Bagels of the homemade sort

I can hear you now. You with your excuses. “I can’t make bread.” “It never works for me.” “It’s such a pain.” “It’s not worth it.”

Well, forget that. Right now. Even if you don’t consider yourself of the bread making sort, you can make these bagels. So easy! Combine ingredients. Rise. Roll. Boil. Bake. Done! Slather some cream cheese or some butter or some jam, and you’re in business.

Bagels

Adapted slightly from Sweets by Francesca

Makes 8 large bagels (4 cinnamon, 4 garlic)

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees. warm to the touch, but not scalding)
  • 4 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 3-3 1/2 cups bread flour (divided)
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs baking soda
  • 1 Tbs each of cinnamon and garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten

1. Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and leave it for 5 minutes or so.

2. Combine 2 cups of flour and salt in a bowl. Add the frothy yeast mixture, and mix. Continue to add flour until the dough forms a ball.

3. Begin to knead, adding in more flour as you do. Depending on your humidity level, you will need more or less flour. Aim to incorporate between 3 and 3 1/2 cups. Knead for 7 minutes, or so.

4. Once the dough is a smooth ball (not sticky, but not a rock, either), cover it in a greased bowl and allow it to rise for 45 minutes. Once it has risen, punch it down, and divide the dough in half. In one half, knead in 1 tsp. cinnamon.

5. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Once it boils, add 2 Tbs. baking soda.

6. Divide each half into 4 chunks. Roll each chunk into a ball, and then use your thumb to form a hole in the middle. The end result: a bagel shaped hunk of dough.

7. Drop the 4 plain bagels into the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove, and set them on a cooling rack. Do the same with the 4 cinnamon bagels.

8. Transfer the boiled bagels to a cookie sheet, and brush the tops with the egg. On the four plain bagels, feel free to sprinkle with herbs. I used garlic….so good!

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.

10. Serve with your favorite bagel toppings and fillings.

Some fair and ahead warning: these bagels won’t taste exactly like a store bought bagel. They are much softer on the inside and more bread-like, with a crispy crust. Fine by me!

They taste great warm out of the oven, but will keep well in a sealed container.