Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bagels 101: Step 1 The Dough

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to make bagels all the time. Or at least pretty regularly. I even went to a King Arthur class to learn how to make Really Good Bagels.


Then life happened (hmmm, it happens a lot around here, I have noticed) and somehow I fell out of the habit of making bagels. I have to admit that I even sometimes BOUGHT them instead of making them from scratch. Oh, the shame!


A few weeks ago, I was talking to my bee farmer friend and we did talk about making bagels. He said 'I would love to learn how to make them.' I found myself replying 'No problem, I'll teach you.' Of course, life was happening for both of us, so we never managed to get together yet to actually follow through on this.


Yesterday, I was talking to another brilliant friend, and he helped me figure out that I could just make bagels at home, and post on my blog how to do it. Almost as good as teaching in person, with the added benefit that more people can learn from it. Aren't y'all lucky I am willing to share my master's knowledge!


The dough, this makes 8 bagels. I quadrupled it for my family, giving us 32 of them. Twenty-two of which have been eaten so far.

- 4 cups (18 ounces) Sir Lancelot High Gluten Flour (I used plain King Arthur Flour, and actually any white flour should do, although the higher gluten percentage the better)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder
- 1.5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1.25 cups water

Combine all the ingredients and knead strongly and vigorously. The dough is a very dry dough, more so than 'standard' bread dough. Let it rise for about 30 to 40 minutes.

After rising, divide the dough in eight pieces. Roll each piece into a nice, smooth ball. The smoother the ball, the better-looking the final result will be. In our house, we rarely have perfect looking bagels, but they taste good anyway. Let those balls rest for a while, about 15 to 20 minutes. I usually put a tea towel over them to prevent them from drying out. While they are resting, prepare the water bath for boiling.
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