Sunday mornings are made for bagels and the New York Times magazine.
I grew up very close to the big jewish neighbourhood in Toronto and on Sunday mornings we used to go to this amazing bakery called The Old Fashioned Bagel Factory. You would watch perect rows of bagels come out of the oven on a conveyer belt and they would pick them straight off pop them into a brown paper bag and roll the top down so when we got home they were still warm. We would stop on the way home to pick up Western cream cheese and Kristapsons smoked salmon.
Since then, I have moved across the country and live quite a ways away from from a good bagel place, if there is a good bagel place in Vancouver which I am beginning to doubt. So on Sunday morning I woke up with a mission, I needed a real bagel, I needed good smoked salmon and I needed it stat.
So I made bagels on Sunday morning.
Bagels are really not that hard. I promise. I’m sure if you planned your bagel cravings you could make the ones from Peter Reinhaardt book that take 2 days and they would be exceptional. But I made very good bagels on under 2 hours. Which, I think, is pretty good!
Crazily out of this Sunday morning madness the hardest thing to find was cream cheese! So if your wondering where it is in the picture it was substituted for with butter.
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (or more if needed)
3 ½ cups (500g) All Purpose Flour
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
Additional toppings, like sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds or even just some course salt. I used black sesame seeds (because I had some at home, and some pink Hawaiian salt and they looked so pretty with the black and pink!)
- Mix yeast with sugar and 1 cup of water. Make it body temperature, so test the water against the inside of your wrist. If it feels barely warm you’ve got the temperature. If the water is to hot it will kill the yeast, if it’s to cold it was stunt the yeast and take longer to rise.
- Mix the flour and salt in a mixer or in a bowl if your feeling energetic enough to knead it by hand.
- When the yeast mixture starts to get foamy on top scrape it into the mixer and start kneading.
- When it has become a smooth and elastic dough do the window test. Take a little pice and squish it until its very thin. Then pull in gently, if you can see through it your gluten has developed enough. If it rips keep kneading.
- Once the dough has been kneaded enough cover it with a towel and let it rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in volume. My apartment it pretty cold this time of year, so i put it beside (but not on!) my oven and leave me oven on with the door a little bit open. This may seem wasteful but it won’t rise otherwise!
- Once the dough has doubled put it out in the counter (unfloured!) and cut it in half, then half again then half again so you have 8 even pieces.
Here’s the hard part- form then into perfect balls. Cup your hand over and slowly swirl the piece of dough into a circle. You want the bottom to catch on your unfloured surface and swirl together so that there isn’t a seam. Then stil your finger through in the middle and stretch out the hole until its about an inch wide. This will take some practise. If your having alot of trouble you can always roll it into a rope and then wrap them together.
Preheat your oven to 425F and bring a large pot of water up to a boil.
When the water is at a rolling boil carefully drop a couple bagels into the pot. They should float to the surface almost immediately, if not carefully poke them with a wooden spoon and they should pop up right away. Let them float for about a minute and then flip them. If you like your bagels really dense you can leave them in for longer.
Line the bagels on a lined baking sheet.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush your bagels with it. Then sprinkle your toppings on and bake them until they are a beautiful amber colour.
And look! You made bagels! Well done.