Bagels are my weekend weakness. Coffee with a toasted bagel slathered in cream cheese and doused in extra seeds & seasonings is one of my favorite parts of the weekend.
I started making bagels from scratch a couple of years ago. The first time I made them I was so intimidated. I remember my mom being with me through each step as moral support because I was so scared of making a mistake. This was before I realized how forgiving bread can be. When you make mistakes with bread it’s actually really great, because IT’S STILL BREAD. You’ll still end up with a warm and delicious slice that you can slather with butter or cheese. I always temporarily forget about the mistakes that I made. Unless I added too much salt, that can’t be fixed.
Bagel making has become one of the most therapeutic parts of my week. Waking up on Saturday morning and tending to the dough is one of the best parts of my day. A quiet moment in the kitchen, a hot cup of coffee, and the smell of a yeasty dough coming to life – I live for that moment.
A unique ingredient in this recipe is Diastatic Malt Powder. I purchased this online from Hoosier Hill Farm. Diastatic malt powder contains enzymes that help the fermentation process. Your bagels will still turn out very well if you just use sugar, but I prefer the texture when I use diastatic malt powder.
Yield: 6 Bagels
1 cup warm water (around 100°F)
1 tbsp diastatic malt powder or sugar
2 tsp yeast
1.5 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 cups bread flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 egg white or 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup extra water on hand
Toppings: Poppy seeds, Sesame seeds, Onion Powder, Garlic flakes, Fennel seeds, Salt
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
2 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 cup Raisins
Mix the yeast and diastatic malt powder with the warm water. Let this sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.
In a large bowl mix together the flours and salt. If you’re making Cinnamon Raisin bagels, now is the time to add 2 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, and 1 1/4 cups of raisins into your flour and salt blend. Make a well in the center of the flour, pour the yeast mixture inside and briefly mix. The dough will be dry, so add additional water, 1 -2 tbsp a time, until the dough just comes together. At this point, knead the dough with your hands to help incorporate all of the flour and water. The amount of additional water will vary, but I needed 5-6 tbsp to create a homogenous and workable dough. Knead this for 10 minutes to develop the gluten and create a strong, dense dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 1-2 hours. The dough should double in size.
When the rising is finished, release the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Punch out any gas bubbles from the dough. Cut the dough into 6 equal portions. If you’re making Cinnamon Raisin bagels, now is the time to roll in some extra cinnamon and sugar into your dough. Roll the 6 portions into tight balls by cupping the dough with your hand and pulling it towards you on the counter*. Keep doing this technique until a tight and smooth ball is formed. Make sure that the bottoms of the balls are tightly sealed as well. Let rest for 30 minutes on the counter.
**It’s important to do this step on an area of the counter that is not floured. If the counter has too much flour, then the dough will slide around and not form well. *
Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda into a large pot of water (the pot should comfortably fit 3 bagels) and bring the water to a boil. Make a hole in each ball by pushing your index finger through the center of the dough and forming a ring. It will look similar to a donut.
Place three bagels into the pot and boil each side for 1 minute (2 minutes total). Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon, drain the water well, and place them onto the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Brush egg white or vegetable oil on top of the bagels and season with the toppings of your choice. I create a blend with all 6 seeds and spices: 1 tsp of Poppy seeds, Sesame seeds, Onion Powder, Garlic flakes, Fennel seeds and 1/4 tsp of salt.
Bake the bagels for 20-25 minutes. The exterior will be golden brown and the surface will be hard.