I’ve never had the urge to make bagels as I have lived in one of the five boroughs of New York for the past ten years and we are spoiled with the tastiest bagels around (although I did cross the Hudson to Jersey City a couple of years ago, but am still in good bagel distance.) For almost every family function I go to out of town I’m still asked to bring bagels – and it’s lovely to see the grins and slow salivation as I walk through the door with the prized sack of bagels.
But I figured if I could make them well, then that may save me a subway ride into the city to pick up our favorites. The one difference I noticed off the bat is that the dough recipe in the book doesn’t call for any eggs, and I’ve always assumed that that is what gives the delicious chew to a perfect bagel. But onward and upward I started, I only needed just over 5 cups of flour – two of which were whole wheat. After the first rise and an overnight in the fridge the first five little pieces were ready to be stretched into balls.
They pulled together neatly, and stretched fairly easily into rings, although I probably could’ve stretched them a bit further (I was getting hungry no time to lose making sure the diameter of the inner circle is big enough). The baking soda bath reminded me of a time when I made delicious soft pretzels with a friend, and heeding other’s advice I didn’t boil for quite as long as the 90 seconds. I decided to go toppingless this time around, so after the egg wash into the oven they went.
I used an iron skillet on the bottom of my oven for the steam bath, and that probably wasn’t the best choice, I’m now re-seasoning the pan – but it worked. And I was surprised that the bagels did bake in exactly the amount of time listed in the directions.
We had these for breakfast Sunday morning and the verdict here is that they’re a little too bready for our taste, but still a good crust and nice flavor. So the remainder of the dough is currently in the oven baking off as a loaf – it’ll serve us much better as toast. Final product picture is a little blurry – again was a little hungry and rushing into breaking open a steaming hot bagel.