The following bagel recipe is the product of ~60 bagels, or 10 batches. I took what seemed to be a fairly generic recipe, incorporated elements from other recipes, and experimented to produce it. I think these are the best bagels I’ve ever had (but I am biased), and hope anyone crazy enough to try a recipe on this blog enjoys them.
Bagel Recipe (6 bagels)
1.5 cup warm water
1 pack of active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
- Mix the sugar, water, and yeast together in a large bowl. The water should be warm to the touch but not hot. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy. The warm water and sugar is for kickstarting the yeast. Water too hot will kill the yeast, resulting in a dough that will not rise.
- Add the salt, mixture well. Add flour .5-1 cup at a time, mixing well before adding more. This mixture should start resembling dough after 2 cups, at which point it’s easier to use hands than a spatula. The final product should be a hefty feeling dough, with smooth elastic sides. It may be necessary to add more flour or water to achieve this result. If so, make sure to add in small amounts.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
- Place the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth. Cut the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a round ball, and place onto a resting surface (make sure to remember the order in which the balls were placed). The easiest way to roll these portions into round balls is to place a palm completely over a piece of dough, bring all the fingers in slightly so about 1/4″ of each side is crumpled, and start moving the hand around in a circular fashion. It takes a bit of practice, but done right this will save tons of time and frustration. Let the balls rise for 30-45 minutes.
- Starting with the first ball, knead until smooth and form a bagel. There are a number of ways to do this, but the easiest is to make a flat disk and poke a hole in the center. Stretch the hole out carefully until the it looks like a bagel. An alternative is to wrap this dough around a hot dog. Except for the hot dogs, the recipe doesn’t change.
- Once all bagels have been formed, start boiling 10-12 cups of water with 1 tbsp of sugar. This is to give the bagels time to rise.
- Boil each bagel (again starting with the first) for ~45 seconds on each side, and place onto a cooling rack. Add toppings if desired (sesame/poppy seeds, sauteed onions, etc). A sprinkle of kosher salt on top is also really good.
- Once all bagels have completely cooled (15-20 minutes), place them into a 400F oven. For a better crust, fill a loaf pan with water and place onto the bottom rack before turning on the oven. This will provide a very humid environment to bake the bagels, result in crust with a little more bite.
- After 25 minutes, take the loaf pan out, and check the tops of the bagels. If they don’t look golden, wait another minute and check again. Place the bagels on a cooling rack and enjoy!