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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Homemade Bagels

I see so many people posting online about getting into baking and I love it!  The circumstances are unfortunate, but there's no better time to bake. I've always found baking so relaxing and satisfying. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, and delicious smells and tastes to enjoy. 

I've been extremely busy with work lately, so Matt has been doing all the cooking.  We've had some wonderful meals and I'm able to focus on work without worrying about planning and shopping. 

I finally had a real day off and decided to make these bagels. It's actually a 2-day process.  Make and shape the dough the first day, let it rise in the fridge for 24 hours, then boil and bake the second day.  

Warm fresh bagels just out of the oven are well worth the wait!  

We had them with plain cream cheese, but next time I'll add fresh chives or minced red onion.  

To make bagels you need a few special ingredients and items that may not be in everyone's kitchen.  They use bread flour (hard flour) not All-Purpose flour.  They also need instant yeast, not active dry or rapid rise yeast.  The recipe also calls for barley malt syrup.  I found one jar on Amazon.  It was expensive but I was going to go for it.  Unfortunately it was sold out by the time I tried to check out.  I used brown sugar instead and had a dark, crunchy crust on my bagels.

The recipe I used is from Serious Eats, by Stella Parks at BraveTart.  The method uses a Yukone, flour and water cooked on the stove to make the bagels brown and crisp. It's then added to flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a food processor with water to make a very stiff dough.  My food processor struggled a little because the dough was so stiff, but it came together in the end. 

The most challenging part for me was rolling out the dough balls. I had a hard time getting them smooth without seams. But the final bagels turned out ok.  

Poking the hole in the dough to make the bagel shape was the fun part.  The bagels then sit overnight in the fridge. 

Boiling and baking is quick and easy.  My bagels were dark golden brown after only 23 minutes in the oven. I also added Everything Bagel Seasoning to two of the bagels, and left the rest plain. 

The recipe makes just 8 small-ish bagels, which was perfect for us. The bagels turned out nicely.  I would like to try again with the barley malt syrup to see if it makes a difference.  

I recommend reading the whole story on Serious Eats before making the bagels. There's also a video.  But this was a very simple, satisfying baking project!

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