Sunday, May 18, 2008


I know I said I would make the ciabatta again and post the recipe, but I totally lied. I saw this bagel recipe and knew I had to make it. Now, I have never been to New York City (I have said, "Hey! Can't you see I'm walkin' here!?" a few times, but that's about it) so I am not going to call these New York style bagels lest Lindsay drive up to Canada just to kick my butt. I will say, though, that these are the best bagels I have ever had. I now utterly shun and reject those round pieces of garbage they are passing off as bagels at the grocery store.

Makes 1 dozen bagels
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 cups water

- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Finishing touches:
- 1 tablespoon baking soda for the water
- cornmeal for dusting the pan
- toppings for the bagels such as seeds, salt, onion, or garlic

The Night Before
1. Stir the yeast into the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until all ingredients are blended. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for two hours.
2. Remove the plastic wrap and stir the additional yeast into the sponge. Add 3 cups of the flour, sugar, and the salt into the bowl and mix until all of the ingredients form a ball. You need to work in the additional 3/4 cups of flour to stiffen the dough, either while still mixing in the bowl or while kneading. The dough should be stiffer and drier than normal bread dough, but moist enough that all of the ingredients are well blended.
3. Pour the dough out of the bowl onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes.
4. Immediately after kneading, split the dough into a dozen small pieces around 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a ball and set it aside. When you have all 12 pieces made, cover them with a damp towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.
5. Shape each bagel by punching your thumb through the center of each roll and then rotate the dough, working it so that the bagel is as even in width as possible.
6. Place the shaped bagels on an oiled sheet pan, with an inch or so of space between one another (use two pans, if you need to). If you have parchment paper, line the sheet pan with parchment and spray it lightly with oil before placing the bagels on the pan. Cover the pan with plastic and allow the dough to rise for about 20 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.

Baking Day
1. Preheat the oven to 500.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to the pot.
3. When the pot is boiling, drop a few of the bagels into the pot one at a time and let them boil for a minute. Use a large, slotted spoon or spatula to gently flip them over and boil them on the other side.
4. Before removing them from the pot, sprinkle corn meal onto the sheet pan. Remove them one at a time, set them back onto the sheet pan, and top them right away, while they are still slightly moist. Repeat this process until all of the bagels have been boiled and topped.
5. Once they have, place the sheet pan into the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees, rotate the pan, and bake for another 5 minutes until the bagels begin to brown. Remove, cool on wire racks, and eat.

A Note on Plain Bagels
I like a plain bagel with no seeds of any kind, so I topped mine with a cornstarch wash I read about here (via Have Cake will Travel) on the PPK forum.