Following The Sophisticated Gourmet's recipe, making bagels is not hard, it just takes a bit of time and patience. All of your work will be worth it though, I promise! I adapted this recipe a bit to what is available here in Copenhagen. For example, I used instant yeast (you can buy it at Mad & Vin or at Helsam by Nørreport) and although there are many types of flours here for different breads, there is no one specific "bread flour here" so I bought flour that contained 12 grams of protein per 100 grams. Feel free to add whatever toppings and fixings you would like to the dough or just to the top of the bagel. I hope you're ready for some bagels!
New York Style Bagels (adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet)
Makes 8 bagels
2 tsp instant yeast
11/2 tbsp white sugar
11/4 cup warm water (you may need about 1/4 cup more)
31/2 cups bread flour or high gluten flour (I used white whole wheat flour mixed with a baking flour)
11/2 tsp salt
Toppings I have used: cheddar cheese both mixed into the dough and as a topping, sesame seeds, and mixed seeds (sunflower, flaxseed, etc.)
Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt with a fork or a whisk in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the warm water.
Form the dough either by hand, with a wooden spoon, or with the dough hooks on your mixer. Add a little extra water if you need it. You want to have a moist but firm dough.
On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Incorporate more flour as you are kneading to form a firm and stiff dough.
Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the dough with a damp dish towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. After an hour, punch the dough down and let it rise for another 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces on a lightly floured counter. Roll and shape each piece into a ball and then gently press your finger into each ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring about 1/3 the diameter of the bagel and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the pieces of dough.
After shaping all of the dough, cover the baking sheet with a damp towel and let everything rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425F or 220C.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Put in as many bagels as you are comfortable with handling or as many as will fit in the pot. The bagels will float to the top within a couple of seconds. Let them sit for 1 minute and the flip them and let them boil for another minute on the other side. If you want even chewier bagels, extend the boiling time to 2 minutes on each side. Place boiled bagels back on a lined or a oiled baking sheet.
If you would like to add toppings to your bagels, gently brush your boiled bagels with an egg wash and sprinkle or lightly press your toppings into the bagels.
Place the tray of bagels into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
I especially love my bagels toasted and then covered in butter or peanut butter and jam. How do you eat your bagels?