Elizabeth made bagels for breakfast when we visited them last month, and they were quite delicious, and inspired me to try making my own someday. We have some smoked salmon that I want to use, and while searching for ways to do that, the number one suggestion was with bagels and cream cheese. So, let’s “kill two birds with one stone” and try making bagels to serve with smoked salmon!

Elizabeth used the recipe from her Bread Bible cookbook, and I found it here. The only problem is I don’t have malt powder, and I don’t want to go to the store. I read several other posts – including here and here and here – and decided that I’ll try substituting honey. I’ve never had an authentic New York City bagel, so I’m sure I’ll never know the difference. The other trick is to let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. There may be some more things to try, but that’s what I’m focusing on today. We’ll see how it works!

I liked the idea of he overnight rise, but I’m thinking I allowed too much time between removing it from the fridge in the morning and the boiling step, because they kind of fell. I need to try again and go right from the fridge to the pan to see if that makes a difference.

Homemade Bagels

for the dough:
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey (or malt syrup)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

for the water bath:
2-3 quarts water
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together water, honey and yeast, and cover with a tea towel and leave until the surface is covered with froth.

Put the flour, gluten and salt into a bowl, add the yeast mixture and mix until it starts to come together, then turn on to a clean work surface (no need to flour), and work and knead the dough until smooth, bearing in mind it will be very stiff. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until about doubled in size.

Line a baking sheet with lightly greased baking parchment or use a silicone mat. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch the air out of it. Divide into 6 balls. To form the bagel, roll into a ball, stick your thumbs through the center to create a donut shape and work until the hole is a couple of inches in diameter. Place each bagel on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate between 18 and 24 hours, then remove from the fridge about half an hour before cooking.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the honey and baking soda. Also preheat the oven to 425F. Add a couple of bagels to the boiling water (don’t be tempted to overcrowd them). Boil for 30 seconds, then flip over and boil for another 30 seconds. Drain on the rack and repeat.

If desired, dunk each bagel into a seed topping, then put seed-side down on the baking trays. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 7 minutes or until golden. Cool on the racks.

We tried an Asiago version at Jeff’s request. They weren’t as pretty as Elizabeth’s but they still tasted great!