Friday, November 16, 2018

Bagels with the Bread Baking Babes

Before we get to the bagels (other than the photo), I want to thank the wonderful Bread Baking Babes for asking me to join them quite a few years ago. The group is usually about a dozen bakers and every month a different Babe chooses the recipe that we bake. Fortunately creativity is encouraged so some months it's almost as if we each had a different recipe! A number of the Babes originally found each other through the Daring Bakers group. At first the Daring Bakers were small enough that you could get around to each bakers post,  but when it grew and grew and grew the sheer size got in the way of the fellowship. The BBBs have that fellowship and we have fun baking different breads together.

In June 2007 the Daring Bakers made bagels. I baked some on my own to have at work when President Obama was inaugurated. It was still pretty early here on the West coast when the actual inauguration happened, so we had a Breakfast party of celebration at work. That's your Food Memory for today.

The party at work was probably the last time that I made bagels and I've never made them with a dough like the one that our Kitchen of the Month, Baking Soda of Bake My Day gave us. It has a lot of eggs and some vegetable oil and make a dough that is a joy to work with. Really tasty, too, once baked. I only made 1/4 of the dough into bagels. Might try the bagel loaf today or tomorrow with some of the rest of the dough, now that 've had a good night's sleep. The previous night I had stayed up late watching The British Baking Show episodes and then rose very early to bake birthday cookies for a friend at the gym. We leave for the gym at 8:30 am, so you get the idea.

I did stray from the recipe a bit (how unusual!!) by reducing the yeast to one packet and even that might have been a little bit too much yeast. I also reduced the sugar and salt in the dough to one tablespoon each. I also was very tired and doing this bake after dinner and with too little sleep (which is why I only made 6), so I didn't read the directions carefully enough. I didn't boil four of the bagels long enough so they became rounds in the oven instead of flatter bagels. Two of them I did boil long enough and they looked as they should, so when you make them be sure to boil for three minutes on the second side. Was so tired that I didn't even take a photo of the boiling.

You can top these as you like, or even make flavor variations that Baking Soda includes at the end of the recipe. I used a mixture of seeds for most of them and tried a different seed mixture that included pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries for a couple, but the cranberries burned during baking, so I don't recommend that. Of course the two that had burnt cranberries were the two that were shaped correctly. Just not my night.

You'll surely want to be a Buddy this month, these bagels are so delicious! Just make the bagels or loaves (see Baking Soda's post for the loaves instructions), then email your link ( or email your photo and bit about your experience if you don't have a blog) to bakemyday *at*gmail *dot*com and please add as your subject 'BBBuddy'. Baking Soda will send you a Buddy badge. Deadline? December 1.

Be sure also to check out the efforts of the other Bread Baking Babes.

Egg Bagels
(Makes about 30 bagels or 3 9x5" loaves)


1 or 2 large russet potato (ab 3/4 pound total) (we only use the potato water!)
2.1/2 cups water
2 tbs active dry yeast * (I used 18 grams)
1.1/2 tbs sugar plus more for the boiling water as needed**

1.1/2 tbs salt plus more for the boiling water as needed
7-7.1/2 cups unbleached ap flour or bread flour (I used 980 grams)
1/4 cup corn oil
4 large eggs

Egg Glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tbs water

Sesame/poppy seeds for garnish

* yeast. Beth is a very enthusiastic yeast user. Please use your bread sense and adjust if needed ;-)
** I think bagels need some sweet in the dough. But maybe you feel this is a bit much. That's fine! Use less!

1.             Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks, boil in 2.1/2 cups water until tender. Drain but reserve2 cups of the potato water! Let cool until lukewarm. Use potato for other purposes.
2.             In a large bowl using a whisk or the work bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer fitted wth the paddle attachment combine yeast, 1.1/2 tbs sugar, 1.1/2 tbs salt and 2 cups of the flour. Add potato water and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the flour and the eggs and beat again for 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time until a soft dough forms that just clears the side of the bowl. Switch to a wooden spoon when necessary if mixing by hand.
3.             Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. Only dust with flour to prevent sticking. By machine: switch from the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy.
4.             Place dough in a greased deep container. Turn once to coat the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk 1-1.1/2 hours.

5.             To form bagels: gently deflate the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into quarters. Then each quarter into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth round. Flatten with your palm and poke a floured finger through the middle of the ball. Stretch the hole with your finger to make it about 1 inch in diameter. Spin the dough around your finger. The hole will shrink slightly when you stop. Form all bagels.
They will need no further rise at this point.

6.             20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease or parchment line 2 baking sheets. Meanwhile bring a large pot (3-4 quarts) of water to a boil. Add 2tbs of salt or sugar to the boiling water depending on the flavor you want the crust to have. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle low boil.

7.             With a slotted spatula, lower 3-4 bagels at a time into the gently boiling water. They will drop to the bottom and then rise to the surface. As they come to the surface, turn each bagel and boil it 3 minutes on the other side. This goes very quickly, if you are making the entire batch of bagels, use a second pot of boiling water.
8.             Remove the bagels from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place each 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. When all the bagels have been boiled, brush with the glaze and sprinkle with the seeds if desired. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until deep golden. Transfer the bagels immediately to a cooling rack.
9.             To form and bake a bagel loaf: In step 5  turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal portions. For into rectangular loaves and place in 3 greased 9-by-5 loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until just level with the tops of the pans. (These loaves will rise a lot in the oven) about 40 minutes.
10.          20 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

Brush the tops with egg glaze and using kitchen shears, carefully snip the top of the dough about ½” deep at 2” intervals down the center of the loaf. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until crusty, golden brown and the top sounds hollow when tapped with your finger, 40-45 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

# Make these whole wheat by subbing 3 cups for an equal portion of the unbleached flour

# Orange Oatmeal
sub 1.1/2 cup oatmeal for an equal portion of the unbleached flour, add 
1 tbsp grated orange zest and 2 tbsp honey

# Cinnamon Raisin
  Increase the sugar to 1/4 cup. Add 1 tbs ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground mace or nutmeg and 1/2 tsp ground cardamom with the flour in the initial mixing. Add 1.1/2 cups golden or dark raisins during mixing. This dough may be formed into a loaf and topped with sesame seeds.

# Pumpernickel Bagels
Substitute 2 cups medium or dark rye flour for an equal portion of the unbleached flour. Add 1/4 cup molasses, 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa and 1 tbs powdered instant coffee. Glaze the tops and sprinkle with caraway seeds.

# Onion bagels
Saute 1 finely chopped onion in 4 tbs butter until softened. Halfway through baking glaxe the bagel tops and spread 2 tsp of onion mixture over each bagel. 
Finish baking.

Elizabeth made these weight conversions:
1 or 2 large russet potato (ab 3/4 pound total) [340 grams]
2.1/2 cups water [500 grams]
2 tbs active dry yeast * [24 grams]
1.1/2 tbs sugar plus more as needed** [18.75 grams]
7-7.1/2 cups unbleached ap flour or bread flour [875 - 938 grams]
1/4 cup corn oil [56 grams]
4 large eggs [200 grams]


  1. They look so good Pat! I love it when they are all round and fluffy. Those pumpkin seeds... yum! (2007.... that long ago!)

  2. These looks great!!! I know what you mean about not really reading the recipe fully. Happens to me all of the time =)

  3. Fantastic. Now I want to try adding pumpkin seeds to bagels too. What a great idea.

  4. Gorgeous color on your bagels! And I loved the little story at the beginning.

  5. I love the pumpkin seeds - I just found some for the first time this fall!
    Your bagels look lovely.

  6. Your bagels look great! I agree with Elizabeth, the pumpkin seeds are a great addition.