I’ve been dreaming bagels recently. One of my favorite places for bagels was Einstein Bros Bagel – just really loved their selections and combinations of bagels. The only thing I didn’t like about them was how they overloaded the bagels with the cream cheese or shmear the you’d order. I am one of those who don’t like messy food – I hate it when things keep dropping out of a sandwich when you bite into it and when you have to keep on constantly wipe your face while eating it. I would always order the cream cheese on the side and smear as much as I wanted. Bagels are not yet popular in India so I had to make them at home.
Making bagels is actually pretty easy. The dough is easy to work with and the bagel shapes easy to make. There are a two ways you can shape the bagel – you can make balls of the dough and using your thumb make a hole in the center and shape it or you could roll out the ball into a long log and pinch the edges together to form the bagel shape. You can stuff them or mix in and or sprinkle your favorite herbs, spices, fruits and seeds on them. I stuffed some caramelized onions in two of the bagels and finely chopped raisins in other two. They both tasted delicious and so did the plain ones sprinkled with some sesame seeds.
This recipe makes 8 bagels and they can be stored in an airtight box for a few days. You can make bagel sandwiches or eat them as it is…fresh homemade bagels taste great either way.
Serving 8 medium size bagels
3 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup. Vegetable oil
¾ cup milk, lukewarm
2 tsp fast action dried yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 egg + 1 more for egg wash
1 tbsp. milk
Poppy or sesame seeds to sprinkle on the bagel
- In a large mixing bowl add sugar, milk and yeast. Give it a rough whisk and let it sit till the yeast is activated.
- Once the yeast gets frothy, add vegetable oil and 1 egg and roughly whisk the mixture.
- Mix salt and flour together. Add the flour one cup at a time to the yeast mixture and start mixing the dough. Once all the flour is incorporated, bring the mixture out on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes
- Lightly oil a bowl big enough for the dough to rise. Place the dough in the bowl and lightly brush its surface with oil. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and keep in a warm spot for 2 hours or till the dough is double in size.
- After the dough rises, transfer it onto the kitchen counter and punch it down lightly to knock out the air.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them out into a log. Pinch the ends together to form a bagel shape.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough and let the bagels rest covered with a towel for 15 minutes.
- Boil water in a deep pan filled halfway through. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat on low to keep the water simmering.
- Drop one bagel at a time into the simmering water and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Place them on a baking tray.
- Brush the bagels with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on them.
- Bake the bagels for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 F in a preheated oven. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.