My Favorite Bagel Recipe

Everybody loves a bagel Fresh out of the oven, with a bit of cream cheese on it. But Buying them from the local bakery can be an expensive proposition. You CAN make them yourself, they are very frugal to make, and beat anything you can get on the grocery store shelves

3 1/2 cups flour
2 pkgs yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water (120-130)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, beaten mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
Topping of choice (minced onion, sesame seed, poppy seed, kosher salt etc)

Into a mixing bowl measure 3 cups flour and stir in the dry ingredients. Pour in the hot water and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, or with mixer flat beater at low speed for 2 minutes. Add the balance of the flour, a small portion at a time; stir by hand. When the batter gets thick and heavy, attach the mixer dough hook. If by hand, lift from the bowl and place on the floured work surface.

If kneading by hand, do so with a strong rhythm of push-turn-fold. Add flour if the dough is sticky or elastic. If under the dough hook, knead at medium low speed. Add flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Bagel dough should be firm and solid when pinched with the fingers. Knead for 10 minutes.

Place the dough in greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. During this period bring the 3 quarts of water to a boil in the large saucepan. Add the sugar. Reduce the heat and leave at a simmer– water barely moving.

Turn the dough onto a flour-dusted work surface and punch down with extended fingers. Divide the dough into 10 pieces, 3 to 4 ounces each. Shape each into a ball. Allow to relax for a few minutes before flattening with the palm of your hand.

With your thumb, press deep into the center of the bagel and tear the depression open with your fingers. Pull the hole open, pull it down over a finger and smooth the rough edges. It should look like a bagel. Place the bagels together on the work surface.

Cover the bagels with wax paper and leave at room temp only until the dough is slightly raised about 10 minutes. A baker calls this “half proofed”.

Preheat the oven to 400.

The water should simmering. Gently lift one bagel at a time with a large skimmer and lower into the hot water. Do not do more that 2 or 3 at a time. Don’t crowd them. The bagel should sink and then rise again after a few seconds. Simmer for 1 minute, turning over once. Lift out with te skimmer drain briefly on a towel, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all of the bagels.

Thanks to the sugar, the bagels will be shiny as they come out of the water. This is the time to give the bagels their topping. Brush lightly with the egg white-water glaze, and sprinkle on the topping.

Place the bagels on the baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes. When the bagel tops are a light brown color, turn them over to complete baking. This will keep bagels in a rounded shape without the sharp flatness on one side. Remove for the oven when brown and shiny. place on a metal rack to cool.

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