Homemade bagels

Today we made bagels – our first attempt and after the results they won’t be our last.  They were fun and easy to make, beautiful with their caramel sheen, and utterly scrumptious.  I followed this bagel recipe and have included my thoughts on it below.

We started by making the dough – the recipe called for putting all the dry ingredients (bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt) into a food processor and briefly mixing, followed by the hot water.  I used my lovely new Christmas present (the L’Equip 428 Mill Blender) and that worked ok enough, but I’m sure you could do it by hand if you don’t have a mixer.

Instead of covering in clingfilm, we used one of our trusty hotel shower caps (they work brilliantly!) and left it to rise for an hour – this is what it looked like 60 minutes later…

Risen bagel dough

You turn the dough out onto your floured worktop and press it down ‘to expel any gases’.  Next you cut the dough into 10 equal pieces – these will shortly become your bagels.

Bagel dough

Next, we took each piece of dough and squidged it into a sausage shape (the recipe guides you to make it about 7 inches long).

Making bagels

Wrap the dough around your fist…

Homemade bagels

Making bagels

Lightly dabbing the ends with warm water, join them together and make sure they are sealed.  The recipe recommends that you join the ends and then roll the dough on the worktop – we tried this and it didn’t seem to work for us.

Making bagels Homemade bagels

Homemade bagels

And there you have your bagel!  They didn’t look very beautiful at this point and we did wonder how they would turn out.

Bagels before baking

Next the recipe tells you to cover the bagels with clingfilm and leave them to rise for a further 10 minutes.  We did this, popping the bagels onto trays and covering with the plastic shower caps – however, they didn’t seem to change much in this 10 minutes.

Homemade bagels

Whilst your bagels are rising, you need to get the water ready to boil them. The recipe we followed suggested using malted syrup in the water (I guess this gives an additional flavour?) and luckily enough I managed to find malt extract at Unicorn Grocery in Manchester.

It also asks for a rather large amount of water – 6 quarts, which is about 12 pints!  Our largest pan held 5 quarts so we did a little less malt extract.

Malt extract

Then bring up the pan of water to the boil.

Malt extract water for boiling bagels

Carefully place the bagels into the boiling water – only a couple at a time so as not to crowd the the pan.

Boiling bagels

You cook them for a minute in the boiling water – turning after 30 seconds.

Boiling bagels

Boiling bagels

You take them out of the boiling water with your slotted spoon and pop them to dry on a clean tea towel.

Boiled bagels

I made an eggwash from a beaten egg and brushed the bagels.

Egg wash

Some of the bagels we left plain, and some we sprinkled with sesame seeds…

Sesame seed bagels

Sesame seed bagels

All the finished bagels are put on a tray and go into a 200°C oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Bagels ready for baking

The recipe mentions turning them over at this point at baking for another 10 minutes to brown the other side.  We looked underneath them but they were already brown, so we ignored the turning over part.

Golden bagels

My very proud moment admiring all my own, homemade bagels…

Homemade plain and sesame bagels

I can hardly believe I made something so beautiful!

Homemade sesame seed bagel

The only thing left to do was to check how they tasted.  We had been a little worried we’d overcooked them, but they were chewy and crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside.

Homemade bagels

I ate it still warm with lots of my favourite salty raw butter and some Cotswold spring blossom honey.

Golden bagel

Bagel with raw butter

Yum yum!