It’s time for another “from scratch” recipe from Purple House Cafe!
I have been meaning to share this recipe with you for quite a while. It comes from my (relatively) new cookbook “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, which has been totally rocking my world. If you love homemade bread but don’t like sitting around/surfing Pinterest/playing with the baby/going for a bike ride for the three hours it takes to rise, you should certainly look into buying this book.
Have you ever had a homemade bagel? They are quite a bit different than the doughy, soulless bagels you can buy at the grocery store. Homemade bagels have that beautiful, dense crumb with a smooth, chewy exterior. These particular bagels have a lovely, yeasty flavour.
I really have to admit: when we made these bagels, rather than cutting them in half, spreading them with butter, making a cup of tea, and sitting down to eat them, we would saunter by the pile of them in the kitchen, discreetly ripping off chunks until, somehow, later that afternoon, they were gone. Embarrassing but true: these are mucho delicioso.
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tbsp. yeast
- 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 6 1/4 cups bread flour
- 8 litres boiling water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Poppy or sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar...get creative and have fun!
- Cornmeal to dust the baking stone
- Combine all the bagel ingredients in a large bowl and stir the heck out of them. No, really. No proofing the yeast, no shenanigans. Just stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. This will require a bit of elbow grease, mind you!
- Cover the dough with a tea towel and allow it to rise for 2 hours in a warm place. After this rise, you can actually store the dough in the refrigerator and pull of chunks to make into bagels - even just one or two at a time - whenever you want, or you can go ahead and make your bagels right now.
- Twenty minutes before you're ready to bake your bagels, place a baking stone in the oven and preheat to 450F.
- Dust the surface of the dough with flour and break off plum-sized chunks. Work the dough into a nice round ball using the technique I describe in my artisan bread recipe on this site. Allow these to rest on the counter top at room temperature for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the boiling pot and place over high heat until it gets to a good rolling boil.
- Make a hole in your bagels using your fingers. The hole should be quite sizeable, making the doughnut look more like a hula hoop than a life buoy (love my analogies?) because it will shrink when it boils. Then plop the bagels into the boiling water, allowing them to boil 2 minutes on each side. Try not to let the bagels touch each other in the water - you'll likely have to do just one or two at a time, depending on the size of your pot.
- Once the bagels are boiled, remove them from the water and rest them on a tea towel dusted with flour. Sprinkle bagels with the desired topping.
- Reach into the oven and carefully dust your pre-heated baking stone with cornmeal. Place the bagels on the baking stone. On the rack under the stone, place a baking dish filled with about 2-3 cups of water. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the bagels are golden in colour. Remove from the oven and cool before slathering with cream cheese and jam!