For those of you following my adventures in the kitchen through this blog, you know that I love trying to make things from scratch, like fruit leather, Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long tang bao), or green tea and birthday cake ice cream. Many of you probably are wondering why in the world would you make yogurt from scratch [or insert food], when you can buy them for 0.40 [insert insanely cheap price] at the store? Here are some of the reasons I’m up for the challenge of DIY food:
1) Sometimes things really do taste better homemade.
2) Sometimes things really are cheaper homemade.
3) It’s “greener”. It reduces packaging waste and doesn’t contribute (much) to my carbon footprint.
4) I can control what goes into what I make. I don’t need to add preservatives, unecessary colorings or flavor enhancers.
5) It’s fun to know “where your food comes from.”
6) It makes me feel more “domesticated”. ( :
Making food from scratch doesn’t always make sense. Some recipes take way too long to prepare and only taste slightly better than store-bought like my Taiwanese pineapple cakes. But nonetheless it’s fun.
So, I wanted to share with you my attempt at homemade bagels.
[Sidenote: While I was in Dunkin Donuts, I got to thinking about donut holes and smiled to myself as I thought, “Whoever invented donut holes, must’ve been a little like me…doesn’t like wasting food and found a way to make them profitable.” But, then I looked next to the donuts and noticed the bagels…but wait. No bagel holes. Where do all the bagel holes go??? So, this made me want to make my own and find out. After some searching, I found this blog and discovered the answer. Click here to find out too. (Maybe you already know…but this is for those of you who don’t.) Also, my recipe was mostly based on the one I found in this same blog.]
This may be one of those things that you think might not be worth the time and effort. While I’m not bagel connoisseur, homemade bagels are kind of pretty tasty. I also wanted to make bagels because R didn’t come this weekend and so I didn’t get to go grocery shopping…and needed something for my breakfasts for this week.
Here’s what I did:
4 cups bread flour (I used 3 cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat…it’s all I had)
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T vegetable oil
2 t yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of warm water
optional: toppings like sesame or poppy seeds, onions, etc.
1. Mix all ingredients (except toppings) in a bowl. Knead dough for about ten minutes or until everything is well incorporated. If the dough seems too dry, add water by the tablespoon until it’s uniform and smooth.
2. Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. This will make for a prettier bagel if you do this step now. Let rest for 10-20 minutes.
3. Start to boil a big pot of water. The pot doesn’t need to be entirely full. Maybe less than 1/2 is fine. (You just need enough water for the bagels to float in and so it doesn’t all evaporate before you are finished.)
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
5. While water is boiling and oven is heating, take bagel “balls” and smash down a bit. Cut out a hole from the center. If you have a kitchen gadget to help with this (e.g., apple corer), then great. I had to get creative and used the lid off of something. You can save the holes and make bagel bites, like I did or toss them. (The gold thingy in the picture below is what I used to make my bagel holes.)
6. Once the water has boiled, you can start to boil your bagels. (Who knew bagels were boiled!) Place as many bagels as you can into the boiling water without them being too crowded. Boil on each side for 1 minute. Remove them and set on a wire rack to let dry. Repeat this for all bagels.
7. If you want to add a topping, now is the time to do it. Put your topping of choice into a wide bowl or dish and after the bagels come out of the water, place them face down into the topping.
8. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place bagels (topping side up) and bagel bites onto the baking sheet.
9. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip bagels over and bake for another 10 minutes.
10. Let bagels cool for about 20 minutes. Then enjoy with cream cheese, peanut butter or your spread of choice.
Notes: Next time I’m going to try either adding blueberries to the mix or cinnamon for a bagel that’s too sweet to pass up!