Bagels are one of my favorite foods, they are perfect for a snack, or great as a meal. They can pair with plenty of other foods or are perfect on their own.
This is one of my favorite recipes because it is quick to whip up and is mostly hands off. And the results are fantastic, the bread is delicious and the perfect texture.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you only need five ingredients to make them (and one ingredient is water!). The first step is prepping the yeast. I’ve found that when sugar is involved, it is better to whisk together the yeast and sugar to help jumpstart activating the yeast and giving it something to eat.
The yeast/sugar mixture is then dissolved in warm water (make sure it’s not too hot to kill the yeast but it has to be warm to activate it). This process takes about five minutes of leaving the mixture alone.
In this time, it is good to mix the flour and salt together. I use my kitchen mixer with a dough hook but all the mixing in this recipe can be done by hand.
The liquid mixture is then added to the flour and salt. At this point, I like to add quite a bit of extra liquid. The dough should be a moist lump and too little water will cause the dough to be stringy.
If too much water is added, flour can be added to adjust the concentration back down. The first image below has a lack of water. As the mixer (or you hands) add more work to the mixture, it should come together and pull away from the side of the bowl.
And now a lot of the work is done! The dough should be turned out onto a lightly floured counter and shaped into a ball. This is done by pulled the edged out and then back to the center.
Once this is done on all sides, turn the ball over and gently push on all sides to use the friction of the table to pull the bread together. This ball can go into a container (I use the same mixing bowl) that is lightly oiled and then a damp cloth can be placed over it. And then you wait!
This process can take anywhere from one to two hours depending on the temperature of where the dough is resting. A good proving temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Too hot will cause the yeast to activate to quickly and will cause the structure to collapse.
Once the dough has doubled in size, the next step is shaping the bagel. The dough should be turned out onto a lightly floured surface. You can then split the dough into eight pieces.
And now for my favorite part: Shaping! Like earlier, you’ll want to grab at the edged and pull the dough to the center. The seam here should be pinched together and it will look a little like a dumpling.
The ball should then be flipped over and you push the dough along the surface. Again, this uses the friction of the surface to help pull the ball together. This should be done for all the balls to give them that nice bagel shape.
For each ball make an indent in the center to mark where the hole should be. I use my thumb to puncture a hole in the dough and then turn it around my thumb to widen the hole. This process uses gravity to pull the dough.
The bagels should then be placed on parchment paper and covered with a wet paper towel. This is to help keep the moisture but a heavier fabric would disturb the dough.
Once the dough has rested, it’s time to put them into boiling water. I usually boil each side for about two minutes to get a nice chewy texture. I will admit, this part does not make the bagels look the most attractive.
Once they are removed from the water, I generally put them onto a cooking tray lined with parchment paper and give them an egg wash. The egg wash will give the bagels a nice crispiness and allows any topping to be firmly held to the bagel.
Add toppings as desired (my favorite is everything seasoning which I only found recently – it’s delicious).
And now it’s time to bake! This recipe goes into the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about twenty to twenty five minutes. I generally start at twenty minutes and add more time gradually until the bagels are nice and golden brown. It’s usually good to let the bagels to cool down but these are so delicious, it’s hard to resist a warm bagel fresh from the oven!
- 6 Grams Active Dry Yeast
- 20 Grams Granulated Sugar
- 350 mL Warm Water
- 440 Grams Bread Flour plus extra for dusting
- 6 Grams Salt
- Optional Toppings (See Notes)
- Whisk together sugar and active dry yeast, pour mixture into 120 ml of warm water. Do not mix. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to dissolve. If not dissolved at the end of 5 minutes, agitate the mixture to help the yeast and sugar dissolve in the water
- Whisk together flour and salt. Pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
- Add the remaining 230 ml of water
- Mix well, the dough will be moist and firm after mixed. More water may need to be added.
- Using a mixer and a dough hook, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. This type of dough should be able to pass the window-pane test. This step can also be done by hand on a flour dusted surface.
- Light brush a bowl with oil and coat the dough in it. Keep the bowl covered with a damp dish towel and keep in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round shape (see above or notes for more details)
- Make an indent where the desired hole should be. Push through the dough using your thumb. holding the dough by your thumb, slowly turn the dough to enlarge the size of the dough, pushing the dough to make a uniform shape. This step needs to be done for all 8 pieces
- Place shaped dough on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with damp paper towels. All the dough to rest for 15 minutes
- Preheat over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Lower bagels into the water (my pot allows for three at a time). Let the bagel rest in the boiling water for 2 minutes before turning them over. Let them boil for another 2 minutes before removing them from the water. Place bagels on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Add an egg wash to all of the bagels for a nice color when cooking. This is the time where optional toppings can be added.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown