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+++Enter At Your Own Risk+++ At the gentle nudging (I said gentle y'all) of a few friends, I have started these blogs in order to share my culinary goings-on and daily misadventures through my own brand of humor (ok, sarcasm). I just write about stuff! At 50, I have learned that living has gotten in the way of life - and I am going to blaze my own personal trail to fun (hopefully)! If it is feminine, great. If it is not, so much the better! Hopefully fun that does not land me in jail............

Monday, January 10, 2011

Homemade Bagels Really Do Taste Better!!!

As I sit here at the kitchen table trying to type this out before the battery goes dead on my laptop, I wonder how much of this bread flour puffed down between the keyboard keys as I was creating bagels this morning… Sorry SKW – you might need to clean my laptop!

News Flash:  Hand rolled water bagels really are easy and really are worth the effort!

On HubPages.com I found this recipe by googling & I am so glad I did! This John D. Lee person knows his stuff!
If you are interested in bagel history – check this link out: http://www.foodreference.com/html/fbagel.html
Otherwise, let’s talk about MY bagel experience today!!!
So, I woke up to a few inches of snow on the ground this morning.  It is probably good that work was eventually called off for the day due to the weather since I could not sleep for nadda last night!  Stayed up until 1:30a like I am an idiot.  Needless to say I stayed in bed late since we originally were on a 2 hour delay.  By the time I went out to shovel the car and go – work had been called off. I decided I was going to be a big girl in my little Honda Civic and go drive around.  Hahahahahaha!  The best layed plans of mice and men… Not happening. I made it out and onto the main highway thinking I could go to town.  Uh, the road was mostly white and it was slippery. That mile’s worth of incline was not happening at 9:30a. It was not happening until 2:00p. I turned around in the middle of the main road and went back to my house.  Now, I should have had my jumbo-tron truck for getting around, but ex and I had issues (read as an argument) about who was going to have the truck for this morning. As luck would have it, he is still stuck at his house because he won’t drive even the truck down.
I instantly experienced ‘cabin-fever’ and had to find something to do. So, since I had purchased bread flour and yeast to make bagels a few weeks ago, but kept putting off making them, I figured it was time!
Apparently good bagels are made using a 2-stage cooking process: Boiling then Baking.  All I know is I am NO baker. I do not make bread (yet) nor do I make cookies and the like.  I will work on that later however.
Now, being that I still do not have all my cooking equipment – as there simply is no room here for all my goodies – I was at a bit of a loss. Where are the mixing bowls?  Where is the sugar? The vegetable oil is what? Then came the ultimate question from a woman (read as ‘me’) who claims to not really go for gadgets and electrical devices (in the kitchen, for cooking. Shut-up and stop laughing). “Mom, how do I mix this dough without my Kitchenaid mixer with dough hooks?”  Yes, I asked THAT question.  Mom’s answer?  “The same way we have always done it prior to electrical devices; with a spoon in a mixing bowl.”  Yea, no humor, she just delivered that answer so flatly. 
I followed the below recipe. It is simple, to the point. I figured out a few things I need to know for the next time.  Check it out.
Homemade bagel recipe
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 Tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 Tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add in the oil and mix a bit. Next work in the warm water.  The dough should feel stiff, but you can add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.

Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth. I hate this part; raw dough under my nails. Gross.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes. I suggest covering your balls with a warm damp cloth to prevent them from developing a dry exterior.  Yea, I know you are laughing if you are paying half an ounce of attention here. Anyway, if you end up with dry balls, dampen your hands to work the dough in the next step. Pre-heat your oven to 425. 

Take each of the dough balls, using two hands, roll into a long cigar on the counter. When the cigar is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant rolling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough ends are fused together, you should have an ‘almost-bagel’! More than likely your first ones will not be great. Mine got better as I worked my way through the balls.

While you prepare the pot of water and bring it to a boil, the bagels will sit and rise a bit.  Rub Crisco or oil on the baking pan you plan on using. I wanted to use my cured pizza stone, but I do not have IT here either. Blech…
By the time the water is boiling, your bagels should be puffier.  I suggest you only boil a single layer of bagels at a time to avoid over-crowding. Also, the bagels will grow even more, so leave a little room in the pot to allow for swelling.

Boil the bagels for approximately one minute, then turn over and continue to boil for an additional minute.
Carefully remove each bagel and place on a plate (I used a paper-towel) to dry a minute or so before placing on the baking sheet.
Double,double toil and trouble...
Work your way through all the bagels. 

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and flip the bagels after 10 minutes and bake for another ten minutes.  Oh, you have no idea how good this is going to be.
Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese or butter ready.  I buttered mine down and let the butter melt. MMMMMMMM!
Then, since I had that cabin-fever thing going on, I ventured out and the road was ok. I drove to OR and purchased lox, a lemon, sour cream, cream cheese, and etc.  Upon arriving back home, I sliced a cold bagel, loaded bites of it with the aforementioned goodies (plus balsamic pickled capers) and chowed down.  Good Stuff!

Now, the next bagels will include a dose of shredded sharp cheddar cheese in the dough. I am feeling that for sure.  John D. Lee notes that you can add any toppings you want. These include sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway and etc.  I am thinking cinnamon sugar is a nice option as well.  The plan there is to take the boiled bagels out of the water and plop them face-down, while wet, in the topping, then place face-up on the baking sheet and go on with the baking process.


  1. Okay, you make this sound easy! So much so, that I'm thinking I want to give it a try when I'm at the maintenance stage of my food plan where I can have carbs. I'm wondering how this would work with coconut flour (i.e., low glycemic index and healthier than bleached, processed flour) in place of self rising flour - what do you think? Would it need extra yeast? I'll ask my Mom and you ask yours...deal? :)

    ~ Dawn

  2. I have no experience in the various "Flour" options out there. But, I did google coconut flour bagels and found this you could try.
    I believe that the protien/gluten content is important for bagels so white lily won't do it! If I were a betting woman, I would sub the coconut flour into my boiled bagel recipe and see what happens. Maybe make a half batch!

  3. Oh, and I found this while poking about:


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