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Bagels

December 26, 2009

Nothing beats a good bagel.  Nothing.  Over the summer I tried my hand at making my own, and I had a blast.  It was a fun excuse to have people over for brunch and, while it takes a little bit of advance planning, the overall process is rather easy.  You just need to allow for all of the separate rising times.  It had been awhile, but having them on Christmas morning reminded me of just how simple and tasty these can be!  My brother was psyched, because he got to turn his bagel into a mobius strip after having read about it online.  It was kind of complicated, but resulted in way more surface area for creamy cheese!

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 t yeast
  • 7 3/4 c flour
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • 2 3/4 t salt
  • 1 T malt syrip
  • 1 T baking soda
  • Cornmeal

Then you…

  1. Stir 1 t yeast into 4 c flour in a very large mixing bowl.  Add the water and stir until well mixed.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for two hours.
  2. Remove the plastic wrap and stir in additional 1/2 t yeast to the sponge mixture from earlier.  Add 3 c flour, the malt syrup, and the salt to the bowl.  Mix until all of the ingredients form a ball.
  3. Knead dough for 10 minutes, working in remaining 3/4 c flour.  The dough will be a little stiffer and drier than normal.
  4. Immediately after kneading, split the dough into a dozen same-size pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and set aside.  Cover them with a damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. To shape the bagels, punch your thumb through the center of each roll.  Rotate the dough, working it so that the bagel is as even in width as possible.
  6. Place the shaped bagels on an oiled sheet pan with 1-2 inches between each bagel.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.
  7. Refrigerate bagels overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 500.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, including the baking soda.  Sprinkle cookie sheet with cornmeal.
  9. When the water is boiling, drop bagels in — boil for 1 minute on each side.  Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place on cornmeal-lined cookie sheet.
  10. Immediately after removing from water, top with desired toppings (sesame or caraway seeds; cinnamon sugar; etc.)
  11. Bake for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to 450 and bake 5 minutes longer until bagels begin to turn golden.
  12. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for as long as you can resist before cutting and topping with cream cheese and other delectables!

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