Mason County News
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Practical Baker
Bagels, Courtesy of "Bread" Book
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 • Posted June 8, 2011

OK, folks, this recipe isn’t quite a “practical” type of recipe, because it’s a fairly involved process to produce these bagels. But, if you love bagels, you’ll make the sacrifice and spend the time to knead and then to boil these lovely things. Believe me, you will feel that it is time well spent!Ingredients:2 teaspoons dry yeast1 ½ tablespoons sugar1 ¼ cups water3 ¼ cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading1 ½ teaspoon saltProcess:Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into ½ cup of the water in a bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the dissolved yeast/water/sugar mixture.Pour about half of the remaining water into the well. Mix in the flour. Stir in the reserved water, as needed, to form a firm, moist dough.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. As you are kneading, gradually add as much flour as you can and still have workable dough; it should be very stiff and firm.Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, or about 1 hour. Then punch it down and let it rest for 10 minutes.Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Form each ball into a ring by inserting a floured finger into the center of each one. Work the finger in a circle to stretch and widen the hole. Then twirl the ring around the index finger of one hand and the thumb of the other hand until a hole, about 1/3 of the bagel’s diameter, is created.Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet, then cover with a damp cloth and let them rest for 10 minutes.Bring a large pan of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to the point where the water is simmering steadily. Use a perforated skimmer to carefully lower each bagel into the simmering water (don’t put more than 3 in at a time). Boil for 30 seconds, then turn and boil for another 30 seconds.Transfer the drained bagels to a lightly oiled baking sheet. (At this point, you can add some salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds, or all of the above, to the top of the bagels. Be careful with the salt; it’s easy to overdo it!) Bake in a pre-heated (425 degrees) oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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