The bagel a chewy round piece of bread with a whole in the middle. The bagel has become one of the most popular forms of bread in this country. But how many people make their own, or have even thought about it? Bagels are not the hard to make, and when you make them yourself you customize anyway you want and you will save some serious dough ($$$$).
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ¼ cups water
3 ¾ cups bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Pour ½ cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it proof for 5-10 minutes (this helps to make sure that your yeast is still alive and kicking).
Add the flour and the rest of the water. Mix until the dough comes together. Add more water if the dough is dry and not sticky. Knead the dough until it is smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Let is rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (a kitchen scale helps with this, so that you get equal pieces). Roll each piece into a ball. Slightly flatten the ball and use your pointer finger to form a hole in the center.
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Then place each bagel in the water for 30 seconds, then flip and boil for another 30 seconds. If you skip this step your bagels will not have the chewiness that bagels are known for.
Place your bagels on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a Slipat. Bake them for 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top. I always check mine after 5 minutes to see how they are progressing.
Feel free to add different flavorings to your bagels. Add cinnamon and raisins when you are knead the dough for cinnamon raisin bagels. You could had herbs, onion powder, garlic powder, maybe even cocoa powder. The sky is truly the limit. You may have to experiment a few times to get the flavors just right (like how many raisins do I add). Be sure to do all your additions in the kneading phase, you don't want to do this after the dough has already risen.
I see you are smart and use bread flour for your bagels but did you know that the bagel pros use an even higher protein special bagel flour mix that's made just for bagel making? You too can have this special mix, just take out a tablespoon of your bread flour and add a tablespoon of vital gluten flour and you will have that touch of extra chewyness the exact same as those high-priced gourmet bagels. They will rise higher and may expand more when you boil them. The only thing is that gluten flour is extra thirsty so you might need just a smidge more liquid so the dough 'feels' like you're used to. For fun sub out 2 or 3 tablespoons the next time you try to bake french bread and rise it cooler than you usually do so that magic taste can develop, and you will discover you got that crust the way you never could before and again the bread will have a tad more tooth. By the way those cinnamon rolls with the strawberry topping... were baked to perfection and with powdered milk in them they are so easy to burn fast. Nice work!!