Bagels – Step by Step

A few people have expressed an interest in the steps it takes to make bagels, so here it goes.

Bagels start like most yeast leavened breads, with a mix of flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water.

Dough in the Big Red Machine

Once it’s mixed, it needs to rest and rise for a while.

I have a couple of big bowls that fit perfectly in the sink, so I rest and rise my doughs in one of those bowls in a hot water bath in the sink, covered with a towel.

Raisin Brown Dough Raising

Once it’s about doubled in volume, I scoop it out of that bowl onto a floured surface to work it. Some people claim that keeping their hands wet keeps the dough from sticking to it. I think those people need to get a grip, because everyone sane knows that keeping your hands well covered in flour is the real key to success. Either way, the dough is going to be sticky at the end of this step, so wet / oil / flour your hands,

Knead out the big bubbles and get the dough homogenized, then chunk it up. I usually bust it into three balls, then bust those three into quarters for a dozen bagels per batch. Do what works for you.

Three Balls of Dough

And into quarters, like I said…

Quarters of Thirds

And then, form those into balls. I usually let the balls rest and rise for a ten minutes or so before I go any further.

Balls for Bagels

While these guys are resting and rising, get your water boiling. The pot needs to be big enough to have three bagels floating on the surface. I started with just adding corn syrup to the water but lately I’ve been adding some baking sofa, too, in order to make the crusts crisper and darker.

Use you finger to poke a hole through each ball, and drop them into the simmering water.

Damn! There's a Hole!

I boil them for about two minutes per side, starting with the “top” side down. I filp them once then scoop them out onto a parchement paper lined baking sheet.

After cooling them for a few minutes, I usually brush them with an egg wash and add the toppings, then bake for at 350 F for 18 minutes.

Original Bagels Baking

Let me know how yours work out!






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