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Chewy Bagels

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Chewy Bagels

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And, the reason you’d make your own, when bagels are for sale everywhere? Because sometimes it’s the journey that counts, more than the destination.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
8 to 16 bagels

Ingredients

Starter

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/16 teaspoon (or pinch) instant yeast

Dough

  • all of the starter
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder or malted milk powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Starter

  • 8 1/2 ounces King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/16 teaspoon (or pinch) instant yeast

Dough

  • all of the starter
  • 10 1/2 ounces King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 ounce non-diastatic malt powder or malted milk powder (optional)
  • 4 ounces water

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Starter

  • 241g King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 227g water
  • 1/16 teaspoon (or pinch) instant yeast

Dough

  • all of the starter
  • 298g King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 7g non-diastatic malt powder or malted milk powder (optional)
  • 113g water

Glaze (optional)

  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. To make the starter: Combine the flour, water and yeast, mixing until well combined. Cover and let rest at cool room temperature overnight.
  2. To make the dough by hand or in a mixer: Combine all of the ingredients and knead vigorously, by hand for 10 to 15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be stiffer than usual; if you’re using an electric mixer it will “thwap” the sides of the bowl, and hold its shape (without spreading at all) when you stop the mixer.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise until noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into 16 pieces, to make smallish (3 1/2″) bagels. If you want larger bagels, divide the dough into 8 pieces.
  5. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball.
  6. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up very slightly.
  7. Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it’s about 1 1/2″ in diameter.
  8. Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  9. Allow the bagels to rise, covered, for about 45 minutes.
  10. While the bagels are rising, place a steamer rack in a wide pan; a canning kettle works well here. Or try your electric frying pan and a small cooling rack, if you have one; if you have a round cooling rack, it may fit into your electric fry pan. Add a couple of inches of water (to the canning kettle; less to the frying pan, and heat just to a simmer. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  11. Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the rack. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water up to a gently simmering boil. Steam the bagels for 90 seconds.
  12. Using a turner and your fingers, gently remove the bagels from the steam and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
  13. To add seeds or toppings: Brush the bagels with beaten egg white, and apply the seeds of your choice.
  14. Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like.
  15. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.
  16. Store, bagged, for 3 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 months.
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