Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's Sunday morning and I made bagels for breakfast. They'd been tickling me for a couple of weeks now, because a make-your-own-bagels article has been on the homepage of Epicurious for quite a while now, and since I visit the site almost every day, I've been getting a lot of exposure from that story. I had scanned the ingredients list when the article was first posted, and thought it was worht giving a try, but like I said, it's Sunday morning and I made bagels for breakfast, so when it came time to actually launch into the recipe at 7:30 a.m., I went for my Joy of Cooking which calls for a lot more yeast but only 30 minutes of rising time (verses rising overnight).

I was pretty happy with the results, though I wouldn't say they're anything near as good as what I could buy from a bagel shop. Perhaps it is the rush process of adding extra yeast and trying to quick rise? I'm curious if any of you readers have made bagels before and followed a process more similar to that described by Peter Reinhart... does just a 1/2 teaspoon of yeast followed by an overnight proofing session make the difference? Or is it the special flavor imparted by malt syrup (for which I substituted honey)?

These made for a hearty breakfast snack that was a big change from our usual, but not anything so special that I'm desperate to make again soon.

Bagelsfrom The Joy of Cooking1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (105-115 degrees F)
2 1/2 teaspooons (one package) active dry yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted vegetable shortening
1 1/2 teasoons malt syrup (I used honey)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose)
In bowl of stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over water and combine with sugar until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

With dough hook mixer attachment, stir in shortening, honey, salt, and 1 cup flour. On low/medium-low speed, stir in remaining flour and mix until dough is smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes).

Cover with plastic and allow to rest at about 75 degrees for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425. In large pan, bring to boil:
4 quarts water

1 tablespoon malt syrup (I used honey)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Divide dough into 8 pieces, and roll into a rope about 9 inches long. Twist into a ring and press together ends to seal. Drop four dough rings into boiling water, when they surface, flip them over, and boil for 45 seconds. Remove from water to an ungreased cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal, and repeat with remaining four dough rings. Bake for 20 minutes.

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