Homemade bagels 3 ways (adapted from John Lee’s recipe on Hubpages)
4 cups bread flour
3 tsps sugar (one Tbls)
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
1 package instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water
First things first. When I make a bread of any kind, I always proof my yeast, even if the recipe directions do not say to do so. I know it’s an unnecessary step in some people’s opinion, but there’s something so magical in watching the yeast puff up and breathing in the the concentrated “yeasty” smell. It’s such a distinctive scent and always evocative of warm and nostalgic memories. No wonder bread is a comfort food when yeast smells so familiarly inviting.
To proof yeast, you mix 1/2 cup warm water (and I mean lukewarm, not hot) with 1 teaspoon of sugar and a package of yeast. Let the mixture sit until the yeast is bubbly on top. Basically this step ensures that your yeast is alive and will ferment as it should, yielding a dough that will fluff and rise. It should only take about 20 minutes.
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour yeast mixture, 3/4 cup warm water and oil in the well. Mix to combine. If the dough is too dry, add the additional 1/4 cup water.
When the dough has formed a ball, place on floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is no longer tacky and has reached a smooth consistency.
Cut into eight even sized pieces, roll into balls, cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out each dough ball into a long tube. Overlap the ends around your palm so the dough is encircling your hand. Roll the ends together so you have an unbroken circle. Place on a baking sheet, cover and allow to rise for an hour. During this time, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Drop bagels into the water and allow to boil for 1 minute on each side. Do not crowd the pot! We boiled three at a time and that seemed to work well. Set aside on greased baking sheet and allow to dry.
Bake for 10 minutes and then flip. This is the fun part. Add any toppings you would like to the tops of the bagels. We made 3 different varieties.
Buffalo Blue Cheese – Blue cheese on top and then drizzle with buffalo sauce. I think if I was doing this again, I would mix some blue cheese in with the dough when I made it. Still delicious.
Jalapeno Cheddar – sliced jalapenos and lots of sharp cheddar cheese. Next time I will put chopped jalapenos in the dough for this one.
Onion – put a layer of dried minced onions on a plate and put the uncooked side of the bagel into them. This would work with really any seed or herb.
I had a really hard time deciding which flavor was my favorite. It was totally between the buffalo or the jalapeno cheddar – I love my spicy food. I will definitely be making these again. And again. And again.