I have made bagels only one other time. The saying if at first you don’t succeed try try again rings very true for me today. My first attempt was edible at best. They were too chewy and thick as a brick. They never floated which I believe is essential to bagel making. While the one’s I made today are not up to par with Biff’s (oh how I need a flagstaff fix), I must admit I did receive the highest compliment I have ever gotten on any of my bread creations. This recipe makes quite a few bagels so I decided to share the wealth. Some friends I gave a few to actually sent me a text saying they were “going crazy right now!” because they were just that good. Wow! So cool! Oh my exciting life…
So here it goes- I am sure you can experiment with all kinds of toppings, flours, cooking times, and boiling times.
Mix 1 tsp. yeast, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups white flour and 2 1/2 cups water until thick like pancake batter. Cover and let sit until it’s all foamy and frothy (about 2 hours).
Add in another 1/2 tsp. yeast, pinch of salt, 1 cup of wheat flour and 2 cups of white flour. Mix it until its so heavy you can’t take it then dump it out onto a floured surface. Knead it until it passes the window pane test (stretch and stretch and stretch a tiny chunk until you can see through it like a window pane) and then let it rest for a few minutes.
Divide the dough into pieces about the size of one and a half golf balls (whatever size you feel like really.. make them mini, make them huge it is not important). Roll out each piece into a little thick log and then attach it into a circle around your fingers. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray.
Let them all rest with a piece of plastic over them for 20 minutes. If the bagels are ready they should float in a bowl of water. If not you can wait longer, eventually they will! After you try to float them don’t forget to dry your tester off to let it rest some more.
At this point you can pop your bagels in the refrigerator over night to enjoy some warm doughy goodness for breakfast. Or not. You can just make them right away. But, I believe they will keep just fine for a few days until you are ready to do them.
Boil some water with about a tablespoon of baking soda pop in as many bagels as will fit floating around and start salivating, it is almost done! Flip them after 2 minutes and boil for 2 more on the other side.
Finally place them on a parchment lined sheet tray dusted with cornmeal and sprinkle on your toppings. I used sea salt and poppy seeds but whatever is your fancy will do. They stick just fine after their bubbling bath.
Place them in a preheated oven of 500 degrees for 5 minutes then rotate pans. When you rotate the pans turn the oven down to 450 and bake until your desired color is reached. I baked for about 7 more minutes. Let them rest for 15 minutes before slicing in. This could be a difficult quarter of an hour, if you are anything like me…
Smear with butter, cream cheese, jelly, or a fried egg and sink in your teeth to a chewy and crisp bagel.