I love bagels, especially boiled bagels, which is really the only thing that should be calling itself a bagel. I went with Nigella Lawson's bagel recipe. I was a little leery since I find her instructions aren't always as detailed as a novice might need, but I'm getting confident with my baking so I gave it a go.
The bagels turned out perfectly. Well, not nearly as pretty as her's but there were a few decent ones that made it in the photo. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough, and it almost overheated. I think once the dough really comes together it would be wise to knead it by hand. I literally think I would cry if something happened to my mixer.
Not terribly labour intensive, these bagels are worthy of a bakery (other than their looks) so I'll definitely make them again, although I probably could have let them brown just a bit more.
Note: These bagels got quite hard the next day, so eat them fast or freeze them within a day. :)
6 3/4 - 7 c bread flour, plus more as necessary for kneading
1 tbsp salt
1 pkg Rapid Rise yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil, plus more for greasing
2 1/4 c warm water (about 110 F), plus more as needed
2 tbsp malt or sugar for poaching
2-3 baking sheets, oiled or greased
1. Combine flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. In separate container, add sugar and oil to the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a spatula or wooden spoon.
2. Knead the dough either by hand or with dough hook, try to add more flour if you can. The dough is better dryer than wet. It will be stiff and hard to work. Even with a dough hook, kneading takes about 10 minutes. (keep an eye on this if you're using a mixer, I found it only took about 8 minutes)
3. Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour. Once dough is well risen, poke with finger to test; impression should remain.
4. Punch the dough down and knead again, divide into 3 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a rope then cut each rope into 5 pieces. Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into a ball, then roll another rope; curling to form a ring. Seal the ends by overlapping and pinching the ends together.
5. Put on a large pan of water to boil, when it boils, add malt or sugar.
6. Set the bagels on the baking sheets, cover with tea towels and leave for 20 minutes. Bagels should grow puffy. Preheat oven to 500 F(or your oven's max temp.)
7. When the water is boiling, start poaching. Drop in a few bagels at a time. Boil for 1 minute, flipping once. Remove from water, place back on baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they're shiny and golden brown.
Makes 15 Bagels