Homemade Everything Bagels
If you follow me on IG, you might’ve caught my recent revelation that my old ass oven I’ve been using for the past 5 years doesn’t have a preheated indication so I’ve been just assuming. For 5 years. Finally, I thought to invest ($7) in an oven thermometer which led me to the horrific news that my oven has been registering 50º HOTTER FOR 5 FUCKING YEARS. Sometimes I just can’t with myself.
So, to celebrate the fact that I may not be a terrible baker but just have a shitty oven, I decided to try my hand at a large undertaking this weekend: homemade bagels. I honestly don’t know how the contestants on the Great British Baking Show do it. Baking is so goddamn stressful and precise. I legitimately had to remake the dough THREE TIMES to get it right (but, to be fair, that’s because the recipe needed more water than it called for). I was sweating, swearing, and felt like a Jewish failure. I can’t even make bagels?! COME ON.
But, after 4.5 long hours of making, kneading, proofing, boiling, dipping, and baking, I fucking did it. I MADE EVERYTHING BAGELS. And they are damn delicious. To be fair, I did undercook the dough however I think that could’ve been solved if I had made them a bit more even in thickness and kept them in just a bit longer. You bake and you learn, ya know? And undercooked bagel dough is nothing a good solid toast can’t fix. This recipe is a labor of love, but WORTH EVERY BITE.
4.5 cups bread flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 TSP salt
1 TBSP instant-rise yeast
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1.5 cups of warm-hot water (essentially, get your water the hottest it can get in your sink and use that)
1 cup honey
1-2 bottles of Trader Joe’s “Everything But The Bagel Seasoning”
Combine flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, vegetable oil, yeast, and 1.5 cups warm water in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (put warm water in last so it’s warm). Mix on lowest speed using the dough hook until well-developed, about 8-10 minutes. To ensure the gluten has developed fully, cut off a walnut-sized piece of dough. Flour your fingers, and then stretch the dough: if it tears immediately, the dough needs more kneading. Fully developed dough should form a thin translucent "windowpane."
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let rise for 2 hours.
Punch the dough down, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and use a knife or dough scraper to divide the dough into 6 pieces (or more, for smaller bagels). Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape about 6 inches long. Join the ends to form a circle. Repeat with the remaining dough, and let the bagels rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange Trader Joe’s seasoning on a small plate next to the baking sheet.
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add honey once water is boiling. Boil the bagels three at a time for about 1 minute on each side (use some sort of kitchen utensil to flip over in water). Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Dip the tops of the wet bagels into the seasoning (I did both sides because come on) and arrange them on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the bagels begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.'
Let cool, slice ‘em up, toast them, and top with your favorite bagel toppings (editor’s note: if that means any sweet-flavored cream cheese, GTFO of my blog). Store the rest in a freezer bag in the freezer and, to reheat, microwave for a few seconds then toast!