Real Homemade Bagels

1 1/4 cups water
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 quarts water
1 cup honey (optional)
Toppings:
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes (optional
1 tablespoon coarse salt (optional)

Combine 1 1/4 cup
water, flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, vegetable oil, and yeast in the
mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed using the dough hook
until well-developed, about 8 minutes. To ensure the gluten has
developed fully, cut off a walnut-sized piece of dough. Flour your
fingers, and then stretch the dough: if it tears immediately, the dough
needs more kneading. Fully developed dough should form a thin
translucent “windowpane.”
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let rise for 2 hours.

Punch the dough
down, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and use a knife or
dough scraper to divide the dough into 6 pieces (or more, for smaller
bagels). Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape about 6 inches
long. Join the ends to form a circle. Repeat with the remaining dough,
and let the bagels rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Arrange small plates with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and onion flakes
next to the baking sheet.

Bring 4 quarts water
 to a boil in a large pot. Add honey, if desired (see Editor’s Note).
Boil the bagels, three at a time, until they rise to the surface of the
pot, about 1 minute per side. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and
 place them on theparchment-lined baking sheet.

Dip the tops of the
wet bagels into the toppings and arrange them, seeds up, on the baking
sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Bake in the preheated oven
 until the bagels begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

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