Bagels from Scratch
Munch, munch, munch.
"Damn! These are pretty good. Where are they from?"
"Casa de Kubs, dude. Casa de Kubs."
"Um, that would be my house."
"Really!? Impressive, Mr. Kuban!"
If you would like a quick visual overview on making SE-Overlord-worthy bagels, follow along to the next slide.
Let's Get Started
Rise and Shine
About 15 minutes before the end of the rise, put 6 quarts of water on to boil in a large pot, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the malt syrup. The syrup gives the bagels some color and helps with that signature shine.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten to 1/2-inch thick.
Rollin' in Dough
Roll each ball into a "rope" about 7 inches long and about 1 inch thick.
Loop that rope around the back of your hand, overlapping the tails, and roll it on your work surface to crimp.
Note: *I* loop my rope around 3 of my fingers instead of my whole hand, because I like a bagel with a smaller hole. Try different configurations to see what you like most. My wife, for example, serving as a hand model here, has small enough hands that she could probably wrap the rope around completely and still have a pretty tight little bagel.
IMHO, if your round bread product with a hole in it is not boiled before baking, it is not a bagel. Boiling "sets" the crust so the bagels don't expand too much while baking. This does two things:
- It creates a nice chewy exterior (the longer you boil them, the thicker and chewier the crust will be)
- It results in a denser crumb—because the bagel can't expand as much while baking
Boil 30 seconds on each side, then remove bagels to a clean kitchen towel with a skimmer.
Now, here's a trick I learned from Martha Stewart Living magazine. (It was for decorating cookies, but, whatever. It works here, too.) Place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet, line up your bagels to be topped, and shake on the stuff. When you're done, you can harvest the topping bits that didn't stick. Obviously, that means you should work with only one topping at a time — unless your goal is to end up with a mixture of toppings for an everything bagel.
Well, that's pretty much that. Arrange on a baking sheet, and into the oven!
And, wow, you really stuck that out. Here's your reward: The recipe, right this way! »