Better Bagels

Better Bagels

This can be a two-day or one extended day project. For a single day, start with the sponge early in the morning and rest in the fridge only three to four hours instead of overnight.
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Rise: 2 hours + Overnight
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Total: 1 hour active + overnight
  • Yields 12 bagels
Better Bagels
  • Sponge
  • 18 ounces bread flour (4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Combine yeast and flour in a large mixing bowl.
  • 2 ½ cups water, room temperature (20 ounces)
  • Slowly add the water, stirring with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until it combine into a smooth, sticky batter.
  • Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubles in size, about 2 hours.
  • Dough
  • 18 ounces bread flour (4 cups)
  • 2 ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Add flour, salt, honey, and instant yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until a rough dough forms.
  • Kneading
  • Transfer dough to a clean work surface and knead by hand until smooth but firm, about 10 minutes. If the dough seems too dry, add additional water one teaspoon at a time. If the dough seems to sticky, add additional flour, a teaspoon or two at a time, and incorporate it into the dough.
  • Using a pastry knife or bench scraper, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a small round by rolling it with your hands.
  • Rising
  • cooking spray oil
  • Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly mist with cooking spray oil. Place dough on prepared parchment paper and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow rounds to rest for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Shaping
  • One at a time, take each round of dough and gentle poke a hole through the center with your thumb. Using a circular motion, move your thumb to widen the hold until it is about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Try to ensure that the dough is even and is not thicker or thiner in some spots. When formed, place the raw bagel on the prepared pan and repeat with remaining dough.
  • cooking spray oil
  • Gently mist the tops of raw bagels with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Float Test and Overnight Rise
  • water
  • Check to see if the bagels are ready to be place in the fridge by conducting a 'float test'. Fill a small bowl with cool water and drop one bagel into the water. If it floats within 10 seconds they are ready to go in the fridge. If it does not float, remove the bagel, pat it dry, return it to the pan, cover it, and let it rest for another 20 minutes. Repeat the test until it floats.
  • Once the bagel floats, remove it, pat it dry, return it to the pan, and cover it. Place both pans in the fridge overnight.
  • Second Day
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  • Boiling
  • 4 quarts water
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot.
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Add baking soda to water once boiling.
  • Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit. They should float within 10 seconds.
  • After 1 minute, flip bagels over using a slotted spoon or tongs. Poach bagels on other side for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  • cornmeal
  • While bagels are boiling, sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal on the parchment paper.
  • Remove bagels from the water and place on cornmeal-dusted parchment paper. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  • Topping (Optional)
  • sesame seeds, salt, sugar, or other toppings
  • If you want to top your bagels with any seasonings or seeds, do so right after they have boiled. Place topping in a small bowl and place bagel, top down, into the topping. Gently move it around to ensure that it is well coated on the top. Invert and return to baking sheet.
  • Baking
  • Once all of the bagels have been boiled, place the baking pans in the oven. Bake at 500°F for five minutes, then rotate and switch pans. Reduce temperature to 450°F and continue baking until bagels are a light to medium golden brown and the thickest part of the bagel reaches 195°F on an instant read thermometer, about 8 additional minutes.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
From MakeBetterFood.com. . (http://makebetterfood.com/recipes/better-bagels/).
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