Oh, food blogger’s block (writer’s block, but for food bloggers). It can be the most frustrating thing for any food blogger. Many of us will not admit that we sometimes get it, but I find no problem with admitting that I occasionally get food blogger’s block. Why? Well, because I am far from perfect and showing small imperfections makes me normal. Doesn’t it make us all normal?
Well, I am not *that* normal. Why? Because some of my friends and dearest family members call me the “crazy baker” because I occasionally have these moments where I try to bake anything and everything known to man.
Okay… Exaggerating a bit… But I seriously do bake a bit too much… This past weekend, I decided that I was going to use all of the baking energy that I built up over the past couple of weeks to create some edible masterpieces to share with you all.
The first edible masterpiece (I love how I call bagels edible masterpieces…) that I decided to share (out of the billion things that I baked) is an awesome bagel recipe that I found in a new cookbook that I recently “borrowed” from my aunt, Ultimate Bread. Please notice that I put the word borrowed in quotations. I’ll elaborate… At first, the book was to be borrowed, but by the likes of it- she’s not getting it back for a long, long, long…. Long time. (As a side note, my friend, Mel at Bouchon for Two is having an awesome cookbook giveaway of Thomas Keller’s new cookbook Ad Hoc at Home. You may want to go check out her giveaway after your stop here…)
This bagel recipe is not only one of the best bagel recipes that I’ve tried, but it doesn’t require a rocket scientist (sorry rocket scientists reading this… I like the saying!) to make the recipe. The bagels are awesome fresh out of the oven, but when they’re toasted… Oh, my! Can we just say that you’ll be making this recipe time and time again?
At this point, you’re saying- “WHAT?! Can’t I just buy them?… Way easier than going through all the trouble!”
New Yorkers and People who would rather buy your bagels– sure, we have our awesome bagel shops. And it seems stupid to make something that takes more effort than walking down the block to our local bagel shop. But seriously… This bagel recipe is so worth making.
Well, because when you make something on your own, don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment after you create an edible masterpiece? I know I do… Also, this may give some competition to your local bagel shop… The recipe’s that good!
Heck, this bagel recipe is so good that you’ll be bowing down to the bagel god after you take a nice bite out of one of these freshly made bagels. Also, is there even a bagel god? Don’t even answer that… Nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one!
So, if you’re one of those people on the West Coast who orders 12 bagels from New York and pays $7.50 a bagel… Save your money!
This recipe is a same day recipe and doesn’t require two days of dedication. You hear that impatient bakers? ONE DAY bagels!
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
Caraway seeds, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. (Everyone in my house prefers plain bagels, but I have no preference, so I just went with the plain, so no one could complain.)
1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured below). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.
9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).
10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water, you may use the “optional toppings” (listed above) to top the bagels and if you’re risky like me, make a combination of the toppings to top the bagels with, but before hand, you will need to use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before putting the bagels into the oven.
11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
13. Cool on a wire rack (or if you’re impatient like I am, slice one of these babies open, and spread some softened butter on it. Take a bite… Oh babyyy!)
Makes 8 medium-sized bagels
Recipe modified from Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno