I live in Manhattan, the veritable Bagel Capital of the World. There is really no reason I should be making bagels from scratch, right? I can run down to Mike’s on 168th and Broadway. I can run down to Absolute on 107th and Broadway, twenty minute line be damned. Hell, I can go to my local bodega four doors down and snag one for twenty-five cents. So why would I make my own?
Because I’m ambitious! Or I’m crazy. Or I just don’t have anything better to do on a Saturday morning besides laundry. (In fact, I may have decided to make these bagels as an excuse to put laundry off, because bagels > clean panties and work slacks, right?)
I regret nothing, because these bagels are delicious. Don’t let the approximate two hour and thirty minute creation time span scare you. It’s worth all one hundred fifty minutes of mixing, kneading, resting, boiling, and baking. It’s worth every dirty dish you create. It’s worth overheating your tiny apartment with a 425 degree oven. A bagel fresh out of the oven is life changing, or, at the very least, verging on orgasmic.
(Adapted from The Culinary Chronicles recipe for Garlic Bagels)
– 1 package dry yeast (approximately 2 & 1/4 teaspoons)
– 1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
– 1 & 1/4 cups warm water
– 3 & 1/2 cups flour
– 1 tablespoon garlic powder
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– A few good shakes of dried dill (optional)
Before We Get Started…
– Always be prepared! Ahead of time, I had bowls and baking sheets greased so I could move from one task to the next without lagging. I encourage you to read through these directions in full before getting any of this started.
1.) In a small bowl, add warm water. Sprinkle sugar and yeast on top; let sit for five minutes before stirring. At this time, lightly grease the inside of a large bowl; set aside.
2.) In another large bowl, mix flour, salt, and garlic powder until combined. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture. Slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour, stirring as you go along.
3.) Flour a flat surface so the dough can be kneaded. Turn dough onto floured surface; knead for approximately 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough into lightly greased bowl; cover with towel and let dough rest for one hour or until doubled in size.
4.) While dough is rising, lightly grease a baking sheet large enough to hold eight bagels. Set aside.
5.) Finely mince garlic and mix with olive oil and (optional) dill in a small bowl. Set aside.
6.) Once dough has risen, punch down. Let rest for 10 minutes.
7.) While dough is resting, preheat oven to 425 degrees. In addition, fill a large cooking pot with water and bring to a boil, then return to a simmer. Note: Pot should be large enough to cook two to three bagels.
8.) Divide dough into eight sections. Roll dough into a ball and flatten to remove any excess air bubbles. Roll dough into a ball again and press finger though center to form a hole. Stretch slightly to form bagel shape. Place bagel on lightly greased baking sheet. Once all bagels have been formed, place towel over dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
9.) Boil bagels in batches; cook on one side for one minute, then flip and cook on other side for one minute. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove bagels from water and allow water to drain; pat dry with paper towel, if necessary. Return bagels to lightly greased baking sheet when finished.
10.) Place bagels in oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes; remove from oven. Brush garlic mixture onto bagels and bake for an additional five minutes.
11.) Remove bagels from oven and cool on wire rack.