There’s nothing more satisfying than waking up to a fresh bagel (and a fresh-bagel smell) on a weekend morning! What could possibly be better, you ask? Making these fluffy, chewy bagels yourself, of course! Our friends at ChefSteps wrote in this week with a recipe that’s equally as rewarding to undertake as it is to enjoy.
As with most worthwhile baking projects, the process is just as pleasing as the final product here. Patience and perseverance pay off — there are, as you’ll see, several periods of work and rest in this recipe. But it’s also a front-loaded recipe, with all the heavy lifting happening on day one, allowing you to wake up at a civilized hour and still have plenty of time to complete the finishing touches — the boiling and the baking — in time for breakfast. At the end, you can expect a housewarming aroma, an immense sense of achievement, a delicious breakfast and a house full of adoring fans. Enjoy.
350 grams water, plus more for boiling
650 grams bread flour, divided
3 grams active dry yeast
25 grams granulated sugar, optional
25 grams diastatic malt powder
10 grams salt
Nonstick spray, as needed
25 grams malt syrup
10 grams baking soda
10 grams black sesame seeds
10 grams dried onion flakes
10 grams Maldon flake salt
7 grams black poppy seeds
5 grams sesame seeds
5 grams dried garlic flakes
Servings: 15 bagels
To prepare the dough:
- In a stand mixer bowl, combine water, 250 grams of the flour and active dry yeast. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the mixture proof at room temperature until it doubles in size and makes frothy bubbles that collapse when you tap the bowl on the countertop. This takes about two to three hours.
- In a bowl, combine remaining 400 grams of bread flour with sugar, diastatic malt powder and salt. Reattach the bowl containing the sponge (from step 1) to the stand mixer and fasten on the dough hook. Set the mixer to low. Gradually spoon in the dry ingredients and let the dough mix until it becomes stretchy and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Working quickly to keep the dough cool, divide it into 65-gram portions and set them on the pan. Keep the entire sheet covered as you work, tucking each new portion underneath the plastic wrap to keep any crust from forming.
To form the balls/bagels:
- Form the portions into balls. Here’s how we do it: First, form a dome. Make a circle with one hand, place a piece of portioned dough halfway inside it, and use one finger of your other hand to turn the dough while gradually pushing it through the circle. You want to end up with a nice, taut dome.
- Next, turn that dome into a ball. Hold the dome with the concave underside facing up. Pinch the dough closed across the “bowl,” then roll the seam on the work surface until smooth. When you finish each piece, return it to its spot under the plastic wrap on the sheet pan.
- Cool the dough balls in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Working with one ball at a time, use two fingers to pinch a hole through the center of the dough, turning it while you work. Once you break through the dough, turn it on its side (like a spinning wheel). Stick both of your index fingers through the hole from opposite directions, and spin them around each other, slowly stretching out the hole until you can fit three fingers through it. Return the shaped dough to its covered spot on the tray. (You might need a second tray.)
- Allow to proof at room temperature until a dough ring floats when set in a bowl of water. This will take about 20-40 minutes.
- Make sure the tray(s) are wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, and let them cool in the refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to develop.
To prepare the toppings/bake the bagels:
- In a large pot over high heat, bring 5 liters water, malt syrup and baking soda to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the black sesame seeds, dried onion flakes, flake salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and dried garlic flakes.
- Working in batches, drop the bagels into the water and boil for 60 seconds, then flip them with a spider strainer or fork and boil for another 60 seconds. Transfer them, smooth sides up, to a wire rack on a half-sheet pan.
- If you’re adding the seasoning mix — or your own choice of toppings — now’s the time to sprinkle it over the tops of the bagels.
- Transfer the bagels to a parchment paper–lined half-sheet pan and move it to the center rack of the preheated oven. (Tip: Use your oven’s convection setting for better browning).
- Bake for seven minutes, spin the tray around to ensure even cooking, and continue baking until bagels have a nice, brown color — about seven more minutes.
- Allow the piping-hot bagels to cool for a few minutes, then dig in!
ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. The site is currently offering free online classes called Cooking Sous Vide: Getting Started and Burgers, as well as a $10 class called Cooking Sous Vide: Beyond the Basics and a $14 class called Coffee.