A while back I posted a pic on Facebook of my home made everything bagels and had several requests for the recipe. However, at the time, I was finishing up the final edits for Bound by Legend and listening to and approving the last chapters the audio copy of Ashes and Spirits.
Now that I’m done with that and the audio for Ashes is out and Bound by Legend is in the hands of my designers/formatters, and I have this lovely day of chilly temps and fifty mile an hour wind gusts that keeps me inside, I figured I could sit down and type this out. I typically make these once a week. And I bake bread every other day because nobody likes store bread in this house. The nice thing about the home made bagels as opposed to those bought at the store is that you get all of the goodness throughout the bagels instead of just what’s sprinkled on top.
2 packages active dry yeast (I find Fleischmann’s because I’ve found it dissolves better than other yeasts)
2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons salt (I use Himalayan Pink)
5 1/2 to 6 cups of flour (I use unbleached, unbrominated flour)
Hemp seeds (you can buy them in the grocery store)
Minced garlic (stuff in the jar works fine if you don’t want to spend the time mincing it yourself)
Onions, either minced or you can use dehydrated flakes (I use the latter most often)
Unsalted sunflower seeds (if you want them)
You will also need sugar water to boil them in, I use 2 tablespoons of sugar to 6 quarts of water in a large, wide pot.
And you will need 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon of water.
Okay, in a large bowl dump in the yeast, the sugar and the salt. Add the warm water and stir until everything is dissolved. Let sit for a few moments to ensure the yeast will proof. When it starts to show some foaming (can just be a skim on top), you are ready to proceed.
Add all of your seedy things, the garlic, onions, etc. There is no measurement for these other than a good palm full of each. Mix in 4 cups of flour, one at a time. Mix the last one until the dough is smooth. Then mix in one more cup of flour to make a stiff dough. Put half a cup of flour on some wax paper and turn the dough out onto it.
Knead dough for about five minutes (you can add more flour if you need to). Put some olive oil in your bowl (not a lot) and return your kneaded dough to the bowl and turn it so the oiled side of the dough is facing up. Place a warm, damp dish towel over the bowl and set in warm place to rise (a slightly warmed oven works best, just don’t get the oven too hot).
After it has risen to double its size, punch the dough down, knead briefly to remove air bubbles. Then pinch off some dough (only trial and error will teach you the amount to pinch off, should be a good handful or there abouts), work the dough until its roughly a ball shape. Then, holding the dough in both hands, start to work the dough into more of a circle. Poke your thumbs through the center of the dough and continue working your fingers around the outside until you have a bagel shape. Too much extra flour on the outside of your dough is not your friend at this point. If you’ve never made bagels before, your first attempts at shaping them will likely be as laughable as my first attempts were. Don’t worry about, pretty doesn’t make them any tastier and you will eventually become a pro at it.
Once you have your bagels shaped, lay them on well floured wax paper, cover lightly with warm damp towels and let sit for 20 minutes. This is a good time to start your water boiling. Also a good time to grease a couple of flat pans (I use real butter for this) and sprinkle them generously with cornmeal.
After 20 minutes, remove towels and transfer a few bagels at a time into the boiling water. Start with a small number as they will get bigger in the water. Boil each bagel for 5 minutes, flipping them over in the water every minute.
Then remove from water with slotted spatula and place on a towel covered plate. Do not use paper towels to place them on unless you like eating the bits of paper towel that have fallen in love with the bottom of your bagels. Transfer the bagels to the pan. Once all of the bagels have been through the boil and are on your pans, brush them with the egg wash, then sprinkle more of your seedy things over them along with some more onion and garlic.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees F
Put your bagels in and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes (if you’re like me you have to bake one pan at a time), they should be well browned on top. Take them out and transfer to cooling racks. Once they are cool, slice and top with whatever, toast them or eat them as is. However you enjoy your bagels.