Homemade Bagels
Serves: 12
For the sponge...
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 4 cups (18 oz.) unbleached bread flour
  • 2½ cups (20 oz.) water, at room temperature
For the dough...
  • ½ tsp. instant yeast
  • 3¾ cups (17 oz.) unbleached bread flour
  • 2¾ tsp. (0.7 oz.) salt
  • 2 tsp. (0.33 oz.) diastatic malt powder OR 1 Tbl. dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar
To finish...
  • 1 Tbl. baking soda
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • Desired toppings (7 seed blend, cinnamon & sugar, grated cheese, dried shallot, etc.)
  1. To make the sponge, in a medium bowl, stir the yeast into the flour. Stir in the water until a thick smooth batter forms.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours or until the mixture doubles in size and is bubbly.
  3. To make the dough...in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add just 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball. Slowly work in the remaining ¾ cup flour. The dough will stiffen.
  4. Transfer the dough to a smooth work surface and knead for 10 minutes (or 6 minutes with the mixer) until the dough is smooth. The dough will be firm, but pliable and should be able to pass the windowpane test. If the dough feels sticky, add more flour. If it tears, add a few drops of water.
  5. Divide the dough into 4½ ounce pieces for 12 standard sized bagels Form each piece into a ball. Cover them with a damp towel and allow them to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly mist with cooking spray. Shape the bagels by gently pushing a hole through the center, then stretching the hole to 2 inches. Return bagels to the sheet pans, spacing them 2 inches apart. Mist them with cooking spray then loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let proof at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  7. To check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator OVERNIGHT, use the float test. Fill a small bowl with room temp. water. Place one bagel in the water, if it floats within 10 seconds they are ready. Return the tester to the pan and pat dry. If the tester does not float, allow to proof another 10 minutes (or longer) until tester floats.
  8. The following day or up to two days later, preheat oven to 500 degrees with two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the baking soda. Have a strainer/skimmer and your toppings ready.
  9. Remove bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them in the boiling water. Boil in batches 3-4 at a time. After 1 minute flip them over and boil another minute. Sprinkle the lined baking pans with corn meal. As the bagels are removed from the water, add toppings immediately.
  10. When all the bagels have been boiled and topped, place the pans in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and turning 180 degrees. After rotation, lower oven temp. to 450 degrees and continue baking for about 5 more minutes. Bagels should be light golden brown. Let bagels cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.
Preparation Time...This recipe requires overnight refrigeration. Day #1 ~ about 3 hours preparation; Day #2 ~ about 20 minutes total cook time.
Recipe by Lemony Thyme at http://www.lemonythyme.com/homemade-bagels/