Thursday, May 16, 2013

throwback post: homemade bagels

With a trip to NY in just a week I have had bagels on my mind nonstop. They are the number one food I miss since moving to SF and one night a few months back I couldn't handle the craving anymore. Bagels out here range from dense round bread with a hole to somewhat tolerable and I knew that was not going to satisfy my craving. This recipe was made well before this blog but this is definitely a timely topic.

One exception to my feelings on bagels out here are Deli Board bagels. They cater to our office and always come hot and fresh and definitely fit the bill for what I miss in a bagel. Unfortunately we only get them every few months...

I found this recipe and followed it to a t. I was a little nervous because they didn't rise as much as I expected, but they came out so delicious and a perfect size. I can tell you this: having a bagel fresh and hot out of the oven with cream cheese on a Sunday morning is something everyone needs to experience. They were so worth the effort.

homemade bagels
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.
  • Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  • Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  • On a floured counter top, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  • Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the counter top moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms. Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  • Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  • After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil about 3-4 at a time. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel.
  • Once all the bagels have boiled transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack--I let them cool for about 5 minutes and tore into these!

So on my trip back east, I am planning to smuggle some NY water back with me so I can test out this notion of "the water being different." I will report back.

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