I was a bit nervous about making these bagels, because one of my friends had a negative experience trying to make them recently. However, I decided to go for it anyway. Also, I didn’t have any breakfast food in the house. While I thought it would be a big long project (like many dough-based recipes), these were pretty easy to make. They took about 4 hours from start to finish, but that includes inactive time while the dough was rising and resting. I got the recipe from The Book of Bread, by Judith and Evan Jones. I will definitely try making these again soon, and I’ll try some more adventurous toppings when I do!
Source: The Book of Bread, by Judith & Evan Jones
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm skim milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
3 3/4-4 cups unbleached all purpose flower
1 egg white
Makes 18 bagels
Put the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl (I put them in my standing mixer bowl) and pour half the warm skim milk over them. Let stand to dissolve. Add the oil, salt, and eggs, and beat thoroughly. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the flour until you have a firm dough. Turn the dough out on a floured work surface and knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, bouncy dough. (I used the dough hook in my standing mixer to knead the dough, and this took about 10 minutes. Then I kneaded it by hand a few times.) Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise until doubled in bulk – about 40 minutes.
Turn the dough out and divide into 18 pieces. (I divided mine into 16 pieces instead, each weighing about 2 ounces. Next time, I would like to make them a bit bigger, maybe 4 ounces each) Cover them lightly with a towel. One by one form each piece of dough into a ring by shaping it first into a round, then flattening it to a circumference of about 1 1/2 inches; now make a hole by thrusting your index finger, well floured, into the center.
Twirl the circle around your finger to stretch the hole, then widen it further by gently pulling back the edges and evening and plumping the roll as you do so. Let the rolls rest for 20 minutes, covered with a towel.
Meanwhile put 3 quarts of water with the remaining sugar (1 1/2 tablespoons) into a large pot and bring to a boil. Starting with the first of the circles you shaped, drop them gently, 3 at a time, into the simmering water. They will rise quickly to the surface and swell up. Poach the first side 3-4 minutes, then turn to cook the other side 3 minutes. If the holes start to close up, ease them open with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Remove the bagels with a slotted spatula and place on a greased cookie sheet. Paint the tops with egg white. If you want some – or all – of the bagels sesame-covered, press 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds over the glazed tops. If you want some with onions, 10 minutes before they have finished baking, spread 1 teaspoon chopped onions, which have been sauteed in butter until translucent, over the top of each and return to the oven. I topped my bagels with sesame and poppy seeds, fresh chopped rosemary, sea salt, and onions as suggested in the recipe. You can cover them with whatever you like!
Bake the bagels in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.