Episode #7 of the course Introduction to bread making by Alice Morgan
Greetings! Today, we’re going to learn all about making bagels, so you’ll be able to impress your friends with the perfect brunch.
Bagels are a form of yeasted bread shaped into rings and boiled before being baked. They are typically enjoyed at breakfast, but many people also eat them as snacks or to make sandwiches. Bagels got their start in Poland in the early 1600s in the Jewish community, where they were recommended as a gift for women in childbirth. The word bagel itself is derived from the Yiddish word “beygal,” which means “ring” or “bracelet.” Over the next two centuries, bagels became a staple in Slavic cuisine in general.
Eventually, bagels migrated to other parts of the world. The English began to sell them in the mid-1800s on dowels in the front windows of bakeries. They came to the United States a little later, where they were quickly embraced by New York City locals. Bagel brunches even became popular, where they were topped with cream cheese, lox, capers, tomatoes, and red onions. Bagels arrived in Japan in 1989, where they can be found in such flavors as green tea and banana nut.
Recipe: Bagels (Makes 8 Bagels)
4 cups (480g) all-purpose flour
2¼ (12g) teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon (15g) salt
3 tablespoons (45ml) honey
1½ cups (360ml) of warm water
1 teaspoon (6ml) of olive oil
Combine the flour and yeast in a large bowl. Combine the flour and yeast in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and 1 tablespoon (15ml) of honey to the flour mixture, and let the mixture sit in a warm spot for about ten minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
After the dough has rested, add salt to the mix, turn the dough out on a floured surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and stretchy. If the dough is too wet, add in additional flour a little at a time. Coat the bowl and dough with a thin layer of olive oil, cover, and allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
Once risen, punch down the dough, and then divide it into eight equal balls. Form each of the dough balls into a ring, and place them on a parchment paper-lined pan. Cover and allow the bagels to rise for another half hour or so.
While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Bring 6 cups (1.5L) of water to a boil in a large pot. Dissolve the last two tablespoons of honey into the boiling water. Once they finish rising, add several bagels to the boiling water. Cook for about seven minutes, flip the bagels, and then cook for another seven minutes until they firm up and turn a golden color. Place the boiled bagels back on the baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until uniformly brown.
• To be more authentic, use malted barley syrup instead of honey.
• For a shinier surface, broil the bagels on high for 90 seconds on each side before boiling. Lower the baking time to 20 to 25 minutes.
• This recipe is for plain bagels, but you can experiment with adding ingredients to the dough or sprinkling spices on top before baking to get whatever flavor you like best.
That’s the end of today’s lesson. I hope this lesson has inspired you to try making these delicious breakfast breads. Tomorrow, we’ll cover buttermilk biscuits. See you then!
The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread by Maria Balinska
Real Bagels Are Boiled: Twenty Painless Recipes from a Girl Who Learned to Bake When She Moved to a Town Where Nobody Made a Proper Bagel by Jules Vilmur and Ruth Long
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