I really enjoy bagels and have been aware for some time that in the UK we don’t really get authentic bagels in the supermarkets. So I checked many recipes and videos for how to make New York Style bagels, that are chewy in texture rather than the bready supermarket ones.
There was so many slight variations in how to make them, but mostly they were pretty similar. Although I intend to try to make Montreal style bagels at some time for this first attempt I opted for the NY style, which tend to be larger(fatter), I think.
The difference between these and the supermarket bagels is that these are chewy, which is authentic for NY style bagels, and they are boiled in water before baking in the oven. I believe that step is skipped by commercial manufacturers who opt for using steam in the oven. That doesn’t result in the same result, so I went for boiling.
Bread flour is used when making bagels, as the higher level of protein means more gluten and a stronger structure to the dough. But the addition of vital wheat gluten(which is optional) adds even more gluten. Very strong bread flour could be used too in place of the ordinary bread flour.
Although the process takes some time, as the dough is refrigerated overnight, and there are quite a few steps in the entire process it is most worthwhile. The end result is so much better than you can buy in the stores. In fact I don’t think I shall ever buy a supermarket bagel again, as they are expensive compared to bread rolls and are so very similar in taste and texture. So from now on it will be bread rolls or home made bagels for me.
I was very happy with how these bagels turned out, they have a lovely chewy texture, with a very tasty crust due to the inclusion of malt powder(or barley malt syrup) in the boiling water. There is also malt extract(barley malt syrup) in the dough as well and it certainly makes a wonderfully tasting bagel.
My niece, who was the recipient of most of the bagels has just reported back that they are fantastic, particularly with the ‘everything bagel’ topping. That is a topping of flaked onion, flaked garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and sea salt, which gives some great additional flavour elements.
- 600g(approx 4 cups) Strong white flour(bread flour)
- 20g(4 tsp) vital wheat gluten(optional) this adds extra gluten to the dough
- 337g(1 1/3 cup) warm water
- 6 g(1 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 26g(4 tsp) malt extract, or barley malt syrup
- 40g(3 tbsp) corn meal to cover the baking trays
- 1 tbsp diastatic malt powder(or tbps honey or malt extract) for boiling water
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- Sesame seeds
- Poppy Seeds
- Everything Bagel(onion flakes, garlic flakes, sea salt, sesame seeds and poppy seeds mixed together)
- Mix the malt extract into the warm water to dissolve.
- Sprinkle the yeast onto the water and mix. Then leave to activate for 10 minutes. The liquid should be frothy on top after that time.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer put the flour, salt and vital wheat extract and mix to combine.
- When the yeast has activated pour the liquid into the flour mixture and mix with the dough hook, on slow speed for about 4 minutes, until the flour is all combined and clumping around the dough hook.
- Increased the speed to medium low and continue kneading for another 7 to 9 minutes, until the dough is smooth and only slightly tacky.
- Place the dough on a work surface and knead for about thirty seconds and shape into a ball.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces, of about 100g(3 1/2 oz) each. (Divide by 8 for larger bagels).
- Flatten each piece of dough and turn up the outer edges into the middle to form a ball. Pinch the seams together.
- Turn the ball over and roll in a cupped hand to create tension in the dough and a ball with a smooth surface.
- Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
- To create the bagel shapes there are two methods.
- Roll the dough balls into a circle 5 inches/13 cm in diameter.
- Roll from one edge to form a tight sausage shape.
- Use both hands to roll the sausage into a rope about 10 inches in length.
- To create extra tension roll one end of the dough away from you with one hand while rolling the other end of the dough towards you with the other hand.
- Wrap the dough around your hand so that the two ends overlap. Squeeze the ends to join the dough into a circle with a large hole in the middle.
- Roll the join of the dough on the work surface to make it the same thickness as the rest of the bagel circle.
- Alternatively take a ball of dough and place on the work surface.
- Press a thumb in the centre, all the way through.
- Lift from the work surface and poke both index fingers(one from each side) through a hole in the middle.
- Roll the circle of dough around the fingers, making the hole larger.
- Place the shaped dough onto a baking tray that is covered with corn meal, semolina or rice flour.
- Cover the entire tray tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/450F, preferably with a baking stone in place.
- Place a pan of water to boil (at least 3 inches of water in the pan).
- Pour the malt powder and baking soda in the boiling water.
- Place the bagels into the boiling water(only as many as will comfortably fiit).
- Boil for 20 seconds and then flip the bagels over and boil for a further 20 seconds.
- Remove from the water and place back on the baking tray.
- Sprinkle with the topping of choice whilst still moist.
- Place the boiled bagels in the oven, on parchment paper in a baking tray, or on the paper directly on the baking stone.
- Bake for 18 to 26 minutes until the bagels have risen a little, and browned well, hopefully with some small blisters on the sides.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Best eaten the day they are made, or frozen on that day to be eaten later.