Bagels! I love bagels, mostly for brunch or lunch on a lazy Sunday. Usually I enjoy then with cream cheese and jam, but sometimes you need full hearty lunch and bagels are perfect for that too. They’re a bit like bread rolls, with just that little bit extra. You’ll notice a few “(optional)”s in this post, because this recipe is the base for bagels and you can tweak it as much as you like! A bit more sugar, pinch of cinnamon and raisins? Maybe a few tablespoons of tomato paste and a handful of basil? Or simply use whole wheat flour for a healthier bagel? The choice is yours, I’m simply giving you the basics 🙂
For the bagels:
- 250 ml lukewarm Water
- 500 gr Bread Flour
- 2 tbsp Honey or Barley Malt Syrup or 50 gr sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Instant Yeast
- Big pot with 1 or 2 liters of water for boiling
- 150 gr Honey or Barley Malt Syrup
- Poppy seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dried onion flakes
- Garlic Powder
- Coarse salt
- Literally anything you like on a bagel
Take your lukewarm water and add in the yeast, set aside to activate. Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a dent in the middle for all the wet ingredients. Sprinkle the salt onto the dam, because yeast and salt don’t really get along. Start with adding the vegetable oil and honey, stir to combine a little. Then add in the yeast water one tablespoon at a time and stir to combine. Once the dough starts to cling together, transfer it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you can stretch it out thinly enough to create a “windowpane” without tearing the dough. See the image above, this means a lot of kneading! To do this, imagine you are making a tiny pizza, from about a marble of dough, with a super thin crust. Dust the bowl with flour, then transfer your dough back to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let proof for 2 hours.
You can also make your dough in a standmixer with kneading hook and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes on low speed.
Preheat oven to 200 °C. Put the dough on a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces, or more for smaller bagels. Roll each piece into a sausage, around the back of your hand and join the ends to form a circle. You can use a little water to better blend in the ends, otherwise you risk turning your bagels into breadsticks later in the process. OR, method 2, you shape the dough into a ball, flatten it and then stick your finger through the middle to create a hole. Tadaa! Easy bagels. Repeat with the remaining dough, and let the bagels rest for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with paper and prepare your toppings next to the baking sheet.
Bring your water to a boil in a large pot and add the honey or syrup. The honey will create caramelization on the dough and give the bagels their nice crust and chewy texture with a hint of sweetness. Boil the bagels one by one for at least a minute, then flip and boil for another minute. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle your bagels with or dip them in the toppings, if you like. I made mine plain, with sesame seeds, and with coarse sea salt and garlic, but the possibilities are endless!
Bake the bagels for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer them to a wire rack and let cool. Enjoy your bagels! Sometimes I make them with ham and grilled cheese. This time I went all out and made myself a bagel with rocket, avocado, smokey chicken and pesto.