Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bagels



I've just gotten back home from a weekend vacation in Sweden's second largest city, Gothenburg. We've had a great time - we stayed in an awesome hotel, and indulged in great food and shopping. Highlights included a visit to Heaven 23, a restuarant with a full view of the city and a heavenly shrimp sandwich, and dinner with our friend Linda and Anders who own one of our kittens, Honey.

No weekend cat blogging this time - but just wait, we're expecting kittens next week. Now, for some baking.

Making your own bagels is so simple, really. And in a place like Sweden, with no commercial bagels to be found, it's pretty much the one way to get those lovely chewy rounds, because they are nowhere to be found. Ok, that's not entirely true - sometimes, you can find frozen bagels. And some coffeshops will have them - never plain, but with a variety of toppings. Anyway, I like making my own. It's nice to have a few stashed for a quick meal - and I like them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they're so versatile.

A Kitchen-Aid or a similar machine comes in very handy. Bagels need good gluten development, and you get that by kneading, kneading and kneading some more. So if you don't have a dough machine - be prepared for a serious workout.

This time, I made plain bagels, and banana-pecan bagels with cinnamon. Let's start with the plain ones

Plain bagels

2 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
300 ml tepid water, divided
500 g flour (you might need a little bit more
fat pinch of salt

Mix the yeast, sugar and 100 ml of tepid water in a large bowl. Let it sit for five minutes. Then, mix the flour with the salt, and add gradually, and add the remaining 200 ml of water. I use a Kitchen-Aid for mixing, but you could of course be doing this by hand. I let my machine run for about five minutes. You might need to add more flour - you're looking for a very smooth elastic dough, that doesn't feel sticky when you touch it. It shouldn't look dry and floury though!

Roll the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel, and let it rise for about an hour, or until it's roughly doubled in size. Then, knock the air out of it, and leave it for ten more minutes. Divide into 8 equal pieces (kitchen scales are handy for this) and shape into balls. Taking each ball in your hands, make a little hole in the middle. Stretch this hole by twirling the dough around your fingers until you have a decent donut shape. Place on a baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rest for ten minutes.

Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of sugar in it to boil. Lower the temperature - you want it to simmer. Poach the bagels, two or three at a time, for about one minute on each side. They should puff up. Lift up with a slotted spoon, and place back on baking sheet. Bake in a 225°C oven for 14-16 minutes.

Bagels

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne. You can actually find plain and black poppy seed bagels at some convenience stores in Stockholm, and I wouldn't be half surprised if 7 Eleven have them, these days.

I do *know* that "T-Snabben", the non-chain store in the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan subway, always have both varieties. They're 5 kr each, and *really* filling, just as I remember bagels to be from trips to the US.

So, that's perhaps not an excursion worth making, they're just bagels after all, and I'm sure home-baked are the best, but still. They are out there. :)

Anne said...

Ooh - cool! Great suggestions! The ones I've tried have usually been.. well, not like bagels should be, but I'd love it if they are a bit easier to come by. Will decidedly try to get to T-snabben - not exactly in my way, but not too far off either. :) If they're good, I could always buy a bunch and freeze :) If I don't feel like baking, that is...

Lexi said...

There's this place called Bagel Deli at S:t Göransg. 67, by Fridhemsplan... they have a whole menu of bagels, if you're ever in the mood to eat bagels when out that it ;)

Pille said...

Hi Anne - nice plump bagels you have there!!! As I don't have a mixer with a dough hook, I'd need to rely on workout. Until I get one, I'll keep buying mine from the supermarket..

Lori said...

I made bagels once before and swore I'd never do it again. They were so flat. Yours, on the other hand, look like a pro's!

cin said...

these look great, Anne. Is it easy to make them right cos the recipe looks quite straightforward?

Anne said...

Lexi, what an awesome tip! Must definitely try.

Pille - if I had them at the supermarket, I probably would buy them too :) At least if the choice was to knead, knead, knead.. by hand...

Lori - it could have been a) not enough kneading and b) too long poaching! Or something else, of course.

Cin - they are very easy to make, by far the best recipe I've tried. I'll give another one for flavored bagels in a couple of days!

Kevin said...

Anne,

There's just something fundamentally wrong with boiled bread.

(BTW, I like your new photo.)

Anne said...

Kevin, I hardly believed it when I first read a bagel recipe. :) And thanks for noticing - I think you're the first! :)

Nic said...

Wow - these look perfect, Anne!

Andrea said...

Nice timing -- I had found a bagel recipe a while ago and wanted to try it out the day you posted yours. As your recipe was simpler (no milk, no eggs) and I trust you more than some random recipe site, I decided to try your recipe instead :)

The bagels are fairly nice, but they didn't turn brown, even after 20 minutes. You probably did preheat the oven, right? I didn't, because German recipes usually tell you not to preheat those ovens that circulate the air (my dictionary says "convection oven"). Not a good idea, apparently ;(

Anne said...

Andrea, sorry to hear that! Hum, I have a regular oven (that I do preheat, yes) but I never heard that you don't preheat convection ovens. Indeed, breads in general often benefit from having a really hot oven at first, and then you can turn the heat down a little bit.

Andrea said...

Anne, thanks for clarifying. It's not a general "don't preheat convection ovens" (I do preheat it for muffins, for example). But most German recipes will say something like "preheat oven to 250°C (convection ovens: 225°C, don't preheat)", or explicitly state it when you're supposed to preheat convection ovens as well. But the bagels are still nice, just a bit pale. And now I know for next time. :)

Pippurimylly said...

Thanks - a great, clean recipe that produced good and chewy results! The dough took a bit more flour, though - I would say something like 600+ g.

strawberry said...

Woa, you bagels look so perfect and shiny!
I've just made my first bagel too. And I didn't have a bread machine. So, you were right, it was quite a workout :) But I'm getting used to it !

Kake said...

I've made these a few times now, and they work really well. Thank you! I used to have a great bagel recipe years ago, and then lost it. Your bagels are my new favourite; everyone in my household likes them. I make them with 1/3 wholemeal flour and 2/3 white.

Pippurimylly: it should be possible for you to make these with only 500g of flour. Wetter doughs are trickier to knead at the start (I prefer to use my handmixer with the kneading attachment) but will get less sticky as the gluten develops. I find that between 500g and 525g of flour works well for me.

Anne said...

Kake, I'm glad you like them! And great tip about the whole wheat flour, I'll try that next time I make them. Which should be soon - it was quite a while ago! :)

CaraRose1977 said...

Thanks for posting your recipe and a photo of your results. Folks here in Basel, Switzerland have been asking me to make bagels. I tried a different recipe and used "Ruchbrot" flour with poor results. After reading your post and suggestions to other comments I will try again tomorrow.

CaraRose1977 said...

I just made a half batch of these plain bagels and they are beautiful with excellent texture. I subtituted wheat malt extract for all of the sugar with limited success. I am working on another batch now with a bit more salt and a bit more malt (plus some sugar). I had to take the bagels out of my convection oven at 10 minutes.

rachelst said...

Hey Anne! I am making bagels tomorrow for brunch. i have asked my guests each to bring a filling which should be interesting! i will make some plain and 'sweet' ones, with crushed cocoa nibs and cinnamon - cant wait! Oh, how i would to go to sweden!!!!

Andrew Jacoel-Robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Jacoel-Robertson said...

Hej Anne, I have been using your wonderful bagel recipe for years. Just waiting for the dough to rise and thought it high time I give you thanks for this simple and great recipe. My wife and I love them :)