Monday, December 28, 2009
And now... As promised:
5 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
2 Packets of Yeast
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Salt
Toppings - Your choice, may include: Chopped Onions (dried or fresh), Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Garlic, Rock Salt, Fresh Parmesan Cheese, Cinnamon and Sugar, Sunflower Seeds, etc.
Sift, or if you don't have a sifter, like me, (*TIP, did I mention my birthday?) shake the flour out into your electric mixing bowl. If you have one, put a dough hook on the mixer. Make a well in the middle of the flour pile and add in the yeast. Put the sugar and 1/2 cup warm water in the well. Let the yeast bubble a bit and then mix slowly for about 5-10 minutes. Add in the beaten eggs, oil, salt, and 1 more cup of warm water. Mix and knead in the mixer for 10-15 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water as you go if the dough is too dry. Every once in a while stop the mixer and scrape the sides and pull the dough off the hook so it mixes better. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel to let the dough rise for about 20-30 minutes.
Before you start shaping, fill your wok with water and a dash of salt and heat on a high heat. You need a rolling boil for the bagels to cook properly. It would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
If you have two cookie sheets, you can shape the dough all at once, but if you don't, split the dough and let half rise more while you shape and bake the first batch. Lightly flour a clean surface, a cutting board or a smooth countertop will do nicely. Knead half of the dough to release any air bubbles. Divide into about 9 pieces. Shape each piece into a rope about 8 inches long. Cross the ends of the rope and wrap the rope under, tucking in the ends. Press firmly so the bagel holds its shape. You can also try other shapes, like a pretzel, or a bagel stick if you prefer. Let rise until they have increased in size and are fairly light.
Make sure your wok is ready with the water boiling rapidly. With floured hands, drop 4-5 bagels into the water. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from wok with tongs and a flat wire wisk or turkey fork. Place on foil to drain.
While the bagels are on the draining rack, get creative with your favorite toppings. Sprinkle whatever you choose on the bagels while they are still wet.
Transfer topped bagels to a greased cookie sheet; Pam or Spray Olive Oil will work well for fast greasing.
Put the cookie sheet in the preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.