February 9, 2014


Bagels - chalk it up to one of those things I normally wouldn't make, since they're so easy to buy, but had to attempt at least once in my lifetime.  I turned to Cook's Illustrated's Baking Book for the recipe and had really fantastic results.  

The ingredients are few and the process is simple but you will need to plan ahead as the dough needs to proof at least 12 hours in the fridge.   Also, a stand mixer is an absolute necessity for this recipe since the dough is much stiffer and drier than normal breads.  

I admit that I don't see myself making bagels often, but if I'm ever hundreds of miles away from the nearest Noah's I've got it covered.    
Makes 8 bagels.
4 cups high-gluten flour
2 teaspoons table salt
1 tablespoon barley malt syrup or powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 1/4 cups water (lukewarm, 80 degrees)
3 tablespoons cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet 
Toppings, if desired (poppy seeds, onion flakes, sesame seeds, etc.)
Mix flour, salt, and malt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Add yeast and water; mix at lowest speed until dough looks scrappy, like shreds just beginning to come together, about 4 minutes. Increase to speed 2; continue mixing until dough is cohesive, smooth, and stiff, 8 to 10 minutes. 
Turn dough on to work surface; divide into eight portions, about 4 ounces each. Roll pieces into smooth balls and cover with towel or plastic wrap to rest for 5 minutes.   Form dough balls into dough rings, place on cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (12 to 18 hours). 
About 20 minutes before baking, remove dough rings from refrigerator. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Fill large soup kettle with 3-inch depth of water; bring to rapid boil. To test the proofing of the dough rings, fill large bowl with cool water. Drop dough ring into bowl; it should float immediately to surface (if not, retest every 5 minutes). 
Working four at a time, drop dough rings into boiling water, stirring and submerging loops with Chinese skimmer or slotted spoon (illustration 5), until very slightly puffed, 30 to 35 seconds. Remove rings from water; transfer to wire rack, bottom side down, to drain. 
Transfer boiled rings, rough side down, to parchment paper--lined baking sheet or baking stone. Bake until deep golden brown and crisp, about 14 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Topping ingredients stick to the bagels best when applied to the dough rings just as they come out of the boiling water, while still wet and sticky from boiling, (illustration 6). Options include:raw sesame seeds, poppy or caraway seeds, dehydrated onion or garlic flakes, or sea or kosher salt. You can also combine toppings. For example, use 2 tablespoons each of sesame and poppy seeds and 1 tablespoon each of caraway seeds, sea or kosher salt, dehydrated onion flakes, and dehydrated garlic flakes.


  1. Anonymous2/09/2014

    They look great! What kind of flour did you use for the high-gluten? Bread flour?

    1. Treats2/10/2014

      I bought high-gluten flour and the barley malt syrup from the King-Arthur website.


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