Ok y’all, I absolutely cannot take the credit for this one. Over the holidays I saw one of my favorite Chicago bloggers, Lauren from Lake Shore Lady, making these bagels with her family and I knew right away that I was going to try making them. Bagels are hands-down my favorite breakfast food. There is nothing better to me than an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and I usually treat myself to one almost every week. I figured if I could learn how to prepare them, I could make them just like I liked them and probably save a little money along the way. Lauren said she got the recipe from Emma over at A Beautiful Mess and that it was actually really easy to make them. Count me IN. If there is anything better than a bagel, its a homemade bagel.
I will be totally honest, I have had to adjust the ingredients every time I have made these bagels. Mainly by adding just a little more water to the dough if it isn’t coming together like it should be. The first time I made the bagels I was so stressed out because I felt like the dough wasn’t right. Trial and error has made me all the wiser and I am here to let you in on a secret. It is almost impossible to mess these up. The first time I made them they didn’t look perfect but they still tasted amazing, which is a win in my book. Plus they have gotten better each time I have made them.
Recipe: Everything Bagels – Makes 8 Bagels
- 1 & 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons or 1 package of active dry yeast
- 3 & 1/2 cups bread flour (make sure you use bread flower)
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (I didn’t have so I didn’t use)
- 1 teaspoon coarse grain sea salt
- 1 egg
The link for the original recipe is here.
Ok so the first thing you want to do is combine the warm water and sugar in a small bowl and stir it until it is dissolved. Then stir in your yeast and let this sit for 6-8 minutes. It should get nice and foamy. While the yeast is activating whisk together your flour and salt. Whisking or sifting these two ingredients is important if you want to achieve a smooth dough.
Once the yeast mixture has had it’s time to activate you are going to add it to the flour mixture. Mix these together until they are combined and form a crumbly dough. This is the point where I usually have to add water to get the dough to come together. How dough forms depends on a ton of different factors so I would start with the amount of water the recipe calls for and add from there. At this point, the dough needs to be kneaded. You can either use a standup mixer or your good ol’ hands. The first few times I made these bagels I used a standup mixer but recently I have been doing it by hand. I think the dough comes out better when you knead by hand so roll up your sleeves and get to work!
If you don’t know how to knead dough it is very simple, don’t be intimidated! You are going to lay the dough out in front of you on a lightly floured surface and use the heels of your palms to flatten out the dough. Once you have gotten it stretched out a bit, take the edge of the dough furthest from you and pull it back towards you so it you are folding the dough in half. Then use the heels of your palms to flatten it out again. At this point you want to rotate the dough and fold it in half again. Flatten the dough out with your hands and keep repeating. Turning, folding and spreading the dough.
By the time you finish you will have finished an arm workout and your dough should be starting to feel more elastic-like. Once you are done kneading place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with saran-wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour. Once the dough has risen and about doubled in size, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. After the dough has risen it should feel a lot lighter, fluffier and more moist. See below.
Cut and divide your dough into eight equal size pieces. Shape your dough into a ball and use your finger to poke a hole through the middle of the bagel, creating the center. Once all the bagels have been shaped let them sit for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. You are also going to want to lay out baking sheets, line them with foil or any type of liner you prefer and spray them with a non-stick spray. I also use this time make the egg wash and organize my bagel toppings. For the egg wash, whisk the egg and 1 teaspoon of water together. In a small bowl combine your seeds and salt the create the topping for the bagels. Once you start boiling the bagels things move very quickly so I like to have all of this prepared before hand.
Once the water is boiling place the first round of bagels into the water. The bagels will double to triple in size so make sure you only put a few in the pot at a time so they have room to grow. The dough should almost immediately float to the top. You want to let them boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side.
Once they are done, tap off the excess water and move them directly to your baking sheet. Brush your bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle on your seeds. The egg wash will help the seeds to stick and give the bagels that really pretty brown color as they cook. Bake the bagels at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
These bagels are so good and really easy to make, you just need a little time to set aside, perfect for a lazy weekend morning. As you can see in the picture above they form a nice hard shell on the outside and the bottom but the middle stays fluffy and warm, just how I like it. And the best part is that you are making them and you have the control. You can experiment with different flavors and even play around with different flavors of cream cheese. I have been making veggie cream cheese at home and it has been the perfect addition to these.
Another one of my favorite things about these bagels is that once they have cooled off you can slice them, throw them in zip lock bags and freeze them. When you are ready to eat one just pull it out of the freezer, throw it into the toaster and you have a delicious homemade breakfast.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and get inspired to make some. If you do, I would love to know how they turn out. Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!