Before these bagels were cooked, they had names all over them. Our taste testers were extremely enthusiastic about eating the bagels, which is no surprise. While they were baking, the scent of everything bagels flooded the kitchen area and caused an awful lot of salivation and dreamy eyes, staring off into space. Eating the bagels also gave us all dreamy eyes. To say everyone loved these bagels is truly an understatement. Someone may have dropped a piece on the floor, thought about it for approximately three seconds and then announced, “I’m still eating it” and picked it up. That someone may have been me.
These bagels take a long time, but the payoff is so worth the effort. If you’ve only ever eaten bagels from the grocery store shelf, you are in for a real treat. These are like a whole new food, they aren’t like those rubbery, chewy bagels you might pull out of a plastic sleeve. The delicious texture of these homemade bagels comes from the bread flour. Don’t use all-purpose flour unless you actually want your bagels extra chewy and grocery store-esque.
Use quick rise yeast or else you will have to wait much longer for bagels, and that’s just a bad time overall. A stand mixer with dough hooks will become your best friend for this recipe. If you knead your dough by hand, and you make a lot of bagels, expect arms like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to develop after some time.
We used brown sugar in our recipe, but only because we didn’t have barley malt syrup. If you can get your hands on some barley malt syrup, that’s what you should use instead of brown sugar, but if you absolutely can’t find it, brown sugar is fine. Honey is another suitable substitute.
When you are adding our bagel seasoning, be as generous as you want but remember that our spices are super flavorful. We can’t stop you from coating the whole bagel in seasoning, but you may become overwhelmed by how delicious the bagel is and eat the whole batch by yourself.
- Combine 1 ½ cups warm water and yeast in a liquid measuring cup and let rest for 5 minutes. Mixture should be foamy.
- Attach dough hooks to a stand mixer. In the mixer bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt and beat for a few seconds. Set mixer to medium speed and slowly drizzle yeast and water mixture in.
- Turn mixer to low speed, and mix until all the flour has been worked into the dough. If the dough has a shredded appearance, that’s ok. Turn mixer to medium again, and mix for 8 minutes. Bagel dough is very stiff. If the dough starts breaking up, or splits, stop mixer and form it back together with your hands. Do not add more liquid. Dough will be smooth when finished.
- On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough from mixing bowl and shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased large bowl, and lightly grease dough as well. Cooking spray works well for this. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let rise for 1½hours. It should be nearly doubled in size. This could take slightly longer.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, or use silicone mats. After the dough is finished rising, gently punch down any air bubbles. Turn dough onto lightly floured table and cut into 8 equal pieces, and shape into balls. Place 4 balls on each sheet. To form bagel, grab a dough ball and poke your index finger through it. With two fingers, widen the hole in a circular motion. Cover prepared bagels with a damp towel, as you prepare the water bath.
- Prepare the water bath. A 5- quart Dutch oven works really well for this. Add 2 quarts water, and bring to a boil. Add barley malt syrup, or honey and mix well. Lower heat to a simmer. Drop 2 bagels at a time into water bath and cook for a minute per side. Place on cooling rack. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place 4 bagels each on baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg mixture, on top and the sides. Sprinkle on, or dip bagels in Bagel Seasoning and place bagels back on baking sheet.
- Place bagels in a 425 degrees F oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Rotate baking sheets half way through baking time. When finished baking, place bagels on a cooling rack.
- Serve toasted with your choice of toppings and enjoy!