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, then switch and rotate baking sheets and turn oven down to 450F and bake for additional 5 minutes.
9) Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for about 15 minutes, then serve and enjoy!