These brunch classics will fast become a go-to

Some things are just better when they're made from scratch—and making something with your own two hands provides such satisfaction. When you cook from scratch, you know exactly what ingredients go into your meals, and it offers you the flexibility to adjust your recipe for dietary or taste preferences.

There’s a certain quality about baking something from scratch that you almost always would get from a grocery store or bakery, and bagels is definitely one of them for me. They’re much easier than you’d expect, and with trials you can nail down the texture you prefer. Not to mention the toppings. And you likely have everything you need in your cupboards already. 

Christine McAvoyChristine McAvoy

INGREDIENTS 

  • 450 grams (approx. 3.5 to 4 cups) of bread flour (unbleached) 
  • 2.5 teaspoons of dry active yeast 
  • 1.5 cup of warm water (more if needed) 
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar 
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt 
  • Sweetener: 2 tablespoons barley malt syrup, brown sugar or honey 
  • Toppings (like sesame seeds, 'everything bagel' seasoning or poppy seeds)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, add the yeast, sugar, and half a cup of the warm water and let sit for five minutes. Then, stir to combine until all is dissolved. 
  2. While the yeast mixture sits, add the salt and the flour into a large bowl and mix together, then make a well in the middle. 
  3. When the yeast is ready, pour it into the well, and gradually stir in the flour. Add more of the warm water as needed and continue stirring (hands work well here), until a loose dough has formed. 
  4. Turn over onto floured countertop and continue kneading until dough has become a smooth ball (this may take up to 10 minutes). You might need more water, or more flour if they dough is too dry, or too wet. 
  5. Grease a large bowl, and place the smooth dough into it, and cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap (or a wet tea towel), and let the dough rest for at least an hour. 
    If you’d like to make the bagels in the morning, you can let the dough rest in the fridge at this point, covered overnight, and remove it in the morning. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes to come to room temperature. 
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down slightly to release some of the air. 
  7. Set the oven to 425 F, and fill a large pot with about eight cups of water, and add in the sweetener and bring to a rolling boil. 
  8. Meanwhile, divide the dough into eight to ten equal pieces (or more if you want smaller bagels). The best way to do this is to weigh the dough, and then divide the pieces equally, but eyeballing it works just fine. Roll each of the pieces into smooth balls, and then, to make the hole, pinch your index finger and thumb through the center, and stretch slightly until you get the desired size. 
  9. Place the bagels on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rest while the oven preheats and water comes to a boil. 
  10. Lowering in the bagels one at a time with a slotted spoon, doing this in small batches (Three or four at a time max), let them cook in the water bath for approx. 30 seconds to one minute per side, flipping with the slotted spoon. The longer they are in the water bath, the chewier the outside of your bagel will be. Once they’ve cooked, remove them, letting them drain, and placing back on the parchment paper. 
  11. While the water comes back up to a boil, this is the time to season your bagels, as the toppings will stick to the bagels now. 
  12. Repeat until all of the bagels have been cooked in the bath, and had the toppings added, then transfer into the oven. 
  13. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to fully cook and brown, depending on your oven, and how toasty you want them, so keep an eye on them. You can also flip them over (carefully) halfway through if you’d like. 
  14. Once done, remove and let cool before cutting into them so they keep their shape. 
  15. Serve with cream cheese, or maybe make into a breakfast sandwich! 

Makes eight to 10 bagels