HAPPY NATIONAL BAGEL DAY!
This is possibly my top-made recipe so far and, until today, it didn't even have a home on the blog! These bagels got a huge reaction on my Instagram and I got so many messages and tagged posts of people making them at home! It makes me so happy to see people cooking my recipes especially something that seems daunting, like bagels. I know that before I made my first batch of bagels, I was intimidated by the thought of making them. Now that I know how though, it seems I'm making them all the time and even freezing them so I can enjoy for longer. When quarantine began in early 2020, I found myself making huge batches of bagels and delivering them to friends as the Bagel Fairy. The recipe below makes enough dough for 8 bagels, but I can confidently say it can be doubled (or even quadrupled as I have learned myself), to suit your own needs with no issues. So you can be a Bagel Fairy too!
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
300ml warm water
500g bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (as much or as little as you want)
Note: if you don't want jalapeno and cheddar bagels, just omit and feel free to use any other toppings you want!
First, you need to activate your yeast. In about a half of your warm water, dissolve the sugar and yeast. Give it a quick swish with your fingers and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Tip: If you cover your bowl or container, the warmth will be trapped and it will help the yeast activate quicker.
Shred your cheese and mandolin your jalapeños very thin (omit this step if you're going for plain or just 'topped' bagels).
In a bowl, mix your flour and salt. Add your cheddar and jalapeños and mix up thoroughly. By coating the cheese and jalapeños in flour, you're ensuring they won't clump and stick together. Once that's combined, make a well in the middle and add your yeast/sugar/water mixture as well as the remaining warm water.
Start to combine with your finger tips. It'll create a bit of a shaggy dough at first, but continue to knead in the bowl until it forms a rough ball. You want your dough to be moist and firm. If you feel the dough is way too dry, add a little bit more water.
Dump your dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5-10 minutes or until its nice and smooth and elastic.
Coat a bowl in oil and set your dough inside to rise. Cover it with a wet dish towel and let it rise for about 1-1.5 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. Once it gets there, punch it down and let it rest for 10 more minutes.
Time to make your dough balls. I like to weigh my dough out and divide it into 8 equal pieces so I know they're all the exact same. Roll the dough in your hands or on a countertop and move in a circular motion until a dough ball forms. Set the dough balls aside and let them relax for a minute. Press your finger into the centre of each dough ball to form your bagels. I like to make the hole about the size of a golf ball to start, they will shrink when you boil them and again as they bake.
After you've formed your bagels, place them on a sheet pan for your second rise. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let them rise for about 20 minutes or until they've reached the height you want your bagels to be. I say that because some people like them flatter and some people like them fatter.
At this time, preheat your oven to 425ºF.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat so you don't damage your bagels. Carefully lower your bagels into the water a few at a time. Don't overcrowd your pot, make sure you can easily flip them. Boil on each side for 30 seconds. For this part, I use a stopwatch. I don't like a super chewy bagel, so I go 30 seconds. If you like a chewier bagel, boil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Now for the toppings. If you're adding anything to the top of your bagel, make sure you egg wash it first so your toppings stick to it. Since I'm making jalapeño cheddar bagels, I need to add more cheese on top for maximum cheesiness. Transfer your bagels to a parchment paper lined (or lightly oiled) baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack until you're ready to dive right in.
That's it! Bagels!