Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bagel Recipe from Cooks Illustrated

This is a great recipe for first time bagel makers. Cooks Illustrated does a beautiful job explaining!

Because bagel dough is much drier and stiffer than bread dough, it takes longer for the ingredients to cohere during mixing. For this same reason, we recommend that you neither double the recipe nor try to knead the dough by hand. Most good natural foods stores carry barley malt syrup. High-gluten flour might be more difficult to find. You can order both the syrup and the flour from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Catalogue.

4 cups high-gluten flour
2 teaspoons table salt
1 tablespoon barley malt syrup or powder
1.5 teaspoons dry active yeast
1.25 cups water (lukewarm, 80 degrees)
3 tablespoons cornmeal , for dusting baking sheet
1/2 cup topping ingredients (optional), see step 7 for suggestions

Here we go! Let's Get Bagel-ing!
  1. Mix flour, salt, and malt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Add yeast and water; mix at lowest speed until dough looks scrappy, like shreds just beginning to come together, about 4 minutes. Increase to speed 2; continue mixing until dough is cohesive, smooth, and stiff, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Turn dough on to work surface; divide into eight portions, about 4 ounces each. Roll pieces into smooth balls and cover with towel or plastic wrap to rest for 5 minutes, (see picture 1, below)
  3. Form dough balls into dough rings (pictures 2 through 4), place on cornmeal-dusted baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (12 to 18 hours).
  4. About 20 minutes before baking, remove dough rings from refrigerator. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Fill large soup kettle with 3-inch depth of water; bring to rapid boil. To test the proofing of the dough rings, fill large bowl with cool water. Drop dough ring into bowl; it should float immediately to surface (if not, retest every 5 minutes).
  5. Working four at a time, drop dough rings into boiling water, stirring and submerging loops with Chinese skimmer or slotted spoon (picture 5), until very slightly puffed, 30 to 35 seconds. Remove rings from water; transfer to wire rack, bottom side down, to drain.
  6. Transfer boiled rings, rough side down, to parchment paper--lined baking sheet or baking stone. Bake until deep golden brown and crisp, about 14 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  7. To Top: Topping ingredients stick to the bagels best when applied to the dough rings just as they come out of the boiling water, while still wet and sticky from boiling, (picture 6).
Steps with Helpful Visual Hints!!
Divide the dough into eight even-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and cover the balls with a towel or a piece of plastic wrap for 5 minutes to rest them.

Form each dough ball into a rope 11 inches long by rolling it under your outstretched palms. Do not taper the ends of the rope.

Overlap the ends of the rope about 1 1/2 inches and pinch the entire overlapped area firmly together. If the ends of the rope do not want to stick together, you can dampen them slightly.

Place the loop of dough around the base of your fingers and, with the overlap under your palm, roll the rope several times, applying firm pressure to seal the seem. The bagel should be roughly the same thickness all the way around.

While boiling the bagels, press them down with the back of a slotted spoon or Chinese skimmer to keep them submerged.

To top the bagels, dunk them into a small bowl of desired topping.

Great Job Everyone! So Yummy!