Awhile ago I checked out a plethora of cookbooks from the library, and I don't want to return any of them. I just renewed them for the second time. Really I need to just copy some of the recipes from them and return them so they're not cluttering up my house. Two of them are the sandwich cookbooks I got from my brother, one is a Cat Cora cookbook, and the other is a take out cookbook, The Take-Out Menu Cookbook. I love it, although this is the first time I've used it. It has sections for all sorts of different ethnic foods and a ton of things I want to make.
I was looking at it the other day while the boy was taking a bath and saw a recipe for bagels. "Bagels? Make my own bagels?" I thought to myself. Hmmm...intriguing idea. The recipe sounded really easy, so I slatted it for this weekend when I'd have more time on my hands.
I swear I've spent the majority of the weekend in the kitchen, so I was thinking about not making these, but the boy asked this morning if we were going to make bagels. Who am I to say no to my kid for wanting to bake something? So, we got started. And it's proving to be an all day event. Hopefully it's worth it.
2 cups warm water
2 (2-1/4 tsp) packages active dry yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
5-6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt
Sauteed chopped onions
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the water, yeast, and 2 Tbsp of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment on the mixer, gradually add 4-1/2 cups of the flour and the salt, and combine until the mixture comes together.
Continue to work more flour in, 1/4 cup at a time, using either the dough hook attachment of your mixer or kneading with your hands, until you have dough that is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic. Bring the dough together into a ball.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turning to cat with the oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Uncover the dough and punch it down several times to work out the air bubbles. Form it into a ball and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Cover the balls with a damp cloth and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes for easier shaping.
Lightly coat your hands with vegetable oil. Find the middle of one dough ball and push a finger through to make a hole. Gently widen the hole by twirling the bagel on your finger. Be careful not to rip the wall of the bagel in the process. The walls should be approximately 1 inch thick and the hole 2 inches wide. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Place them on a large, lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest 20-30 minutes, until risen but not doubled, in a draft free spot.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large heavy pot bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches add the bagels to the water and boil, turning once, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the bagels from the water, shake off any excess, and place back on the greased baking sheet.
Sprinkle any desired toppings on top of the bagels (or if you like a lot of poppy or sesame seeds, you can dip the bagel directly into the topping for extra coverage). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
I messed up and put all the sugar in with the water and yeast...oops. I'm not sure how these are going to turn out. I had a hard time getting it to form into a ball, it wouldn't really stick together. I also had a hard time twirling them, so I didn't have them the same proportions as listed above. My next step is boiling the water, so the end is in sight! I doubt I'll go through the trouble of making these again unless they're the most amazing bagels I've ever tried. I think I'll leave mine mostly plain but maybe do some with kosher salt. I love salt bagels!!