Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Best Bagel

No joke, these are AMAZING.  I baked these last night and just ate one of these for the first time this morning (I was too stuffed from pretzel bites last night to try to consume any more carbs).  The trick is that you need to make these bad boys the day before you bake them, which isn't very fun for those who want instant gratification. I'm planning on freezing the bagels that I don't hand out to friends in class tomorrow.  Rating 10/10
These are from Peter Reinhart.

Set 1
1 tsp instant yeast
 4 c bread flour
2 ½ c warm water

Set 2
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp honey
Set 3
3 c bread flour
3 Tbsp sugar (I used turbinado)
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 ¾ tsp salt (I used less)

Set 4
3/4 cup bread flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Start out by mixing set 1 together by hand or with a stand mixer.  The batter should be sticky.  Cover with saran wrap and let rest for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. 

Add set 2 into the bowl and stir.

In a separate bowl mix together set 3 and then combine with everything else that is already in the mixing bowl.  Mix together with a dough hook.  Once the dough has formed a ball, slowly add in the remaining flour from set 4.  If you have ingredients that you want within your bagels  (raisins, sun-dried tomatoes, dried cranberries, chocolate chips), add them in within the last two minutes of mixing.  However, I added in fresh cranberries, and found that they they were so large that they needed to be folded into the dough by hand. 

Knead for 10 minutes by hand.  Divide the dough into 8 separate balls that weigh 3.75 oz each.  Cover with a wet towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with Pam.  Form each ball into a bagel by poking a hole in the center and stretching it out.  Place the bagels onto the baking sheets and cover with saran wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes more.

The bagels need to be refrigerated, but need to pass the floating test before they can be placed in the fridge overnight.  To do this fill a bowl large enough to fit a bagel with cool water and place one bagel in it.  The bagel should float within 10 seconds.  If it doesn't float, gently dry it with a paper towel and retry the floating test again in 10 to 20 minutes.

Once the bagel passes the floating test, place all of the bagels in the refrigerator.  To be honest, my bagel didn't pass the floating test.  I tried it twice.  My bagels still turned out to be quite worthy.

The next day
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, if you are using a baking stone place it in the oven during the preheat.  Boil water in a large pot.

Place as many bagels as possible without crowding them in the pot.  Let the bagels boil for one minute, and then flip them over and boil them for one minute more.  With a slotted spoon remove bagels and place them on your cornmeal sprinkled baking surface. You can use a baking stone, a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or a rack.  If you are adding toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.) to your bagel, add them now.

Bake bagels at 500 degrees for 5 minutes.  After the first 5 minutes, rotate the baking surface and bake for 5 minutes more at 450 degrees, or until golden brown.  Remove and let cool.


Medeja said...

They look really amazing ! I wish my oven was working properly..

In Krista's Kitchen said...

Use a neighbors!! These are a must-have :)

Medeja said...

I'll ask Santa Clause for it :)