The first time I made bagels at home they were a big success. We are fortunate enough to live in a city where we can purchase good-quality bagels from nearby, and we are so in love with the rosemary olive oil bagels from one of our favorite local shops. I wanted to attempt making a similar flavor at home, so I began by using the same dough recipe I had used the first time, and I just improvised from there.
The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, so I just substituted olive oil. Then I added what I thought looked like enough chopped fresh rosemary (about 2 tablespoons). This method ensured that the rosemary and olive oil were both completely infused into the dough rather than sprinkled on top, creating an amazing flavor with every bite.
The verdict? Well, there is nothing like the aroma and taste of fresh bread straight from the oven. These bagels were soft and light, and nicely infused with that garlic and herb flavor I was shooting for. Next time I might even be a bit more bold with the rosemary and toss in some more, but these were devoured in no time!
Rosemary Olive Oil Bagels
Source: Adapted from The Book of Bread, by Judith & Evan Jones
Makes 12 bagels
*Note: A kitchen scale is very helpful here to make the bagels uniform in size
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm skim milk
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
3 3/4-4 cups unbleached all purpose flower
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 egg white
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 1/2 cup of 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 and the rosemary 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 4-ounce pieces (about 12). See note below. 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 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 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.
Bake the bagels in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Bagel size: Bagel size is certainly a personal preference. I like smaller bagels that are more manageable to eat in one sitting rather than the gargantuan things that you find in stores and restaurants these days. The first time I made bagels, I followed the recipe exactly and made each bagel with 2 ounces of dough. I actually found those to be a little bit too small for me. This time I tried doubling their size, using 4 ounces of dough. Gah, they were a little too big! So NEXT time I make bagels, I will make each with 3 ounces of dough and hopefully we’ll have the perfect size…for us. This is a process, people. This is what’s so great about cooking – experimentation and the constant opportunity for change and improvement!