- Make bagels: Combine water, flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until dough is well-developed, about 8 minutes. To ensure the gluten has developed fully, cut off a walnut-sized piece of dough. Flour your fingers, and then stretch the dough: if it tears immediately, the dough needs more kneading. Fully developed dough should form a thin translucent “windowpane.”
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let rise for 2 hours.
- Punch dough down, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and use a knife or dough scraper to divide the dough into 6 pieces (or more, for smaller bagels). Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape about 6 inches long. Join the ends to form a circle. Repeat with the remaining dough, and let the bagels rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange small plates with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and onion flakes next to the baking sheet.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add honey, if desired (see Editor’s Note). Boil three bagels at a time, until they rise to the surface of the pot, about 1 minute per side. Remove bagels with a slotted spoon and place them on the lined baking sheet.
- Dip the tops of the wet bagels into the toppings and arrange them, seed-side up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Bake in the preheated oven until the bagels begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Editor’s Note:Adding honey or barley malt syrup to the boiling water bath gives the bagels a pleasing chewy texture with a hint of sweetness. You may omit the honey if desired. The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of honey. The actual amount of honey consumed will vary.
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