Fresh Baked Bagels Recipe

Boy howdy was I ever grumpy when I awoke on this dreary 13th day of the 13th week of the 13th month of this longest. winter. ever. Or so it seems, with the polar vortexing and the winter storms that have people names that I hate. So, always striving towards efficiency, I decided to try the productive anger management therapy known as “hand kneading stiff dough.” And the oven heats the house up nicely, so we got a twofer.

Having had some recent success making soft pretzels with my cubs, I started googling bagel recipes thinking the processes might be similar and was disappointed to not find many with favorable reviews. At long last, I settled on the King Arthur Flour recipe, which had many favorable reviews but called for ingredients I do not (nor ever have) had. I’m talking about you, non-diastatic malt powder, whatever you might be…

My angry little hand angrily kneading dough

My angry little hand angrily kneading dough

Step one was blooming a packet of yeast in a warm water-sugar-molasses mixture. The original recipe called for non-diastatic malt powder(?), brown sugar, or barley malt syrup, but I was fresh out of brown sugar and this ain’t a damn brewery (maybe? is that what barley malt syrup is for?), hence the sugar and molasses.

The recipe also called for bread flour and several of the reviews seemed to indicate protein content was very important to the texture of the final product so I added in one lightly beaten egg and increased the all-purpose flour content to 4 1/3 cups to form a stiff dough I could punch.

The kneaded dough rose for about an hour before it was ready for me to attempt to make bagel shapes.

pre-riserisen dough

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous that my bagels would turn out oblong or dense or some other type of failure, so I followed the next steps carefully as I cut the dough in 9 equal portions. Each was shaped into a ball and evenly spaced on a lined cookie sheet to proof for half an hour before they were ready for holing. It was actually easily done by poking an index finger through the middle of the ball and stretching until the hole was about 2 inches across. They went into the kettle (water, baking soda, sugar and molasses at a rolling boil) for 2 minutes on one side and one minute on the other before baking for 20 minutes at 425ºf.

bagel ballsraw bagelstiny helper
kettling bagelsbaking bagelsbaked bagels

The original recipe gives instructions for variations like brushing with egg wash and sprinkling with assorted seeds, but I wanted to keep it simple for my test case. I need not have worried, they came out OMG delicious. Perfect texture, great flavor, good with cream cheese, good as sandwich bread, and quite soothing to winter grumpies.

Print Recipe
Homemade Bagels
A straightforward homemade bagel recipe adapted to use ingredients you'd find in a regular family kitchen
Prep Time 2 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings
Bagels
Ingredients
For the Bagels
For the Kettle
Prep Time 2 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings
Bagels
Ingredients
For the Bagels
For the Kettle
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the sugar and molasses into the warm water in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast atop the mixture, letting it sit for about 10 minutes until it starts to foam.
  2. Mix in the flour, egg and salt and knead until smooth and elastic before placing in a lightly oiled bowl, covering, and put it in your favorite rising spot until doubled (about an hour)
  3. Punch the dough down and cut into 9 equal portions, rolling each into a ball and spacing them several inches apart on a parchment lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet and allow to rise back up slightly (for about half an hour) while you bring your kettle ingredients to a rolling boil.
  4. Poke a hole in the center of each ball with your finger and swirl it around to widen the hole until it's 2 inches in diameter.
  5. Working in batches, boil each bagel for 2 minutes, turn, and boil for an additional minute on the other side.
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 425f for 20-25 minutes and cool on rack
Recipe Notes

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

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