Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Experience At Making Bagels

The first time I ate bagels was probably around 8 years ago, when Au Bon Pain just opened, and it was the new 'in' thing. I fell in love with it the first time I had it toasted and slathered with thick layer of the accompanying cream cheese. The slight chewy, yet crunchy texture of the bagel, and the creaminess of the cream cheese was absolutely satisfying. I was a fan of Au Bon Pain's bagel for a long while, until they started stinging on their cream cheese. It was not until I came to Melbourne that my cravings for bagels started again. I usually get my stash of bagels fresh from Victoria market instead of the ones at the supermarket. After reading this easy bagel recipe online, I decided to try it out.

Plain Bagels


3 ¾ cups unbleached All purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast (1 sachet)

1 ¼ - ½ cup water

3 tablespoon sugar, and 1 more tablespoon for boiling the bagels

2 ½ teaspoon salt

This recipe is for plain bagels, if you would like other toppings such as sesame seeds or poppy seeds, feel free to add them after the bagels are boiled, and before you place them in the oven.

Mix 1 and ¼ cup of warm water with the yeast, then add a teaspoon of sugar and leave to proof for 5-10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar and salt together, then add in the proofed yeast mixture. Knead the dough until well kneaded and cover it with a cling film and leave to proof for 1 hour. After 1 hour, check whether the dough has proofed by pressing the dough with two fingers. If the dent holds its shape, then the dough is well proofed. If the dent bounces back immediately, then it needs more time to proof. If the dough collapse, then it has been proofed too long and need to be rekneaded and reproof.

Knead the proofed dough to get rid of the air and divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball shaped dough, and make a hole in the middle of the dough and swing into a ‘donut’ shaped. Make the hole quite big (big enough to fit three fingers) as the hole tends to shrink as the dough proofs. Leave the dough to proof for another 10 min, making sure they are covered to prevent them from becoming dry. Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius.

Boil each side of the dough in boiling water (with 1 tablespoon of sugar) for 20 seconds. Be careful not to boiling them for too long as this will result in a tough and chewy texture at the bagel’s ‘skin’. Brush the boiled bagels with a mixture of egg white and water to give the bagels a shiny touch.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and sprayed with oil. Place the boiled bagels on top and bake for 20-25 min or until golden brown.

I forgot to brush my bagels with egg white before baking them, hence they didn't have the 'shiny' finish. These bagels might not taste as good or look as nice as the ones the commercially made ones, but I'm proud of them as I can happily say that I've made bagels before!


Vida said...

Come down my end of town to Carlisle Street, there are at least three bakeries that do bagels so well, especially Glicks who have been around forever. Vida

frost said...

to tell u the truth, i never had bagels before, as i think them as hard chewy bread.. maybe one day i will try them.

great post!

Hungry Hamster said...

Vida: Thanks Vida! I will need to try that out soon! Now I just need to go google where Carlisle Street is :)

Frost: Thanks for dropping by! Do try it! Life is about experimenting :)

Vida said...

Carlisle Street is the continuation of Balaclava Road, it is crossed by Chapel Street and I live on Chapel Street. The bakeries are between Hotham and Chapel running down Carlisle, there are great cafe's that do fabulous coffee, Las Chicas, The Wall, Batch to name my favourites (in that order), they all do great breakfasts (Las Chicas is best) and The Carlisle Wine Bar cannot be beaten for food (lunch and dinner), all walking distance for me (too lucky)... Let me know if you need a tour. Vida x x x

Hungry Hamster said...

Yes you ARE lucky!! I'm jealous! Thank you for all the recommendations!! Will definitely check it out the next time I go to Chapel street!

thecoffeesnob said...

I love bagels. I've been meaning to try my hand at making them forever but i usually get my fix from the little bagel store at QV. I'm not sure what it's called but it's on the ground floor, just above safeway and next to the pharmacy. My fav has to be the herb bagel. Slathered thinly with some cream cheese, it's too die for :)

Another place i've tried that has pretty good bagels is um you know the little arcade you enter via Collins St. Keep walking and you'll reach a quaint little alley with a whole character of its own. The bagel store's right next to Hell's Kitchen. I think it's the 2nd store on the left.

I know i'm being really vague, sorry about that but do let me know if you need more directions finding it :)

the lunch guy said...

hi, i stumbled across your blog when i googled lenotre, bkk. nice work dude, good stuff, well presented and nice choices too.

when i spied the word bagel in the left frame i just had to click on it, my being an expat new yorker and someone who has always said, ASIA! where the freakin' bagels?

here in bangkok the only choice for years was at villa market on soi 33/1. he gets them from a dude who used to have a shop over on wallstreet, off of surawongse rd. they are not too bad, but if they were a tad thicker, and maybe 50% bigger around, they would be like a good ny bagel. not a chewy but no bad either.

i see you mention au bon pain, and i see others mentioning where they get their bagels, but i have to say, until you have a bagel in ny, florida or some other place in america where these things are a true staple, you have not had a bagel. maybe the ones in oz are, but i have not seen them, so i can not say.

but, its always good to see someone who sings high praise for bagels.

i put your blog link on my blog.

care to reciprocate?

ps - i, like yourself, can never get enough cream cheese. my favorite thing to do is make a spread a la nyc style (i was a chef by trade for 25+ years and i did a 2 year stint in a traditional deli). i take my favorite bagel toppings and combine them like this:

smoked salmon, bermuda onion, black olives, spring onion tops, italian parsley, capers, lemon juice and fresh ground black pepper. i mince it all up until it is like tepenade. then i whip the cream cheese and some olive oil margarine into it. damn dat's good spread.

also, no whole wheat or raisin bagels for me, i am a traditionalist - plain, garlic, onion, poppy or sesame. maybe twist my arm and throw a sun-dried tomato bagel in the bag just for a laugh. and that better be a paper bag, NO PLASTIC, totally screws up a good bagel in no time.

Hungry Hamster said...

The lunch guy: Hey! Thanks for dropping by! I'd love to try the original bagels in the States too! That'll be on my 'must' list if I ever visit the States!

I think cream cheese and smoked salmon is a perfect combo! Spring onion sounds good too as I love spring onion dips they have in Australia. Thanks for the recommendation!

My delicious blog said...

I love bagels with cream cheese and strawberry