Monday, April 30, 2012

Homemade Bagels!

If it was not 11pm and I had some sunlight I'm confident this picture
would look a lot less crappy.

Update on the gallbladder front: Doing okay. Probably at like 80% recovered now, so that's great. I look like I have a piercing that was ripped from my belly button, with three strategic cat scratches around my belly--does not look like I'm missing an organ. Fingers crossed I don't look too bizarre come bikini season. Still figuring out what I can and can't eat. Turns out, a plain McDonalds hamburger is a hands-down NO (who knew?), but a Brewhouse burger from the local brewery (marinated in stout, slathered in cheese, topped with mushrooms on a grilled butter roll) is a-okay.

My tiny dog is currently barking at nothing.

In other news, I'm back at work. The new play I'm in has begun rehearsals (I'm Catherine in The Foreigner, if you're a Western Masser and want to see it I'll send you info), and two weeks until I can get back to the gym, which I desperately need to get back into ASAP. I lost some poundage during my eat-nothing-but-liquids week and have kept most of it off--probably moreso to me fearing most foods at the time being rather than actual healthy eating habits. In time, in time...

When you let guys do the food styling?
Also you should make bagels while drinking Woodchuck cider. It helps.

So, to these bagels. I've decided that in the grand scheme of things, I am ten times more likely to buy bagels than make them when I need bagels. Interesting: I thought "want" and wrote "need." I suppose bagels are sometimes absolutely necessary, is what my subconscious is telling me. I'm going to agree with that. Anyway. Bagels are time consuming, and if you want a homemade breakfast bagel you better have a lot of morning hours to dedicate to it.

But. Homemade bagels trump bought bagels in every. single. way.

John presents: BAGELS.
Both times I made bagels (with my baking buddy John, of course) it was after 9pm. So, I had to visualize just how much more fantastic they'd taste if it was breakfast time. And I think it's good I was eating them at 11pm, because it might have been way too euphoric to have them at their appropriate time. Crispy outside, chewy inside, the perfect vehicle for cream cheese or even just a pat of butter. Day 2 and Day 3 they start to lose their fantastic-ness, but they're still pretty great. By Day 4 all hope is lost though. I kept them in the fridge to maximize freshness (though according to Sheldon of Big Bang Theory bread in the fridge is a no-no scientifically hah) and toasted them in the toaster and they were good but nothing beats that just-out-of-the-oven taste.

I overuse parenthesis. It is too late and I am too tired to fix this. Enjoy the bagels.

(From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything but copy/pasted from here because I didn't have the book in front of me and couldn't remember... so I Googled... Adapted slightly to reflect how we made these bagels)

When you make too many bagels,
you run out of places to put them.

  • 3 and 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Mix-ins of your choosing (see notes below)
  • olive oil, for greasing the pan

*Fruit Bagels: I used dried blueberries for one type of fruit bagel, and dried cherries and coconut for the other type of fruit bagel. The cherry/coconut combo was inspired by a post at Wilde in the Kitchen. For both I used about a handful of dried fruit. For the coconut I put it in the food processor with the dry ingredients, and sprinkled extra on top. I used dried fruit because it hydrates itself during the baking process. Using canned or fresh fruit might have too much moisture and mess up the consistency of the bagel. This is just a guess though, so try it if you must (and let me know how it goes!)

*Savory Bagels: For savory bagels I roasted garlic and onions and added fresh basil. These went into the dough during the food processing stage. I wanted to also add sundried tomatoes, but the ones I had were expired. Oh well.

-Put the flour in a food processor. Add the salt, yeast and sweetener and process for 5 seconds. With the machine running, pour 1 and 1/4 cups water into the mixture. Process for about 30 seconds, then remove the cover. The dough should be pulling away from the edges, slightly sticky and easy to handle. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for a minute or two longer by hand, adding as much flour as necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Add the fruit at this point too, kneading in until your desired fruit amount is reached.

-Place the dough into a large bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or until doubled in size.

-Deflate the dough ball. Cut it into 8 or 12 equal pieces. Roll each ball into ball and poke a hole in the center. Let rise for about 20 minutes.

-Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and heat the oven. Drop the bagels two at a time into the boiling water. The bagels will sink, then rise to the surface. Boil for 1 minute on each side, then remove them with a slotted spoon and put on a lightly greased rack to drain.

-Put bagels either on a lightly greased  baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bagels are nicely browned. Remove and let cool.

They are best straight out of the oven, but not everyone has time to do this each morning. They're still pretty dang good a few days later though, promise.

John-approved food styling.


  1. Glad to hear you are feeling better! Homemade bagels? Very impressive!

    1. Thank you and thank you :) Most bread products here are overseen by my bread-baking-guru friend, John. But I did observe and help to the best of my ability, and I chose all the mix-ins :)

  2. So labor intensive, but so worth it.

  3. yeast scares me! I wish it didn't or else I would totally be making my own bagels and probably weigh 20lbs heavier! lol.

  4. Making bagels is one place I haven't ventured to yet! They look excellent! I could help you eat them?! Glad you're feeling better!

    1. Thanks! They really aren't that hard to make! :) If you lived anywhere near me I would gladly share!

  5. I made bagels once and we loved them! these look SOOOO good!

  6. I made cinnamon raisin bagels for the blog a few years ago and, actually...I don't think I've had a storebought bagel since! Or any bagel...but that's because I've been too lazy to make more. :P

    I'm glad to hear you're feeling better! I'm sure the recovery will speed along and two weeks will be here before you know it!

  7. You are so right - homemade bagels are soooo much better than storebought ones. This looks like a great recipe. I'll have to give it a try!

  8. Oh my, I MUST make these!! I have never made homemade bagels, and I honestly have NO CLUE WHY! These look absolutely fantastic!