Bagels are delicious, crusty boiled rolls. They are great for salad fillings as they don't go soggy. Not going soggy makes them ideal for packed lunches, especially when they'll be packed for a while! And they are really, really easy to make, much easier and faster than conventional bread rolls.
This recipe is for a traditional New York style bagel, and personally I think it can't be beaten, particularly by mass produced supermarket bagels. I've used this recipe exclusively for about 5 years now so I guess you could say it's a winner.
4 cups plain flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil, you can use any vegetable oil you have on hand)
2 tsp. dry yeast
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
Step 1. Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.
Step 2. Add oil to the water and pour into the mixing bowl.
Step 3. Mix with a dough hook until smooth and creamy looking.
Step 4. Add remaining flour and continue to knead with the dough hook for several minutes until the dough is uniform and smooth.
If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, you can beat the batter by hand with a wooden spoon, then add the remaining flour and knead it by hand for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Cut dough into 8 equal size balls or, if you're as OCD as I am, get out the scales and weigh each ball of dough so the finished bagels will be the same size.
Let them rest for 20 minutes, the dough will puff up into balls.
Step 6. Roll each dough ball into a long "snake" until it will wrap around your hand to form a circle. Don't make your circles to small or when the bagels rise they will just look like regular, over-sized rolls. You want them to have the "hole" in the middle. Fuse the ends of your dough snakes well, then roll with the palm of your hand to smooth them over. Let them rest for 20 minutes.
Step 7. In the meantime, preheat oven to 205 degrees Celsius, bring a pot of water to the boil and oil a large baking sheet.
Drop the bagels into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute on each side. Let them dry for a moment then place onto the oiled baking sheet.
Step 8. Bake at 205 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn bagels over and bake for another 10 minutes.
You can add flavour to your bagels before cooking. After taking them out of the boiling water, drop them face down into either poppy or sesame seeds, dried onion, dried herbs and garlic etc. then bake as per the instructions.
Cost: $1.20 or 15 cents per bagel - so much cheaper than buying them and nicer too.