Secrets to Making Delicious Homemade Bagels
Bagels are delicious for breakfast any day of the week. If you are feeling ambitious and would like to try making your own someday, you can find many recipes online. It is important to follow the instructions carefully. Even a small change can have a dramatic effect on the way the bagels turn out. Here are some tips to help you make your own delicious bagels at home.
Most bagel recipes say that you should use bread flour or high-gluten flour. This will create more gluten in the dough and give the bagels their classic texture and chewiness. You can find bread flour in your local grocery store near the all purpose flour.
Bread products generally need sugar to activate the yeast. This is especially important for bagels because sugar gives them their shiny brown crust and extra flavor. You can use regular sugar and/or honey. Some recipes call for malt syrup, which you can find at a health food store if your grocery store doesn’t carry it.
The hardest part about making your own bagels is getting the right shape. There are two ways to do it. With the rope-and-loop method, you roll the dough with your hands into a long snake shape, loop it around your hand in a circle, and then roll the part where the dough meets itself on the counter to seal it. With the stretch-and-poke method, you stretch and shape the dough into a round shape and poke a hole in the center with your finger.
Bagels are different from rolls because they are boiled before they are put in the oven. This sets the crust and makes it hard and chewy. Put a generous amount of salt in the water. Some recipes say to add sugar or baking powder to give the bagels more color and shine. Boil the bagels for one minute per side and then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a baking sheet. This is the ideal time to add toppings since the bagels will be sticky.
The oven must be at least 400 degrees for your bagels to cook properly. Some recipes will tell you to turn over your bagels halfway through cooking so they cook uniformly, but that is not necessary.
Fresh, homemade bagels taste best if eaten within a few hours. If you plan to keep them longer, store them in a sealed container or zip-top bag. If you want to keep them for more than two days, put them in the refrigerator or freezer after slicing them.