Some of you may remember that last summer my friend Lizzy from that Skinny Chick Can Bake and I did a joint baked beans cook along – different recipes, same dish. We had so much fun doing this together we decided to try it again. The baked beans were my idea, so it was Lizzy’s turn to pick. Much to my chagrin, she chose bagels!
I have been dying to try my hand at bagels. Long story – when I was a kid (not just a kid at heart), and we had our house in Westport, the one annoying thing about the town was that every single solitary store (except perhaps Mr. Grubb’s – another story) closed at 6:00. One night my mom had a yen for bagels and none to be found. She pulled out her Joy of Coooking and got going. She didn’t finish until late, children falling asleep with tongues hanging out waiting for bagels, but they were great! Needless to say, gone in minutes!
When Lizzy said bagels, I figured I would follow in Mom’s footsteps – whoa, tooooo many steps! Off I went in search of a simple bagel recipe! As I stood gaping at my ever growing collection of cookbooks, I saw The Brooklyn Cookbook. What could be more Brooklyn than bagels? There must be a recipe for bagels there!
Gloomy, miserable rainy. Can’t go out. After the car fiasco on the Verrazano Bridge, I wasn’t driving ANYWHERE in the rain! (yet another story!) May as well make bagels. I can already hear Ernie sighing and saying “Walk to the corner. Buy them!”
This bagel recipe was simple and fool (ME being the fool!) proof.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/3 C warm water
- 1 t salt
- 4 C all purpose flour
- 2 T sugar
- 1 C milk
- 1 egg, beaten with a little water, for glaze
- coarse salt, or poppy seeds, or sesame seeds
Sprinkle yeast over the warm water, stir, and let dissolve.
Put the salt, flour, and 4 teaspoons of the sugar into the bowl of a food processor equipped with the dough blade. Pulse the mixture several times to mix it well. This aerates the ingredients.
Combine the yeast mixture and milk in a measuring cup. WIth the motor running, pour the mixture through the feed tube. Knead until the mixture balls together and is no longer sticky, about 60 seconds.
Lightly flour a large plastic bag, place the dough inside, squeeze out the air, and close the end of the bag. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch it down.
NOTE: At this point the dough can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Pull off pieces of dough to form 12 2 inch balls. Poke a finger through the ball, making a hole the size of a golf ball. With your fingers, shape the bagel evenly.
Put the bagels on a cookie sheet, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let them rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring 4 quarts of water to the boil in a wide pot. Ad the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Poach the bagels, 3 or 4 at a time, for 30 seconds. Turn them over and poach for 30 seconds more.
Remove with a slotted spoon, let them drip briefly on a towel held under the spoon and place them 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
Brush each with a little of the egg glaze.
Leave them plain or sprinkle with coarse salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds, or a combo of all three.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Let cool on racks – if you can bear to wait!
THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR NEXT TIME!:
- Use whole milk. I only had skim and the dough didn’t come together well. I added a bit more, but from the processor running for far more than 60 seconds, the dough was a little tough.
- Bake on parchment paper. When you egg wash them, if the egg wash trickles down onto the baking sheet, the bagels stick and that’s no bueno.
This was simple to pull together and the end result was fabulous, even given the over worked dough. This method is not an overly long process. These are not really big bagels, but not as small as mini-bagels.
And my favorite breakfast on a delicious bagel I MADE MYSELF!