Makes: 12 standard or 24 miniature bagels
Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes + overnight refrigeration
Cook/Bake Time: 40 minutes (boiling + baking)
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes + overnight refrigeration
for the sponge-
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 4 cups unbleached bread flour
- 2 1/2 cups water, at room temperature
for the dough-
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons malt powder OR 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- cornmeal for dusting
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
(I did a combination of asiago, everything, and plain bagels. For the
everything bagels I used 2 teaspoons each of minced garlic, dehydrated
onion, salt, mustard seeds, and sesame seeds.)
- Day one: To
make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a large mixing bowl
or the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the water, stirring until it
forms a smooth, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and
leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the
mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should almost double in size
and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the counter top.
- To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl, add the additional yeast
to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the bread flour, the salt,
and malt powder (OR syrup, honey, or brown sugar). Stir until
the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup
bread flour to stiffen the dough.
- If working by hand, transfer the dough to the counter and knead for
at least 10 minutes. If using an electric mixer, knead for about 6
minutes. The dough should be firm but still pliable and smooth. There
should be no raw flour and all of the ingredients should be hydrated.
The dough should pass the windowpane test
and register 71-77 degrees F. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add
a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky
or sticky, add more flour to achieve the required stiffness.
- Immediately divide the dough into 4.5 ounce pieces for standard
bagels or 2.25 ounce pieces for miniature bagels. Weigh the pieces if
possible to ensure even baking in the oven. Form the pieces into rolls
and place on a baking sheet. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and
allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and mist lightly with spray oil.
- With your finger poke a hole in the very center of the ball. Gently
rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to
approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Be careful to keep the dough as
evenly stretched as possible.
- Place each of the shaped pieces an inch apart on the pans and mist
very lightly with the spray oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and
let sit at room temperature for another 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded
in the refrigerator by using the "float test". Fill a small bowl with
cool or room-temperature water and gently drop a bagel in the bowl. If
the bagel floats within 10 seconds of being dropped into the bowl
immediately return the bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and
place it in the refrigerator overnight. If the bagel does not float
return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room
temperature, checking back every 10-20 minutes until a tester floats.
- Day two- preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with the
two racks set in the middle of the oven. In a small bowl whisk 1 egg
and 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash and set aside. Bring a large
pot of water to a boil and then add the baking soda. Have a slotted
spoon or skimmer near by.
- Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into
the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit in the pot. After
1-2 minutes (I did 1:30 but wouldn't have minded 2 minutes) flip the
bagels over and boil for the same amount of time. While the bagels are
boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal.
- As the bagels come out of the boiling water place them back on the
cornmeal dusted baking sheets and brush with the egg wash before adding
any additional toppings (like asiago or the "everything" mixture).
- When all the bagels have been boiled and properly "topped" place the
pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven and bake for approximately 5
minutes. After 5 minutes rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving
the pans a 180 degree rotation. After the rotation, lower the oven
setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking 8-10 minutes or until the
bagels turn light golden brown.
- Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.