by Mark Bittman, “How to Cook Everything”
Logan is the baker in the house and on special days, I wake up to fresh-baked bagels! As a displaced New Yorker, I’ve missed having great bagels readily available. This is an excellent recipe that does not cut corners!
Comfort Vegetarian total time3 hrs 30 mins yields8 – 12 bagels addedApril 2020
- 3½ cups bread or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or sugar
- neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, for the baking sheet
- Put the flour in a food processor. Add the salt, All yeast, and sweetener and process for 5 seconds. With the machine running, pour (don’t drizzle) 1.25 cups water through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, then remove the cover. The dough should be in a well-defined ball, only slightly sticky and very easy to handle. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 or 10 seconds after each addition. If it is too wet, add a tablespoon or two of flour and process briefly. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter or tabletop and knead for a minute or two longer by hand, adding as much flour as necessary to make a smooth, tough, very elastic dough.
- Dump the lump of dough into a large bowl. Cover loosely with a plastic bag, plastic wrap, or towel. Let rise for about 2 hours, at room temperature, or until the dough has roughly doubled in bulk. If you would like to let the dough rise for a longer period of time, which will help it develop flavor, refrigerate for up to 12 hours; bring it back to room temperature before proceeding.
- Deflate the dough ball and let it rest on a lightly floured surface, covered, for about 10 minutes. Cut it into 8 or 12 equal pieces, depending on whether you want large or small bagels. Roll each ball into a 6 to 8 inch-long rope and then shape into a circle or simply poke a hole in the middle of each ball and pull into a bagel shape. Keep all the balls covered as you work and lightly flour and cover the shaped bagels as well. When they’re all done, cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil; heat the oven with a pizza stone to 400°F. Drop the bagels, one at a time, into the boiling water; don’t crowd. The bagels will sink, then rise to the surface. Boil for 1 minute on each side, then remove them with a slotted spoon and put on a lightly greased rack to drain.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet (or use parchment paper). Alternatively, put the bagels on a floured peel and bake them directly on the pizza stone. Spray the inside of the oven with water to create steam if you like, then put the bagels in the oven. After 5 minutes, spray again. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bagels are nicely browned. Remove, spray with a bit of water if you would like a shinier crust, and cool on a wire rack; these keep well for a day or two.
- The best, in my opinion. Two methods: The first, which is simple, is to add about ½ cup of roughly chopped onion to the food processor along with the flour. The second, a little more flavorful, is to sauté ½ cup minced onion in 1 tablespoon butter or oil until very soft, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Knead these into the dough by hand after removing it from the food processor. In either case, when you’re ready to bake the bagels, brush them with a little water and sprinkle each with about a teaspoon of very finely minced onion.
- Knead about ½ cup raisins into the dough by hand after removing it from the food processor. About ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon is good here as well.
Bagels Topped with Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Coarse Salt, Etc.
- There are two ways to do this. As you remove the bagels from the boiling water, drain briefly and dip the top of each into a plate containing whatever topping you like. Alternatively, just before baking, brush the bagels lightly with water and sprinkle with whatever topping you like. The first method gives you a thicker topping; the second gives you more control.