A couple of weekends ago I decided to try my hand at making boiled bagels. I have been wanting to make them for a very long time, but we now have a great local restaurant that makes wood-fired bagels so I haven't really had the need to make them. But the restaurant is undergoing some changes, and this means that their hours and menu items have been a little wonky. It was starting to irritate me, and motivate me, to make my own.
I used the bagel recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, I made up the dough on Saturday night, then retarded it in the fridge so that we could have fresh bagels on Sunday morning. I estimated that it would only take me about an hour on Sunday to make them up, but I sorely under-estimated. It actually took two hours, and should have taken a little longer because I think the dough could have done with a little extra rising time. I was slowed down a little by boiling the bagels in smaller batches, so next time I might have two pots of water going at a time.
The recipe says that it'll make 20 bagels, so I halved it because I didn't want 20 bagels around the house tempting me. We ended up getting 9 bagels out of the batch - each one +/- 3 oz.
3 oz. dough balls rising on the pan.
Bagel shapes formed and boiling in water, baking soda and sugar.
Boiled bagels resting on a floured dish towel to make sure the excess water is gone.
I will say that no matter how much flour I put on that towel, the bagels always stuck. This was a flour sack towel, so next time I'll try a different one to see if that makes a difference.
Finished bagels, with a sprinkling of kosher salt on top.
The bagel circumference is a fairly standard size, but the height of the bagels is a bit shallow. I sliced the first one, but on the second one I just slathered the cream cheese right on top. Next time I'll let them rise a bit longer to see if that makes a difference. I will say that they turned out delicious! We froze half of them as well, and they are still really chewy after defrosting.
While it's definitely easier to run down to the bagel shop and buy bagels, I happen to believe that the boiled ones are the best. If you don't have a local shop making boiled bagels, then making your own is absolutely worth it. And the same recipe can be used for Bialy's and rolls. I actually made both of those last weekend, and they were equally delicious!