Bagels have been on my kitchen to-do list for a long time now. I've always wanted to try my hand at them so I took this week's theme of breakfast as an opportunity to do so.
I found this recipe in the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day which is the book I use to make my baguettes (delish!). It has the added bonus of being able to use the remainder of the dough to make soft pretzels, another item on my kitchen to-do list! These were definitely another one of the book's successes (so far it hasn't failed me!).
On to the recipe!
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. of yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. of salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar
6 1/4 c. of bread flour
Mix all ingredients in a mixer until it all comes together in a dough. As is the nature with the recipes in this book (the particular style of baking) your dough will be very sticky.
Cover the mixture and let rise about 2 hours, until it flattens on top.
You can use it right away, but it is advised that you refrigerate it first. I did for about an hour (this makes it easier to work with)
When you are going to make the bagels put a large pot of water onto boil. 8 qts is ideal.
While it boils shape your bagels into rounds. Pull off 3 oz. chunks of dough from your dough mass (flour the surface to make it easier) and pull each of the four side out and under to form a smooth surfaced ball. Cover and let your bagels rest 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 with a pizza stone on the center rack and a boiler pan below.
When the water reaches a boil add 1/4 c. sugar and 1 tsp. baking soda and reduce to a simmer.
Punch a hole in the center of your bagel rounds and expand it until it is 3x the size of the bagel wall. Yes it really does need to be that big cuz it will shrink!
Drop your bagels into the pot. Do not overcrowd them. If they touch they can get misshapen.
Simmer 2 minutes on one side, flip with a slotted spoon and simmer another minute.
Pull bagels out and place on a clean dish towel dusted with flour to soak up some of the excess water.
Place on a lightly floured pizza peel after letting them sit a bit.
Slide into the preheated oven on the pizza stone and pour 1 c. warm water in the boiler pan. Quickly close the door and cook with steam until very brown, about 20 minutes.
Mine are probably under done and no where near as pretty as Panera's but still delicious!!
It was also advised that these are delicious hot out of the oven, but what bread isn't!?