The subject of English Muffins came up the week before last. This week, we’re making bagels from scratch. Why is there so much carbohydrate in this dish? As it happens, my father recently completed an eight-day trip to Finland for work, and he brought back exactly five packets of smoked, buttery, and salty Norwegian salmon.
We’ve got lox, thanks.
How about bagels? It’s the only way to get things moving. The chewy, crispy New York style can be found at a few imported food stores in Beijing, but they’re extremely poor imitations. It’s impossible to compare the two.
My initial fears about the difficulty of creating my own bagels proved to be unfounded. Any kindergartener with access to a plastic play-doh bucket can knead the dough and roll it into ropes; therefore, anyone can create bagels. There’s nothing fancy about the materials or the tools you’ll need to make this dish. It’s only a matter of making sure your yeast is fresh. I’ve tried making these with sour, old yeast that’s been sitting in the refrigerator for much too long, and they’ve come out flat.
The barley malt syrup is the sole unusual ingredient in this dish. A wide variety of health food stores and internet merchants sell it. Despite the small amount, the syrup is what gives the bagels their distinct flavor. Checking into it is definitely worthwhile. This jar comes from the United States.
I admire that kind of commitment.
Toppings are only limited by your imagination. You can also make cinnamon raisin bagels, blueberry bagels, asiago cheese bagels, or my sister’s favorite, everything bagels, in addition to the standard poppy seed and sesame seed. You’re allowed to go wild.
Here’s the recipe for our handmade bagels!
- 4 cups of bread flour
- 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of malt syrup
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or other toppings
- Add water and syrup to a small bowl and mix thoroughly until yeast is completely dissolved. Salt and sugar are added to a large bowl with the bread flour. Pour in the yeast mixture and combine with a wooden spoon. Ten minutes of kneading the flour and yeast mixture into a smooth and elastic dough will produce a good loaf. Flour can be added if it becomes too sticky.
- Pour oil into a bowl and form the dough into a ball. Under a wet cloth, let the dough rise for 45 minutes–1 hour. Then divide it into 12 equal portions with a pastry cutter.
- When boiling, the pieces will break apart if the ends aren’t adhered tightly together. To prevent this, roll each piece into a 7-inch rope and overlap the ends tightly. If the ends aren’t sticking together, a little water will help. Place the floured side of each bagel on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Continue until you’ve made a total of 12 bagels out of all the components. Allow the bagels to rise for an additional 30 minutes under a damp towel.
- Add baking soda only after the water has come to a boil. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees by putting a rack in the middle.
- 3 or 4 bagels at a time, 30 seconds on each side, should be boiled. Drain them thoroughly and lay them back on the baking sheets about an inch apart. Toss the egg wash with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or other garnishes before baking.
- When they’re golden brown, rotate the pan halfway through the baking process. Before you consume it, let it cool for about 30 minutes!