Why am I wasting your time with them? Well, because they were CLOSE, and with some adjustments (which I’ll include) they can be great. And if you live in not-NYC, you might need some recipes in your arsenal. Also, I will link to my still-favorite bagels. ALSO, I’ll break down the timing for this so you can prep it all and have bagels for a Sunday brunch. It’s NOT HARD GUYS. It starts on Friday night and the big production is Sunday morning, and in between it’s a lot of waiting.
from the NY Times
1 teaspoon/3 grams active dry yeast
5 cups/600 grams bread flour
3 tablespoons/54 grams sea salt, divided
1 tablespoon/8 grams diastatic malt powder (I used this because I bought some, but you can sub brown sugar)
2 tablespoons/40 grams baking soda
¼ cup poppy seeds, optional
¼ cup sesame seeds, optional
FRIDAY NIGHT: Make the dough (this will take about 15 minutes)
Put the yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add 1 2/3 cups/ 365 grams lukewarm water and allow the yeast to activate, about 5 minutes. Add flour, 1 tablespoon/18 grams salt and malt powder and mix at low speed for 5 minutes using the dough hook. Cover the dough and allow to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours. (I then put the dough in the fridge overnight)
SATURDAY MORNING/MID-DAY: Shape the bagels (this will take about 30 minutes)
Punch the dough down and shape into a rough rectangle about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, and about 2 times longer than it is wide. If you are having trouble forming the dough, stretch it, wait for the gluten to relax and re-form.
Cut the dough into 10 pieces of about 3 ounces each. Roll each into an 8-inch-long snakelike shape, tapering the dough at each end. Circle the dough around your hand, pinching the ends together and rolling under your palm once or twice to seal. Put the bagels on a Silpat or other nonstick baking sheet on top of a jellyroll pan. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 10 hours, or up to 24 hours.
(So after making these I realized I like the other way of shaping the bagels: still divide into 10 or 12 pieces, but then roll into a ball and shape by bringing dough under to pinch in one spot. Then, poke your finger through the pinched area to create a hole and stick another finger in there and kinda roll them around until the hole is about 2 inches in diameter. I did 1 that way, you can see it middle row left. That was the best bagel imho)
SUNDAY MORNING: Make the bagels! (This will take about an hour)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. If you have a baking stone or brick you use for baking, put it on a rack near the bottom of the oven; it will retain heat and produce a crisper bagel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the remaining salt and the baking soda into the boiling water and remove the bagels from the refrigerator.
Carefully place just enough bagels into the pot to cover the surface of the water, making sure that there are no bagels resting on top of one another. Let them float on 1 side for 1 minute before flipping them to the other side for another minute or so. Remove the bagels and drain well on a cooling rack.
Pour poppy or sesame seeds into a bowl wider than the bagels. Working very quickly, remove the bagels one by one and dip them into the topping. Place them back on the Silpat-covered baking sheet, topping side down. (I did this step right after I removed them from the water)
Bake on the second to highest shelf of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Then flip the bagels, rotate the pan and continue baking for about 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. (I had to bake mine longer. Eventually I just turned the temp up to 450 to get them to brown. I would say I baked mine close to 30 min total)
THEN EAT HOMEMADE BAGELS YOU IMPRESSIVE CREATURE!