Bagels 101 (Using a Stand Mixer)

Recipe by 2Bleu




  • CHOOSE YOUR FLAVOR (if other than plain). This is for the dough portion ONLY: WHOLE WHEAT BAGELS: Follow basic recipe, omitting sugar. Use 3 Tbsp honey instead. In place of flour, use 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup wheat germ, and about 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour, blended together. Knead with white flour. PUMPERNICKEL BAGELS: Follow basic recipe, omitting sugar. Use 3 Tbsp dark molasses in place of sugar. In place of flour use 2 cups rye, 2 cups whole wheat, 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour blended together. Knead with white flour. ONION BAGELS: Add 1/2 cup dried onion or 1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix to the wet mixture before adding flour. (See 'THE BAKE' if you only want some of the bagels to be onion flavor).
  • THE DOUGH: Using your KitchenAid with the dough hook attachement, combine the water (125F.), sugar, salt, and yeast. Add 3 cups of the flour and then the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a ball forms. Knead (by hand or with the dough hook) for about 3 minutes, adding more flour a little at a time if necessary. When dough appears near desired consistency, knead in any additions for 1 minute or until incorporated. (NOTE: You can also knead till almost ready, remove the dough from your KitchenAid, and divide dough into individual (or a few each) bagels and add different ingredients to each bagel so you get a varied batch of bagels from one recipe). SUGGESTIONS: dried fruits (such as raisins, apples, cranberries), nuts, seeds, spices (such as dried minced onion or garlic), chocolate morsels or shavings, or any combination of flavorings. Knead in the ingredients until just combined, about 1 minute. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise (1st RISE) for 20 minutes.
  • THE SHAPE: Punch down dough and place on a floured work surface. Use a food scale if you want consistency, and separate dough into balls; for 8 large, 12 regular, or 16 (mini bagels). Choose a shaping method and begin: 1) THE FINGER IN THE MIDDLE METHOD: Roll each piece of dough into a ball, poke a floured finger through the center to form the hole, and then shape top and smooth sides. With the bagel on the floured counter, place your finger in the hole with the tip of your index finger touching the counter, and make small fast circles with your finger to hula-hoop the bagel around it, to widen the hole. 2) THE ROPE METHOD: Roll each piece of dough into a rope by rolling it on the bread board or between your hands. Wrap the rope around four fingers, overlap and join the ends, and turn the circle inside out. Until you get this hand movement down pat, you may have to moisten the ends to hold them together. Initially the length may be lumpy and the joint will show. It takes practice. NOTE: Keep in mind that bagels do not rise very much, so you want them to be puffy when you shape them. Don't flatten them down.
  • THE 2nd RISE: During the 2nd rising, the bagels will puff up slightly. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover them with a plastic wrap that has been sprayed on one side with nonstick vegetable spray. Place them in a draft free location and let them rise at room temperature until puffy, about 20 minutes. NOTE: Bagels can be refrigerated at this point, should you decide to boil and bake them later, or the next morning. Leave them covered so they do not dry out. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to warm slightly while you boil water and preheat the oven.
  • THE BOIL: Fill a 5 quart soup pot with water 4 inches deep (you can add 2 tablespoons honey or sugar for a sweeter bagel). Drop bagels one at a time into the boiling water. Boil about 3-4 at a time or only so many that they float freely, and are not crowded. Simmer for 30 seconds (15 seconds on each side), turning with a slotted spatula. NOTE: Put the top side of the bagel down into water first, and then turn over. When you remove them, the bagels will be top side up and slide off your spatula for draining and adding toppings. Remove and place them gently on a lightly greased cooling rack (that has been placed on top of a clean dish towel) for a few minutes to drain.
  • THE GLAZE: Choose your glaze and brush tops before placing them in the oven: 1) WATER GLAZE: Spray bagels at the beginning of the baking (using a mist bottle makes this easy), again 5 minutes after placing them in the oven and again near the end of baking. A spray (or brushing) with room-temperature tap water will yield a subtle glaze. 2) NONSTICK COOKING SPRAY GLAZE: Spray before placing in the oven and again about 5 minutes before baking time is completed. Nonstick cooking spray goes on more evenly than using a brush and yields an even glaze. 3) EGG GLAZE: Mix together 1 egg with 1 tbs. water, milk, or cream. Brush it on the bagels before they are put into the oven. 4) CORNSTARCH GLAZE: Dissolve 2 tbs. cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water. Bring 1 cup water to a boil and whisk the dissolved solution into the boiling water until it thickens. Brush it on the bagel tops at the beginning of the baking and again as soon as you remove the bagels from the oven for a very high shine.
  • THE TOPPINGS: A variety of toppings can be added to the bagel before baking, either directly to the dough after settling, or after the bagel is glazed. Use as much or as little topping as you like. To brush the toppings on, use a ratio of 2-1 dry ingredients/1 water or oil. VARIATIONS: ONION- Use dehydrated onion flakes or packaged onion soup mix. 3) SEEDED- Sprinkle boiled bagels with sesame seed, poppy seed, or caraway seed (especially good on rye bagels) after using glaze and prior to baking. Poppy, caraway, sesame and celery seeds can be used directly from the jar. Just dip the bagels into a dish of seeds or sprinkle seeds on top. 4) TOASTED NUTS: Using them on (and in) bagels enhances their flavor. Walnuts, almonds, pecans or hazelnuts can be used on bagels as toppings and also added to the dough at the beginning or before they are shaped and rise the second time. 5) OATS/GRAINS: Sprinkle with rolled oats or multigrain cereal, which will brown while baking.
  • THE BAKE: Preheat the oven to 400°F Choose your baking surface then continue on to the steaming. 1) BAKING SHEET: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (as it eliminates the use of oil and cornmeal and cleaning pans). Place bagels on the shelf just below the middle in the oven. 2) BAKING STONE: Place the stone on the lowest rack in your oven while preheating the oven (with stone inside). Sprinkle cornmeal on the stone. Transfer un-baked bagels to the hot surface using a wooden peel (a long-handled wooden paddle used in baking), or any flat instrument with a long handle so you don't burn yourself; wear heavy padded gloves (NOTE: you can also place parchment paper on your peel and slide it off onto the stone with the bagels right onto the peel). NOW FOR STEAMING (Optional): Place a heavy pan in the very bottom of your oven (under the bottom rack) while it is preheating. Place the bagels in the oven and then pour cold water or half a dozen ice cubes into the pan and spray the sides of the (preheated) oven with water from a spray mist bottle when you place the bagels inside (This gives the bagel tops a crisp crust and extra shine by creating steam during the first few seconds of the baking). Bake for 20-40 minutes (depending on their size) until the tops are a light golden brown.
  • STORING BAGELS: Bagels are best when they're eaten fresh from the oven while still warm. Once cooled, keep them in a brown paper bag for up to 12 hours. Any longer, and freezing is recommended. Slice them horizontally before freezing. Place the halves in a ziploc freezer bag and place in freezer. Thaw bagels on the kitchen counter in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes or toast directly from the freezer. What if a few bagels get stale? Put them into your blender or food processor and grind them into bread crumbs. None of the tasty bread need ever go to waste!