The Yellow Kitchen: I make Bagels… and love them!

Hey all!

So, my latest thing appears to be bread. After making the crusty bread in the oven a few weeks ago, I have now turned to sandwich bread, challah and bagels. This post is all about bagels!

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Oven ready and sesame-sprinkled!

For me, the bagel craze only hit when I was 11 or 12. That’s when my father – who is king of going nuts for a fad (any fad really, remember when I talked about the juicing? He made us hate apple-carrot juice for years afterwards as he made it for us every weekend, 4 litres of it. It was madness) – discovered Gryfe’s Bagels on Bathurst street in Toronto.

And then we had bagels, fresh, every Saturday morning. My dad gained a reputation there – all the sweet (and patient!) Filipina ladies knew him as “Tony” – the guy who bought 6 dozen bagels every Saturday morning – one dozen plain, two dozen extra poppy seed, one dozen flax, one dozen cinnamon raisin and one dozen sesame. Oh, with a tin of cream cheese. The one with the dancing cow on it.

As with the juicing, the lemon-honey teas, the chocolate wafer cookies and many other fads my father has loved throughout the years, the whole family HAD to be a part of it. It was inevitable, resistance was futile, and hell, bagels actually tasted quite yummy (unlike the very short brusselsprout fetish) so, why the heck not, amiright?

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Yum, fresh out of the oven!

Since then, my father’s desire for bagels is now limited to about 4 dozen a week. And now, mostly a mixture of flax and cinnamon raisin. He slathers on first butter, then cream cheese, then my mother’s homemade quince jam (we call it marmalada, but it is definitely not marmalade) and manages to eat it all without too much mess.

My sisters prefer extra poppy seed with Nutella. My mom and I, sesame with cream cheese or butter.

Whatever the preference – bagels are still hugely a part of breakfasts at their house, and on occasion, at my house too.

Which brings me to this … making bagels!

boiling bagels before baking them ... a two-step process to yummy

boiling bagels before baking them … a two-step process to yummy

I found a recipe at A Beautiful Mess ( this blog!) for bagels and I just had to try it! I mean, for a bread-obsessed family like mine, how can I not try it out? The recipe was for an everything bagel, but as I had tonnes of sesame seeds (thanks to recent craving for sesame chicken), I made sesame bagels!

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Without further ado, here’s the recipe and the result:

Bagels with Sesame Seeds (makes 8)

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons (or one package) active dry yeast

3 1/2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 egg

  1. In a bowl: Combine water & sugar, and stir. When the sugar has dissolved, add the yeast, then set aside to allow it to activate (give it about 7 or so minutes – I ended up waiting 10 and it was good).

  2. In large bowl: Whisk together (get out those clumps!) the flour, 1 ½ tsp salt. When it lacks the lumps and the yeast has been activated, dump it in and stir until you get barely wet clumps.

  3. Turn the newly formed dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. (Can also be done with a stand mixer and dough hook for less time). When it is elastic-like, you’re done kneading.

  4. Throw dough ball into an oiled bowl, and let it sit for about an hour in a warm place (I was baking some other things and had it next to my oven – it rose beautifully!)

  5. Once risen, you turn the bowl over and let the dough slip onto a floured surface and then break it up into equal pieces. The original recipe says 8, but I easily made 11 … it rose a lot.

  6. Shape each piece of dough into a ball then using your thumb press a hole into it. You may want to wiggle your thumb around a bit to make the hole a little wider.

  7. Leave them for ten minutes, and bring a big pot of water to boil, and put the oven to 425F. Once the ten minutes are up, boil each bagel for about 60 seconds per side, then drop them onto a prepared baking sheet with a slotted spoon.

  8. In a small bowl: Whisk together the egg & about a tsp of water, then brush the top of your bagels with this egg wash. Sprinkle on toppings – sesame seeds, in my case, but poppy seeds, caraway seeds, salt – whatever your fancy.

  9. Into the oven they go for about 20 minutes.

  10. They store for 4-5 days in an airtight container, but mine were done by the end of the first day!

And there you have it! Your own bagels! In under two hours! And they were AMAZING! Super soft and I can’t wait to try variations on these! Like … Honey Whole Wheat Bagels

Thanks for dropping by – my next foodie post will be on sandwich bread! And after that Challah – and then maybe something un-bread related …




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