Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homemade Bagels

Yes, people, I actually made my first batch of homemade bagels today! They came out SO good, too! I am extremely proud of myself. I love to experiment with baking new things, but there is never a guarantee that my bread/rolls/bagels :) will come out even remotely correct. The bagel experiment, however, was a smashing success! (Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands). The next time I make them, I'm going to try using half whole wheat flour. I sprinkled sesame seeds on top of this batch. I think breakfast bagels with eggs, cheese and ham will be on the menu tomorrow morning!

1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar
3 c. bread flour (I used all purpose and they came out just fine)
1 package fast rising or regular yeast
3 quarts boiling water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 egg white
poppy seeds, salt, dried onions, sesame seeds, etc. for toppings

Make dough using a bread maker on the dough setting, by hand, or using a kitchenaid mixer. For the mixer version, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the salt, sugar and flour. Using the bread hook attachment on speed 2, combine the ingredients until it makes a ball of dough. Continue mixing for about 3 minutes, in order to knead the dough. Allow dough to rise in a warm, dry place for 30 minutes (or preheat your oven for 1 minute on the lowest setting, then turn it off and place the bowl in the oven. Fool proof way to help dough rise).

Cut dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. Flatten balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a kitchen towel and leave them on your counter for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, sprinkle a large, ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water (I boiled 4 at a time). Boil for 1 minute on each side, them remove to a paper towel for a second and transfer to the baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white and sprinkle with toppings.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

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