Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bagel lovers inquire within

Do you love bagels like I do? I have a bagel for breakfast every morning. I know, I know, in order to get the nutrients you need daily it's important for a person to vary their diet. However, when I was nursing Jana, I couldn't eat much besides bread and meat. I began to look forward to my bagel every morning because it was one of the few things I could still have that I truly enjoyed. So, I'm now stuck in a rut.

Since I was on maternity leave for the first few months of Jana's life, I became very aware of every penny we spent. When I first returned home from the hospital I, like most new mommies, did not have the time or energy to cook. I began purchasing my bagels. Besides not being able to find bagels with a short ingredients list that tasted good (I was looking for a list that said "whole wheat flour, water, salt, yeast" and that was about it), it was expensive!!! I usually went for the fresh, store made bagels because they tasted better, but they were around $8 per dozen. I thought that was crazy, not to mention the ingredients list was anything but short.

As soon as I could, I switched to making my own bagels again. I could make these for around $2/dozen. That's quite a savings, especially with the way we eat bagels in my house! I can hear what you're thinking..."who has the time to make bagels?" Honestly, it is time consuming, but there is only about 15 minutes active prep time. The rest is rising, mixing, and baking. I use my bread machine, so it makes the job much easier. I don't have to do the kneading, punching down the dough, etc. My bread maker is worth it's weight in gold! :)

So, I adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com to my own tastes:
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 quarts boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  1. Place water, salt, sugar, flour and yeast in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough setting.
  2. When cycle is complete, let dough rest on a lightly floured surface. Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Cut dough into 9 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a small ball. Flatten balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a clean cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle an ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water. Boil for 1 minute, turning half way through. Drain briefly on clean towel. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white, and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.
  5. Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until well browned.
And here is the finished product!

I make the bagels all whole wheat, get rid of the refined sugar that it calls for, and add some cinnamon. Also, you'll need slightly more water than the recipe calls for. It is probably around 1 1/8- 1 1/4 cups. I don't add sugar to the boiling water and I just spray the bagels with olive oil spray before putting in the oven (instead of using an egg wash). The possibilities are endless...you can make whatever your favorite bagel is. Add some kosher salt, minced onion, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, raisins...whatever you please! Those of you who love blueberry bagels: I haven't found a great way to add the blueberries without your bagels turning purple, but they still taste good! Of course, if you prepared the dough by hand, you probably could do it a lot easier.

Have a blast with this. The finished product will be better than any store bought bagel you have ever had!

For more recipes using flour, head over to Life As Mom.

**** I should have mentioned that if you use all whole wheat flour, you should add some gluten to the mix. If you add 1 teaspoon of gluten per cup of flour, your dough will be much more pliable and the finished product much softer. Sorry, Kate! :-/


  1. Hey! I didn't know you joined the land of blogging! AWESOME! I will surely subscribe and read all of your healthy eating ideas with glee....I just made black bean turkey burgers AND whole wheat rolls to go with them yesterday. I was oh so proud of myself! Talk to you soon!

  2. to stop dough or pancake batter from turning purple with blueberries, simply rinse the berries in cold water, drain and then put in small bowl. Add a bit of flour, toss gently to coat. Voila...add to batter and it shouldn't turn purple. This was a "newlywed" tip from my mother in law and my husband :) your bagels look GREAT!!!

  3. I tried making my own...ROCK HARD! I'm not sure what I did wrong, but it didn't work out so well the first time. Sigh... I will try again one of these days.

  4. Kate - Did you try with this recipe or another one?? And did you use all purpose or whole wheat flour? I can try to trouble shoot it with you!

  5. What tips can you give me, the rookie bread maker, about how to make these without using a bread machine?

  6. Heather - I think you could probably just follow the same recipe, but just let your dough rise in a bowl until it's doubled. Then roll out the bagels and proceed with the directions from there. I found this basic recipe on allrecipes.com, not having to use a bread machine: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bagels-II/Detail.aspx. Let me know how you make out!