I've been making a ton of bagels recently, and after posting about today's batch, I was asked for the recipe. I scrawled it out quickly on pastebin, but feeling a bit guilty at neglecting my blog, I decided to edit it slightly and post. It's still pretty rough and ready, but you should get the idea.
A note: this recipe assumes you know how to make bread. It doesn't explain the basic processes (for example, how to knead the dough). Breadmaking is just a set of really simple processes, and if you're interested you should get a good primer – I'd definitely suggest River Cottage: Bread, and Bread Matters: how and why to make your own. If you only pick up one, make it the first one – it's friendly and straightforward.
Combine and knead:
- 500g white bread flour
- 5g dry yeast, activated in 100g warm water
- 150g beer (I used some leftover chocolate stout)
- 20g sugar (I used golden caster)
- 50g vegetable / rapeseed oil
- a dollop of honey
You should end up with a smooth, dry dough. Shape into a round, cover in a bowl, and rise for an hour or so. You could knock it back at this point and give it another rise, if you like (I did mine overnight in the fridge). Divide into 8, shape into little rounds like you're making rolls, then poke a hole through and spin round your finger like a hula hoop until they're reasonably sized loops. Lots of recipes say to shape into long tubes, then join them up to make the loops – I've had far more luck with the method I've suggested, but you run the risk of them closing up a bit (as you can see on today's batch), so please yourself. Prove them on a tray-sized bit of baking parchment, covered with a plastic bag (I do this on a big chopping board so I can just slide the whole parchment onto the hot oven tray later).
Get a wide pan (like a saute pan or something) filled with water and heated up on the hob – needs to be at a gentle simmer. When the bagels are fully proved, poach them in batches in the pan – they'll float, so give them 30 seconds then gently flip them over. When they've had the same on each side, dry them on a clean tea towel, then brush with a wash made from an egg white beaten lightly with a little cold water. If you want to, add some poppy / sesame seeds (I left these ones plain). Once they're arranged back on the parchment, transfer the whole thing to a hot tray and bake for 15 or so minutes (start checking after 10 minutes – might even take a bit longer). Cool on a rack, or don't.