Yield: Yields 12 large or 24 mini bagels.
A tight, perfect crumb. Honor it with a smear of cream cheese, a layer of lox, and a thick slice of a juicy, ripe tomato. Be sure to use instant or quick-rise yeast (available in most supermarkets)—not active dry.
Cinnamon-Raisin Bagels: Increase the yeast in the bagel dough (not the sponge) to 1 tsp., and add 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon and 5 Tbs. sugar in with the flour. At the start of mixing, add 1-1/2 to 2 loosely packed cups raisins, rinsed with warm water and well dried (to wash off surface sugar, acid, and wild yeast). For a cinnamon sugar crust, after baking, brush the bagels with melted butter and dip in cinnamon sugar while they’re still hot.
Look for malt syrup at natural food stores under the name barley malt syrup and for malt powder at beer-making supply shops or through baking catalogs.
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I am so happy with the way my very first batch of Bagels came out, that I created this account just to express my gratitude and joy! This recipe is fantastic. For those commenting that it didn't work, I have to question how well it was followed. If your dough is sticky after resting, it was probably too moist to begin with, or it simply "over-proofed" (too much rise- either the wrong yeast for your flour/altitude, or sat out at room temp too long).
Using a high protein bread flour, AND/or adding high quality powdered wheat gluten will also help retain body (and chewiness).
My advice to all: if you know your baking, skip the float test. You should know by the look of the freshly formed bagels and a familiarity with yeasted doughs what "15-20% increase in size" looks like. If not, you can use the float test, and surely that will work out quite well. I did not float test, but rather eyeballed it with no prior bagel-crafting experience, and it worked out excellently.
Brown Rice Syrup is perhaps a more malt-like substitute than Honey or sugar. It worked well for me, using 1 full Tablespoon.
Living at high altitude, I did have to make a few adjustments, but I'm getting the hang of how to do that in all my baking. If (and only if) you're over 5,000 ft above sea level, like me (8,000ft), you'll want to reduce the amounts of yeast, and avoid the "rapid rise" type, just use regular "active dry," and less of it if you live at altitude...otherwise expect over-proofing issues like stickiness, wobbly shape or collapse (i learned the hard way with Pizza dough). I only rested briefly at room temp, up here in the mountains, before retarding in fridge as well. leaving the dough out for than a few min after shaping could easily lead to over-proofing at high altitudes, even with yeast adjustments.
Just returned home to SW Florida after 2 years in NYC. The bagels were the ONLY thing I miss and I have solved that dilemma with this kick-butt recipe. Thank you Peter Reinhart. You are a bagel god to me...These are just as good as the ones I got from The Brooklyn Bagel Boys. I've got just a little personal tweaking to do the next time. (Little too judicious with the salt and I'd like to hand roll them the next time!!) Only thing missing is the slight aura of diesel exhaust that permeates everything in the City. This is the best bagel recipe anywhere and all is now right with my world!!!
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