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favorite bagels
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Favorite Bagels

These bagels can be made with regular yeast packets or Rapid Rise (instant yeast). I almost always use instant, so the instructions are for instant. If using regular yeast, dissolve it in the water and increase the rise times. In the past I've always made 6 bagels, but a friend complained that they were too small, so feel free to make 4!
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Cookie Madness

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour 250-330 grams -- I use the weight, volume is approximate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 packet instant yeast 1 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons 5 oz very hot tap water
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Boiling Solution

  • 12 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon mild molasses

Instructions

  • Put 250 grams of the flour (2 cups) in the bowl of a stand mixer bowl with the salt, sugar and yeast. Stir well, then add add all 5 oz of hot water and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir by hand to make a soft dough, then add remaining flour 1 tablespoon a time as kneaded until dough is stiff enough to knead.
  • Attach dough hook and let the machine knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. It should not be sticky, but rather stiff enough to leave the sides of the bowl as the machine kneads it.
  • Once the dough is smooth and elastic (5 to 8 minutes depending on your mixer), you can simply cover the bowl with plastic or if you prefer, transfer the bowl to a second lightly greased bowl.
  • Allow dough to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into either 4 or 6 sections. Shape each section into a ball, then poke your finger through the center and twirl the dough around your finger to form a loop with a hole about 2 inches in diameter. The holes will shrink as the bagels are boiled and baked, so at this point the holes should seem quite large.
  • Set the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a greased sheet of plastic wrap. Let rise for about 25 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Bring 12 cups of water to a boil and add 1 generous tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of molasses. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add as many bagels as will fit to the water and simmer for 2 minutes, turning halfway through.
  • Drain with a slotted spoon (or spatula) and return to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the bagels for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and the internal temperature measures at least 205.
  • Banana Nut Variation: Use only 1/2 cup water total and also omit the 2 T. of milk. Increase sugar to 1 1/2 tablespoons total, reduce salt to 1 teaspoon and use 4 oz/114 grams mashed very ripe bananas. During the end of the kneading process, throw in 1/3 cup walnut pieces.

Notes

Toppings: For an everything bagel, mix a few tablespoons of minced garlic, dried onion flakes, poppy seeds and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Add enough water to cover, then let the mixture sit for a few minutes and soften. Mixture will be quite wet, but this keeps it from burning.
For chewier bagels, use the overnight method. Instead of instant yeast, use active dry yeast (no need to dissolve it). After kneading the dough, put it in the bowl as directed, cover, then refrigerate overnight. Punch down cold dough the next day, then shape and follow directions as written.