I’ve been craving toast a lot in the past weeks, and decided that I’m done with store-bought bread, for a little while at least. (Mostly because it’s embarrassing how quickly I can go through a loaf of rye bread by myself.) My bread exploits have been infrequent these days because of a lack of time and space to roll things out. The most successful in the past year or so have been challah loaves and whole wheat knots (recipes to come eventually). Bagels are a little more accessible for people with tiny kitchens and these are actually not impossible to make by hand, so that’s what I decided to go for. The time frame for these is also manageable for a leisurely weekend afternoon– ready in just about an hour and a half! Most of this recipe is stolen from here, but I sort of made up the directions myself. That recipe also name-drops a brand of flour, but I don’t care about brands so we’ll just keep things generic as usual. Also, this makes about 14 medium-ish sized bagels. I froze half.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (or one .25oz. package of yeast)
2 cups water, warm
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (or white)
1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (Didn’t have this, didn’t use it, didn’t matter) 3 cups Unbleached Bread Flour 3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (You can use half bread flour and half white whole wheat if you want, I just used 3 cups all purpose flour and 3 cups white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
Sprinkling of cornmeal
[I separated this into 8 steps to make it more organized. It seems daunting if you’re new to bread-making, but seriously, this is not impossible and actually rather forgiving. Deep breaths, relax and enjoy!]
1. Dissolve the yeast into a medium sized bowl with the warm water. Stir in the sugar as well. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes until you see the yeast start to get frothy.
2. Whisk in 1 cup of all purpose flour and let that sit for another 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the flours and salt.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour in about 3 batches, mixing as you go. I did this by hand, but you could use a hand mixer for this. If the mixture is too dry by the end, add a teaspoon of water, if too watery add an 1/8-1/4 cup of flour.
4. Start kneading the dough while it’s still in the bowl, then turn out onto a floured surface (this can be a clean countertop, a bread stone, or in my case, a large wooden cutting board). Knead the dough until it’s springy to the touch, then turn it around in an oiled bowl until it’s evenly coated. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, separate the dough into 14-16 parts and roll out into 8-9 inch pieces. Then form each rope-looking piece into a ring to form the bagel shape. Place the bagels onto a baking sheet with a the cornmeal sprinkled on it.
6. Let the bagels rise again for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set up a large pot with 4-6 cups of water and bring to boil. Boil the bagels (about 3 at a time) until they rise to the top (this takes like 5 seconds) and remove with slotted spoon.
8. Place on baking sheet again and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.