I won’t pretend for even a minute that I am an expert on this. I’ve only made them once, and I asked my friend lots of questions before attempting to make homemade bagels. Yet, here I am, unable to wait yet another minute to share this with you.
SECRET: Making homemade bagels is ridiculously easy.
I followed the recipe my friend E suggested for real homemade bagels, following her recommendation of using only 4 cups of flour and that there was no need to add any honey. Further, I was able to make 18 bagels instead of the 6 which I only assume must have been a typo on the recipe creator’s part. I also didn’t follow the instructions and instead chose to mix my salt, yeast, sugar, water and oil together prior to adding in the flour. And since we don’t own a stand mixer I kneaded to dough by hand until it formed a beautiful dough.
The recipe is basically a pizza dough. I had no idea it could be so easy. Since I’m pretty much a master of pizza dough, having made at least 100 batches since meeting Trig, I was confident that my dough would be great. When the bagel dough had sufficiently risen, I punched it down with satisfaction and continued with the recipe. I made 3 types: plain, sesame, and cinnamon sugar, and all three are absolutely delicious. I was nervous for the boiling and baking part, but the bagels turned out nicely brown on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside.
Here is what I would change or recommend for next time:
1. Add just a touch more salt to the dough than what the recipe calls for. I found these to be slightly undersalted. Just a touch should do the trick (adjusted in the recipe below)
2. Instead of parchment paper I used nonstick spray in my baking sheet and found the bottoms of the bagels to be nicely browned that way.
3. I would give the bagels a smaller hole and make the shape slightly thicker. Trig asked for this modification next time and I couldn’t agree more. I made more flat, wide bagels.
4. Make sure you seal the bagel rounds well. I had 2 bagels come undone, and while they taste delicious they don’t look as perfect as the others.
5. At the same time, the bagels were still beautiful even though they looked horribly ugly before boiling, so don’t fret too much like I did.
Here is the original recipe for real homemade bagels, reprinted below with my modifications and instructions in case the recipe goes missing online one day.
Real Homemade Bagels, via allrecipes.com but with my modifications – Please see the original recipe for the recipe creator’s version.
Makes 18 bagels
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 pack instant yeast
3 T white sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 T vegetable oil
4 cups bread flour
Combine the water, yeast, sugar, salt and oil in a large bowl. When the yeast is frothy add the flour and combine. Knead until the dough comes together nicely, about 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise for 2 hours. Punch down on a lightly floured surface and cut dough into 8-10 rods.
Cut the rods in half and form into bagel shapes. Let rest an additional 15 minutes under a towel. Meanwhile boil a large pot of water. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Boil the bagels in small batches in the water, about 1 minute per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and dip in your toppings. I chose to do some sesame, some plain, and some in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Spray a baking sheet with oil and place your bagels on top. Bake for about 14 minutes until lightly browned. Enjoy!