All these years I thought bagels required some sort of complicated alchemy to bake at home. It turns out that I was wrong, and thankfully so, because I love the carbby-goodness of bagels and now I know that they’re easy to pull together somewhat last minute. I took a look at the recipe expecting multiple rises, mysterious ingredients and a lot of frustration. The recipe covered a few pages, but it turns out it’s essentially one, quick rise and then (if you’ve planned right) a good rest in the refrigerator over-night is all that is needed. The ingredients? Water, sugar, yeast, salt, shortening and flour. I used a 50:50 mix of whole wheat and AP flour which gave it a good, wheaty (is that a word?) flavor without becoming too dense. I also only had two tablespoons of shortening in the house so I just added a tablespoon of butter in place of the final tablespoon of shortening.
The first batch followed the instructions pretty closely:
- Boiled for 90 seconds per side.
- Baked on a pre-heated stone for 25 minutes, then 5 in the turned-off oven with the door closed, then 5 with the door open.
That batch could qualify for use in the NHL (were they playing). Very crisp crusts, especially so on the bottom. Though the interior was tender, crusty bagels are not my kind of thing, so I made some adjustments:
- Based on comments in the P&Q post, I dropped it to a 45-60 second boil per side.
- Took the stone out and used a parchment-lined baking sheet (no worries about gluing to the pan).
- Skipped the 5 minute “rest” with the door closed and went straight to the open-door rest.
The second batch was far, far better and made a tasty turkey and swiss sandwich which I broiled for a few minutes to get good, melty cheese and a warm bagel. All in all, now I know I can add bagels to my regular weekend baking.