Sunday, January 15, 2012

Water Bagels with Sesame Seeds

Sunday is my bagel making day.  I've tried several recipes, but this one works the best for me.
Water Bagels

  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 egg yolk
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • extra sugar for water

1.  Pour 2 cups warm water into a large mixing bowl.  Add the 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons yeast, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt into the water and stir to dissolve.  Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add 5 cups of all purpose flour and combine until smooth.  I use a large, sturdy wooden spoon at first and then use my hands to knead the dough.  The dough should not be too dry or too sticky.  You should be able to put it on the counter and lift easily.

2.  Remove dough from bowl and wash and dry bowl.  Spray bowl with a light misting of olive oil.  Place dough in oiled bowl and lightly spray olive oil on dough.  Cover with towel and let rise for about an hour.  I put the covered dough into my oven on the "bread proof" setting, however, you only need to place the dough in a warm place.

3.  Once dough has raised, remove it from the bowl and divide it into 12 equal parts.  Shape each dough part into a bagel.  I do this by making a round piece of dough and then pushing my finger through the center and working the dough into a ring.  Place bagel shapes onto a cutting board and cover with a towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.

4.  While the bagels are rising on the cutting board, I start boiling my water (it takes a long time to boil where I live).  I use a very large, deep skillet and fill it with water up to 1 inch from the top.  Add about 1/4 cup sugar to the water.  I also prepare the egg wash by putting the egg yolk into a small bowl and mixing in about 1 tablespoon water.  I put the sesame seeds into a shaker.  Prepare a large baking pan (I use a jelly roll pan) by spraying it with olive oil.  Have everything near the boiling water.

5.  Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.  Drop a few bagels into the boiling water (don't crowd them as they will expand).  Boil for about a minute on each side.  Remove bagels from boiling water with a slotted spatula and place onto oiled baking pan.  Brush the top of each bagel with egg yolk wash (I use a craft quality paint brush to do this).  Then, sprinkle sesame seeds onto the bagels.  The egg wash will not only make the seeds adhere, but will give the bagels a golden brown finish.  Continue until all the bagels are boiled, egg washed, and sprinkled.

6.  Put bagels into the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Enjoy!

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