There is nothing better than a freshly baked bagel, toasted nice and crispy and smeared with copious cream cheese and some homemade jam.
Ok, well… maybe there’s shoes. And glitter. And chocolate. And boys that buy you flowers. And boys that tell you they love you and buy you a zombie t-shirt for no reason at all because you are more than slightly obsessed with them.
Maybe the latter is the best of them all but bagels are pretty darn great too. And more simple to make than you might think.
Yes, it involves yeast. Yes, you have to par-boil them. No, it is not outside your realm of possibility. You too can be a master of the freshly baked bagel. And yes, you will thank me for it. Or at least think of me while you bite into your first imperfect bagel fresh from the oven. Because the ugliest one always tastes the best ;)
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Yields 4 large or 6 small bagels
⅔ cups Warm Water (about 100 degrees F)
½ Tablespoons Sugar
1-½ teaspoon Yeast
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
¾ teaspoons Salt
1/2 cup plump raisins
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the water, sugar, and yeast and let the yeast develop for about 5 minutes. Once the yeast bubbles, add in flour, cinnamon, vegetable oil, and salt and with a dough hook mix on medium until the dough is elastic and tough. I let my mixer run for about 8 minutes, but pay attention to the texture of the dough and stop once it is supple. In the last minuted of kneading, add in the raisins. Alternatively, you can mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead it by hand. You may need to add in a bit of extra water, but do so little by little.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough sit and rise in a warm, draft free place for 20-30 minutes. The dough will not double in size, but it will rise.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand. Cut into 6 equal pieces (or 4 if you are opting for larger bagels). Roll each individual piece into a “snake” long enough to wrap around your palm. If the dough shrinks back, set that piece aside for a minute and let the dough relax then try again. Wet your fingertips with water and wet each end of the dough and press them together, forming a circle. Place the formed bagels on a floured board, cover with the same plastic wrap and allow to rise another 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place a paper towel on a plate and set it aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. When the water is gently boiling, place 1-2 bagels into the water for 1 minute and then flip to boil on the other side for another minute. Remove the bagels, place them on paper towels to take off excess moisture, then place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels. Place baking sheet in the center of the oven for 18 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes. The bagels will have browned nicely, but shouldn’t be too dark. Take them out and let them cool on a wire rack until you can no longer resist the temptation to dig in!
Note: You can substitute 1/2 cup wheat flour for the all purpose flour.