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Homemade bagels are the bee’s knees.
In a small bowl, add yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of the warm water; do not stir. Let mixture sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy, then stir with a fork until yeast dissolves.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, stir together flour and salt. Make a well in the center; add yeast mixture. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the bowl; stir to combine. Mix, adding remaining water as needed until a smooth dough forms.
Knead dough by hand on a lightly floured countertop, adding more flour as needed until a stiff, firm but smooth and elastic dough forms, about 10 minutes; or, increase speed of stand mixer to medium and knead dough with a dough hook, adding more flour as needed until a stiff, firm but smooth and elastic dough forms, about 5-6 minutes. Shape dough into ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. (Pro tip: If your kitchen is chilly in the winter like mine is, put the bowl in the microwave, on top of a towel-lined heating pad on the lowest setting or in an unheated oven with the oven light turned on.)
Once dough is doubled in size, punch down and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Use your finger to poke a hole in the center of each ball, stretching the hole until it is as big as half the diameter of the entire bagel (it might look too big at first, but it will shrink when you boil/bake it). Place bagels on a lightly greased or silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce heat to just below a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, lower a few bagels at a time into the water. Allow bagels to float to the top. Leave bagels in the water 1-2 minutes, then flip over and leave in the water another 1-2 minutes (the longer they stay in the water, the chewier they become). Remove bagels with slotted spoon and return to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels.
Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.
Recipe adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!