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Homemade Bagels

Weekend baking at it's best!
Course: Bread
Servings: 12 Bagels
Author: Tricia

Ingredients

For the poolish:

  • 1 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, not more than 90-95 degrees

For the dough:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 2/3 cups lukewarm water, not more than 90-95 degrees
  • 5 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • unflavored vegetable oil for oiling the bowl
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda, divided (must be fresh)
  • poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

The night before baking:

  • Add 1 1/3 cups bread flour, 1/4 teaspoon yeast and 1 cup lukewarm water to a medium mixing bowl. Stir together using a wooden spoon until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Baking day:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the 1 teaspoon yeast, honey and 1 2/3 cups of lukewarm water (not more than 90-95 degrees or it could kill the yeast). Mix in the poolish. Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour and salt. Beat a medium speed until a smooth, stiff dough forms, about 5 to 7 minutes. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for about 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm location free from drafts, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush generously with vegetable oil. Divide the dough into 12 pieces form each into tight balls. Transfer the dough balls to the baking sheet and cover loosely with sprayed plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • To form the bagel, poke your finger in the center of each dough ball to make a 1/2-inch hole. Return the bagels to the baking sheet, and cover with the plastic wrap. Let the bagels rest for about an hour or until risen and puffed.
  • In the meantime preheat oven to 475 degrees. Position the oven racks in the lower and middle thirds of the oven. Line 1 baking sheet with a clean, lightly moistened kitchen towel and line 2 others with parchment paper. Spray the paper with oil. Bring 2 large, deep pots of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda to each pot. Add 2 bagels to each pot, without crowding (as the bagels will swell) and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Flip the bagels and simmer for another 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using a large slotted spoon remove the bagels to the kitchen lined sheet pan to drain. Before the are able to dry, sprinkle the bagels generously with the toppings, then immediately transfer them to the parchment lined-baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
  • Bake the bagels for about 20 minutes shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until deeply browned. Let cool slightly, then serve.

Notes

TIPS: Be sure to read the entire recipe several times to understand the instructions. It's easy but does require a few steps. I also think the bagels could be divided into 16 pieces instead of 12. They are very large bagels and I guess I would prefer a smaller bagel. Be sure to watch the rise, boiling and baking times if making them smaller.
(adapted from a recipe by Zoe Nathan of L.A.'s Milo and Olive, via Food and Wine Magazine)