Homemade Everything Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons Red Star® Quick-rise™ yeast1
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tablespoon light or dark brown sugar (or barley malt syrup)2
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup honey or barley malt syrup2

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds3
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds3
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion3
  • 1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes3
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • egg wash: 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or bread machine (see notes)
  • Three large baking sheets (I own and love these)
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Large, wide pan (I use my 5.5 quart dutch oven)
  • Pastry brush

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough: Measure 1 and 1/2 cups warm water in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Whisk in the yeast until completely dissolved. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment4, beat the flour, brown sugar, and salt for a few seconds on medium speed. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the water/yeast making sure to scrape out any undissolved yeast with a spatula. You want all the yeast in the dough.
  3. Switch mixer to low speed and mix until all the flour has been worked into the dough. The dough will look shredded; that's ok. Once it appears this way, increase the speed to medium and beat for 8 minutes straight. The dough is incredibly stiff and will be somewhat dry; do not be tempted to add more liquid. During the 8 minutes, if the dough splits or breaks apart-- stop the mixer and fold the dough back together with your hands-- then continue to beat until smooth and cohesive.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or spray with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Loosely cover the bowl with aluminum foil or a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 and 1/2 hours. You want the dough to be larger and puffy, but not quite doubled in size. This could range from 70 - 100 minutes. Use your best judgement.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place a wire rack over a third baking sheet. Set all three aside.
  6. Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, gently punch it down if you notice any air bubbles. Turn it out onto a clean surface. It will still be a little stiff-- not sticky. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Just eyeball it. Makes no difference if one is slightly larger than another. Shape each piece into a ball and place 4 balls onto the two lined baking sheet. Then, hold up one ball then press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole. Poke two fingers through and widen the hole by rotating your fingers in a circular motion. You want the hole about 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter. Cover the shaped bagels with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest as you prep the water bath.
  7. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  8. Water bath: Fill a large, wide pan with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-high so that the water remains simmering. Drop bagels in, 2-3 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side. Transfer each bagel to the wire rack. They will look a little shriveled-- that's ok!
  9. Topping: Mix together the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt in  a bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel, then sprinkle each with the everything topping mixture. OR you can dip the top of each bagel directly into the everything topping mixture (that's what I do).
  10. Place 4 of the bagels back onto each of the lined baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You want the bagels to be a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow bagels to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Slice, toast, top, whatever you want! Enjoy your homemade everything bagels.
  12. Make ahead tip: These bagels freeze wonderfully! Freeze them for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm to your liking.

Recipe Notes:

  1. If not using an instant yeast, expect around a 50% longer rise in step 4.
  2. Barley malt syrup is a little hard to find, but truly gives bagels that traditional malty flavor we all know and love. Most natural food stores carry it. I offer alternatives such as brown sugar in the dough and honey in the water bath; I've made bagels with these alternatives AND with barley malt syrup and honestly love both versions.
  3. If you don't care for one of these seasonings, feel free to swap it out with another that you love. Or use all poppy seeds, all sesame seeds, all coarse salt, etc. The dried minced onion tends to burn so I don't recommend using more of that.
  4. Bread machine: Place the dough ingredients into the pan of the machine. Program the machine to dough or manual, then start. After 9-10 minutes, the dough will be quite stiff. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then continue with the recipe. By hand: If you do not have a mixer, you can mix the dough together in a large bowl then knead by hand for 15 minutes.

Adapted from a mix of recipes I've tried: King Arthur Flour, Cook's Illustrated, and Complete Book of Breads

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