Monday, October 28, 2013

[Surprisingly Easy] Homemade Bagels



Lots of people make their own bread.  Some people even make their own hamburger buns. (They're probably a little crazy.)  But bagels?  Who makes bagels?

Well, you're going to, now!  Seriously, these were so easy to make that I was a little embarrassed that I've been spending money on them for so long.  I've been buying organic sprouted wheat bagels from Azure Standard since I discovered them.  We've been intrigued and delighted to discover that sprouted wheat bagels don't sit like a lump of lead in your stomach, but actually digest very well.  And since we discovered that, Rob eats them almost every morning for breakfast: bagel, cream cheese, ham, cheddar, broiler.  It's crazy good.  

I didn't think $3.50 a bag was really a horrible price for bagels, especially organic AND sprouted.  I mean, regular bagels are $2.89 a bag at my last check.  That's about $.583 per bagel, if you're buying the ones I buy.  Or $.481 if you buy the regular ones.

So I did the math.  At the price I pay for wheat, I end up paying about $.17 per cup of flour.  Here's the recipe for bagels:

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt 
4 1/4 c. flour
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water


It almost makes me laugh.  Or cry, depending.  Other than water (we have a well, but feel free to add it in if you like) our costs are: $.18 (yeast), $.03 (sugar), $.04 (salt) and $.73 (flour).  Oh, and an egg, since chances are the yolk gets thrown away: $.25. 

Total: $1.23 or about $.153 per bagel.  (The recipe makes eight.)  Literally a third of the price.  And after the first time you make them, they're super quick to make, so you don't have to factor much time in.

So let's make some bagels, shall we?  If you want to make them with sprouted wheat like we did, here's how.

Here's the ingredients again:
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
2 t. salt 
4 1/4 c. flour
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Mix the water, yeast and sugar in your mixing bowl, and let sit for about 15 minutes.


Mix it all together until the sides are clean (5-10 minutes in a Kitchenaid, or until well kneaded if by hand).


Spray the bowl, replace the dough, and cover with a warm cloth to rise, about an hour:


Punch it down and work it into a ball, then divvy it in eight pieces.  (Add in your flavors if you want them, now: cinnamon, raisins, onions, blueberries, etc.)  Let them sit for about five minutes.



Poke a hole into the middle of each ball and work the edges until it's the right shape.  Let these sit on a pan for a while you get a saucepan of water boiling.  (Or alternately, a stockpot, if you want to do more than one at a time.)


Once the water's boiling, plunk a bagel into it.  You want it to be in for 45 seconds, so I usually count to 25 on one side, flip it over, and finish counting to 45.  If you've got kids interrupting your mental counting, use a timer.  Or make them count, it'll be good practice for them.  :-)  Place the boiled bagels on a rack to dry while you finish the rest.


Here's the lineup of very unattractive, boiled bagels:


Then whip the egg white and tablespoon of water together and brush over the tops of the bagels.  This isn't necessary, especially if you want to knock out that $.25 of egg cost.  Now is the time to add toppings if you like them.  Don't let these sit too long before popping them in the oven-- they lose some of their height and while they end up edible, they're kind of more like hockey pucks than round bagels.  Not the end of the world, but not what we're going for, either.


Bake @350 for 35 minutes.  They'll look pretty done at 20 minutes, but I'll save you the trouble: leave them in the oven.  See the picture below?  The three on the right are labeled with the amount of minutes they cooked, 20, 25, and 30.  I tasted them all.  They weren't done enough, and you'll regret it if you pull them out just because they look done.  Leave them for the full 30-35, like the ones on the left.  You can squeak by with 30 minutes if you want to prevent much of a crust from forming, which these do. I think I might try them all that way next time and get a husbandly assessment.


Ready to eat!

8 comments :

  1. Huh. It's the boiling water thing that's always made bagels sound complicated to me, but you just made it sound sort of easy. Sort of. So . . . can I buy some bagels from you? ;-)

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  2. I concur with Shirley. Once again you've inspired me to try something, all because I know someone who already tested the recipe for me, and who made it look easy. Thanks for being my test kitchen! I haven't tried the sprouted wheat thing yet, in part because I don't have a wheat grinder. For the time being, is there any reason I can't use regular flour?

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    1. Any flour should work fine. :-) Let me know how it goes! If you use white flour I'd be curious as to how it behaves differently, if at all. (I'm guessing they might stay "puffier" than whole wheat ones, but not sure how sprouted affects all that.)

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    2. Typically I use half unbleached white and half whole wheat, so that's likely what I'll use for the bagels. I'll keep you posted.

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  3. I'm going to eat these at your house in a few weeks! They look delicious! I think I need to visit for a year and play in your kitchen with you!

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    1. Ha ha, woe on the rest of the world when you and I spend a year in the kitchen together...but meanwhile WE'D sure have fun with it! Can't wait to see you. You'll have to send a menu plan of all the stuff you want to try making/eating. :-D

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  4. I agree with Kay! It is wonderful to have you do the test kitchen work for me! I have often made bread, but now I am going to try bagels since my kids LOVE them! And these do look so easy!

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