I stumbled across this recipe several years ago and it has been my staple bagel recipe ever since! You'll need a couple of different ingredients. Number one is some malt syrup, which can be found in health food shops. I use a barley malt syrup and usually warm it a little first to assist in scooping it out of the jar.
The other ingredient is potato water...the leftover water that has been used to boil potatoes. Sometimes I freeze this in small containers so it's always on hand if I get the sudden urge to make bagels. Like today!
To make 16 bagels, I double the original ingredients and end up using the following:
2 cups lukewarm potato water
4 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tbs beaten egg (save the remainder for eggwashing the bagels before baking)
6 tbs canola/vegetable oil
2 tbs malt syrup
1kg (6 cups) bread flour
2-3tbs sugar (depending on how sweet you like your bagel)
3 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar to add to the poaching liquid
poppy and sesame seeds for toppings
I start off by placing the warm potato water into a large bowl. The egg, oil and malt syrup are added. To this, I then add 2 cups flour, 4 tsp yeast, 3tbs sugar and the salt. The ingredients are then whisked for a couple of minutes with a wire whisk until everything is incorportated and smooth.
Then the rest of the flour is added, and I switch to using a wooden spoon to mix...and then hands...
The dough should be stiff and hard to work, but if it is a little on the dry side, add a touch more potato water...just enough to hold the dough together.
Knead well for 10-15 minutes until dough is silky and bounces back when touched.
Place the dough into an oiled bowl, rolling to coat dough with oil, cover and place in a warm and draft free place for 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough and knead a few times. Now comes the fun part..shaping! For this quantity of dough, I have found that 100-110g portions of dough yield 16 bagels. It may be pedantic of me, but I do weigh them..just to make sure they're all of an even size (very important when it comes to kids lunchboxes!).
The portioned dough is then rolled out into logs about 30cm long.
...then wrapped around my hand....
..and joined at the ends.
It is then rolled on the bench to seal the join and make a 'bangle'. Don't be afraid to stretch it as you go, it won't bite!
Place the shaped bagels onto a tray, cover and place somewhere warm to rise for 15-20 minutes. One day when I have a wider fridge, I'll make the bagels up until this point and then prove them slowly overnight in the fridge, ready to be poached the next morning. Not today though..*sigh*. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 210-220c and place a large pot of water on to boil, with a handful (1/3 cup) of brown sugar thrown in. Once boiling, reduce the pot to a steady simmer.
Once the bagels have risen, slide them gently (a slotted egg flip works well), into the pot of simmering water and poach them for 1 minute each side.
Best eaten while still a little bit warm!
For more bagel chat and a different way of shaping, click here.