It's time for the April edition of Secret Recipe Club, and this month I was assigned Laura Rees of This is How We Eat. Laura started to blog as a way to keep a journal of recipes she enjoyed and recipes that she created.
We chose to make her bagels because we've never made bagels before. I've always been intimidated by the idea, but I think it's because it's baking, and I'm not a big fan of that. Aside from part of forming the bagels and the boiling (a stove-top activity), I hid in the basement and made myself scarce for most of the process.
Of course, there's a cost to that as well. Meredith kinda went rogue and ended up using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. On top of that, we used regular yeast instead of quick-rise (that was my fault, I bought the wrong one because as I've mentioned, I'm not a baker), and we used honey instead of sugar to sweeten the water for boiling.
But there's more. We were so impressed with how the whole-wheat bagels turned out, we decided to make a second batch using white flour as well (pictured at the top of the post).
1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
7 cups flour (white or whole wheat)
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 cups warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 egg, beaten (for the egg wash, right before baking)
- Combine yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tsp sugar, mix and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Whisk together flour salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a stand-mixer with the dough hook running on low, slowly add the yeast, water and oil.
- Continue mixing until the dough is stretchy - about 10 minutes.
- Rub dough with some olive oil and place in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let dough rise for an hour.
- After the dough has risen, line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Punch the dough down and divide it into four equal parts. Divide each quarter into four equal parts again.
- Roll each piece into a ball and punch a hole through with your thumb. Gently tease the opening and make it bigger until it's around 2-3 inches in diameter [Dan: Meredith's words, not mine!]. Place all bagels onto a sheet, cover them, and let them rise for an additional 20 minutes.
- While the bagels rise, preheat the oven to 450-degrees (using the convection setting if available) and fill a large pot with water and the 1/4 cup honey and bring it to a boil.
- After the bagels rise, boil them in batches, for a little over one minute (flipping them over after the first 30 seconds) and place them back on the baking sheets.
- Brush the bagels with the egg wash and top them with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
- Bake bagels for 15-20 minutes or until golden, rotating the bagels between top- and bottom-shelf halfway through.
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