The intro to the recipe for bagels is about three pages long and goes into much detail surrounding the history of bagels, the different methods used to shape, different pre-baking techniques (steaming vs. boiling), and how higher gluten flours lead to a more authentic taste. Of particular importance was that he said this bagel dough was stiffer than any other in the “bread kingdom”. He couldn’t have been more right. Annie had her KA mixer smoking and I could smell mine burning while it was kneading the dough. Both mixers survived, and the result was incredibly flavorful, chewy bagels that pretty much ensure I’ll never reach for a sleeve of Thomas’ or Lenders’ again (I probably can’t stay away from Panera forever!).
As with breads, I am a bagel minimalist. I like ’em plain and slathered with cream cheese. Every now and then I’ll take one with sesame seeds or an asiago one, but by and large, I like my bagels simple and that is just how I made them.
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
4 cups (18 ounces) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 ½ cups (20 ounces) water, at room temperature
½ teaspoon (.055 ounces) instant yeast
3 ¾ cups (17 ounces) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 ¾ teaspoons (.7 ounce) salt
2 teaspoons (.33 ounce) malt powder OR 1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, rehydrated dried minced ga