I love me some bagels.
I would go as far to say that bagels are one of my biggest weaknesses.
Crusty, soft, chewy salty goodness.
Panera, Einstein Bros, or even out of the bins at the grocery store, heck out of the pre-packaged bags at the grocery store.
I love them all!
But I have to confess – the idea of making my own bagels never crossed my mind. I mean, why make something that you can buy in all of its goodness down the street? But – if you make your own bagels, then you know exactly what’s going in them – minus extra sodium and preservatives. I saw a craisin bagel recipe a while back, shortly after I had bought a 5lb bag of craisins at Costco. Kills two birds with one stone, right? And now that I wasn’t so scared of yeast…
Ugh. My first attempt at the bagel making was a giant FAIL. I didn’t notice that the recipe called for “instant” yeast as opposed to the “dry active” yeast that I had. Apparently there is a difference between the two and my dough did not rise AT ALL. Dough in the trash.
I tried again this weekend, using a different recipe that called for active yeast, rather than going through the hassle of trying to covert the recipe to accommodate my active yeast. Turns out, this was a great idea, because this recipe was super simple. And I just threw a few handfuls of craisins in at the end of the mixing.
The result? Crusty bagelness on the outside, warm, chewy, tart bagelness on the inside! So yummy. I sliced them all fresh out of the oven and threw them in a freezer bag. Take one out in the morning, pop it in the toaster, and top with cream cheese! I’ve never looked forward to breakfast so much…
I will do a few things different next time. First, my holes were not nearly big enough. The hole shrinks as the dough rises, just an FYI. Make your holes BIG – way bigger than you think to make them. Second, the baking time needs to be adjusted for high altitude. The bottoms of my bagels got a little too crispy, so maybe check them at 20 minutes instead of waiting until 25.
The recipe looks long and complicated – but don’t be scared!
Simple Bagel Recipe (with Craisin add-in)
Courtesy of bagelrecipes.net
4 ½ cups bread flour
2 packets active dry yeast (or 2 ½ tsp)
1 ½ cups warm water (110 degrees)
4 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp salt
¾ cup of craisins or raisins
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour and yeast. Combine 1 ½ cups warm water, 3 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp salt, then pour over flour mixture.
Beat at a low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of the bowl constantly. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Add craisins if desired.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Dough should be moderately stiff. Knead until smooth and elastic. Press in any craisins trying to escape. When smooth and elastic, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Cut into 12 even portions and shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each and pull gently to enlarge the hole to two inches. Place on a cookie sheet, cover, and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
Heat broiler to low-medium.
Broil the bagels five inches from the heat for 90 seconds on each side (will speed up the rising process).
Heat a large stock pot with a gallon of water, plus 1 tbsp of sugar.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high.
Boil bagels 4 at a time for 8 minutes, turning once in the middle. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Return to baking sheet.
When all bagels have been boiled, bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.
Slice and enjoy!