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Standing in front of our open refrigerator door I noticed a partial tub of cream cheese we bought it for the granddaughters’ snack visit prior to the shelter-in-place order. As I stood there listening to the melodious door alarm-chime wondering what to do with it, I had an epiphany… bagels!! I haven’t made bagels in a couple of years and I was ready to try again. My first batch were ok, but not as good as what you can buy at a good bagel shop. Well, as time marches on my baking skills improve.

Bagels aren’t the easiest bread to make. It takes several proofs, rests and shaping over two days. Luckily, much of the time is consumed by proofing and resting the dough and not hands on activity. I now have some ET bagel topping so I made my favorite bagels as an extra treat.

The recipe I used last time, from ChefSteps, was good, but the resulting bagels were too small. This time I doubled the amount of dough in each bagel (from 65 g each to 130g.) This produced 8 larger bagels instead of 16 small ones.

The bagels are shaped by pressing a forefinger on one side of a dough ball and a thumb on the opposite then pushing straight through forming a hole. Next, insert two forefingers inside the hole and spin around gradually separating the fingers and enlarging the hole to 3 or 4 times the original. The resulting dough rings were about 4” diameter with a 2” hole. After the dough relaxes in the fridge the bagels were about 3 – 3.5” diameter with a 1” hole. NOTE: They will rise in the refrigerator overnight.

It turned out the hole wasn’t quite big enough and the center closed up on most of the bagels. For the next batch I will stretch the dough to a 5” diameter and 2.5” hole. I would like the final hole, after proofing to be 1.5”. NOTE: The bagels do a final rise in the oven and the hole closes in even more.

Bagels from ChefSteps

INGREDIENTS
• 350 g Water, plus more for boiling
• 650 g Bread flour, divided
• 3 g Active dry yeast
• 25 g Sugar, granulated, optional
• 25 g Diastatic malt powder
• 10 g Salt
• 25 g Molasses
• 10 g Baked baking soda

OPTIONAL
• 10 g ET bagel topping
• 10 g Black sesame seed
• 10 g Dried onion flakes
• 10 g Salt, Maldon flake
• 7 g Poppy seed
• 5 g Sesame seed
• 5 g Dried garlic flakes

METHOD

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine 350 g room temperature water, 250 g of the flour, and the active dry yeast. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the mixture proof at room temperature until it doubles in size and makes frothy bubbles that collapse when you tap the bowl on the countertop. This takes about two to three hours. (Look for a foam that resembles the one on a root beer float. If you don’t see this yet, just give the yeast a bit more time to work its magic.)
  2. In a bowl, combine the remaining 400 g of bread flour with 25 g sugar, 25 g diastatic malt powder, and 10 g salt.
  3. Use the stand mixer and the dough hook, set the mixer to lowest speed. Gradually spoon in the dry ingredients and let the dough mix until it becomes stretchy and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Working quickly to keep the dough cool, divide it into 130 g portions and set them on a parchment paper lined pan. Keep the entire sheet covered with plastic wrap as you work, tucking each new portion underneath the plastic wrap to keep any crust from forming.
  6. First, form a dome. Make a circle with one hand, place a piece of portioned dough halfway inside it, and use one finger of your other hand to turn the dough while gradually pushing it through the circle tightening the dough as you work around the outside. You want to end up with a nice, taut dome.
  7. Next, turn that dome into a ball. Hold the dome with the concave underside facing up. Pinch the dough closed across the “bowl,” then roll the seam on the work surface until smooth. When you finish each piece, return it to its spot under the plastic wrap on the sheet pan.
  8. Cool the dough balls in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  9. Working with one ball at a time, use two fingers to pinch a hole through the center of the dough, turning it while you work. Once you break through the dough, turn it on its side (like a spinning wheel). Stick both of your index fingers through the hole from opposite directions, and spin them around each other, slowly stretching out the hole until you can fit three fingers through it. Return the shaped dough to its covered spot on the tray. (You might need a second tray.)
  10. Allow to proof at room temperature until a dough ring floats when set in a bowl of water. This will take about 20–40 minutes. (If the test ring sinks, proof a bit longer. The bagel I used for this test stuck to the parchment paper in the refrigerator overnight. Be careful.)
  11. Make sure the tray(s) are wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, and let them cool in the refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to develop.
  12. In a large pot over high heat, bring 5 L water, 25 g molasses, and 10 g baking soda to a roiling boil.
  13. Preheat the oven to 425 °F / 218 °C (Use convection if available)
  14. Working in batches, drop the bagels into the water and boil for 60 seconds, then flip them with a spider strainer or fork and boil for another 60 seconds. Transfer them with their smooth, rounded sides up, to a wire rack on a half-sheet pan.
  15. If you’re adding the seasoning mix—or your own choice of toppings—now’s the time to sprinkle it over the tops of the bagels.
  16. Transfer the bagels to a parchment paper–lined half-sheet pan and move it to the center rack of the preheated oven.
  17. Bake for seven minutes, spin the tray around to ensure even cooking, and continue baking until bagels have a nice, brown color—about seven more minutes.. To be sure they are done check the internal temperature is over 190 deg.