Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cooking: New York Style Bagels courtesy of Peter Reinhart

There are few things more glorious than a freshly baked bagel to start your day

I made bagels this Friday/Saturday and I wrote it like that because it is a two day process. Thursday night I had been thinking about making bagels and I looked up some recipes early Friday morning. At first I was thinking I could whip some dough together, let it rise while I went out for a run, and then finish them up and be on my merry way. Wrong. After looking through recipes and finding out that the gold standard recipe for NY style bagels, via Peter Reinhart, has an overnight step I decided to wait until Friday evening to start them and then finish them up on Saturday. It was completely worth it. Everyone exclaimed over them and gave me more credit than I was due considering I, or rather my KitchenAid, just followed the recipe and stirred some things together. It really was an easy recipe, and you can find it after the link.

After boiling and ready to be baked

Peter Reinhart's Bagels - Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  For me this recipe made 16 regular size bagels

   1 tsp. instant yeast
   4 cups bread flour
   2 1/2 cups room temperature water

   1/2 tsp. instant yeast
   3 3/4 cups bread flour
   2 3/4 tsp. salt
   1 TBSP honey

   1 TBSP baking soda

1. Start with the sponge, stir the yeast and the flour together in a large mixing bowl. Add water and whisk together, it   should resemble thick pancake batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. It should have doubled in size and have some bubbles. 

2. In the same bowl add the yeast needed for the dough, and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour, the salt, and the honey. Stir or mix until the dough balls together. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour if you need to stiffen your dough. Due to being at a higher elevation I didn't need to do this step. 

3. Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, you can do this in the mixer but there was too much dough for mine and it was too stiff, so it was done by hand. It should pass the windowpane test and feel satiny when it's ready. 

4. Divide the dough into 16 pieces that you can then roll into a ball. Cover them with a damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes. After the dough rests poke a hole through the middle of each ball and slowly widen the hole with your thumb, about 2 inches wide. 

5. Place the dough bagels on a baking sheet or two lined with parchment paper that has been prepared so that the dough won't stick. Spray the tops of the bagels with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 more minutes.

6. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be put into the fridge overnight by filling a small bowl with room temperature water. Take one of the bagels off of the baking sheet and if it's ready it should float within 10 seconds. If it doesn't float return it to the pan and wait another 20 minutes and then re-test. Repeat this until your bagel floats.

7. After your dough passes the test put the baking sheets in the fridge overnight or for at least  8 hours and up to 2 days.

8. The next day, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. While the oven is preheating start a large pot of water to boil. Once the water is boiling add the baking soda.

9. Slowly and carefully add your dough bagels to the boiling water, you don't want them to be squished so depending on your pot size you may only be able to do 2 or 3 at a time. Allow them to boil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Dry them off gently and place bake on the baking sheet. In order for them not to stick after baking throw down some cornmeal or respray your parchment paper before putting the boiled bagels back on the pan.

10. While your bagels are still damp from their boil bath you can sprinkle on some toppings if you choose. Hold off on adding cinnamon or sugar until after they bake.

11. When all of your bagels have been boiled and topped place the baking sheets on the middle two racks in the oven. 
After 5 minutes switch the sheets if you have two going and also rotate them 180 degrees. Lower the temperature to 450 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes, if your bagels still need some more color like mine did keep them in for an additional five minutes.

12. Let the bagels cool down and then pig out!


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