There’s nothing I love more than a warm bagel with soft inner core and a slightly toasted crust, with a healthy serving of cream cheese. Last year I started baking more and one of the first things on my list to try was this doughy little delight. I thought it would certainly be a tricky project, but as it turned out, the process was pretty simple and one that I caught on to quickly.
I will say, like with most things for me, my first try was much better than my second (what these photos feature). Just luck, I guess. Also, the first time I made these I skipped a step (we’ll get to that) and the bagels turned out better.
And before anyone asks — no, this is not some family recipe. You have to go back 80 generations before you find our Jewish ancestors and I can promise that no one in the Johnson family has made their name baking bagels. The recipe I use belongs to John D. Lee and I’m so impressed that it will take a mighty good sounding one for me to try another.
First you’re going to knead that dough. Have I told you how much I love my dough hook? It’s changed my life. Really.
I have the smallest kitchen imaginable. Okay, wait. My great-grandma Lily’s kitchen felt smaller because it was so narrow, but I do promise that I have no more than one square foot of clear counter space. That fact makes me cry sometimes.
First world problems.
Then you’re going to separate that dough into balls and let it rest for 10-20 minutes. Here’s the deal (that’s my saying, if you haven’t noticed) — this is the step that I skipped the first time and my bagels turned out a lot better. Do what you will with that fact.
In the meantime, boil some water. Oh, and make sure your oven is preheating to 425.
Then you’re going to roll the dough into little snakes and join the ends to make our circles. Let them rest again for another 20 minutes while your water is boiling.
Dump those suckers in! Boil one minute on each side then remove and place on an oiled baking sheet (make sure they are dry before putting them on the baking sheet).
I like to make sure that they are all lightly-coated with oil before placing the baking sheet in the oven.
Bake 10 minutes, turn them over, and bake another 10. Tada! You’ve made bagels. Easy as can be and so much tastier than anything you’ll buy at the grocery store. Work at it long enough and I’m sure you’ll be craving these over your local bakery. Enjoy!
This is dedicated to Becca, who has waited patiently for goodness knows how long to hear about how I made these things. And of course I post it right after she goes gluten-free. Stay strong, my friend, and let me know how these things taste gluten-free.