I made bagels once, a long time ago, using a recipe no longer available online. Deciding to try again the other day, I read a dozen or so recipes before I settled on one over at Chow. It called for malt syrup, an ingredient I didn’t have, but I forged ahead, anyway.
Bagels are only a little more work than bread. There are more steps, but they take less overall time. In this case, you make your dough–I let the KitchenAid tackle that job–let it knead, let it rest twenty minutes, shape, rest, boil, bake. It’s really not that bad. Here are the finished bagels.
The dough itself is pretty simple–yeast (don’t be afraid of it!), flour, salt pretty much makes it up. The Chow recipe calls for a lot of salt–2 tablespoons!–that I cut back to a scant one. Once kneaded and rested, you divide the dough into twelve little blobs. Shape into a sphere or a disk, and poke a hole in the middle with your thumb, stretching it to about a quarter’s diameter. Rest for ten minutes.
Boil thirty seconds on each side, and place on a GREASED cookie sheet. This step I forgot and my bagels stuck like crazy and had to be gouged off. The recipe calls for the bagels to bake at 425 for 15 minutes, rotate, and bake another 10; after 15, I could smell toast– a sure sign they were burning.
I don’t know what went wrong. I pulled them out, cut one in half to make sure it was done, and called it a day. Sure, they weren’t as brown as they could’ve been on the outside, but they weren’t hockey pucks, either.
The recipe makes a dozen smallish bagels. We’ve been enjoying them with a little cream cheese and eggs, if the bagel is too small. I probably won’t make this particular recipe again, but I’ll definitely try making bagels at least once more.