The first time I ever tried a bagel was....
...too long ago to remember, but what I do remember very well is the love story that begun between myself and bagels. But having lived in Europe all my life, bagels are not the easiest thing to find. When I moved to France 10 years ago, I had to hunt down the entire city of Paris to find some- and eventually I did, but they were overpriced (and I mean, ridiculously overpriced!) and I remember I would find them at only one shop in the 7th arrondissement. A few years later, bagels were easier to find as they gradually started to appear on supermarket shelves- but they werent exactly the tastiest ones, that's for sure.
SO what do you do when you dont live in a bagel city like NYC?? Well you just gotta make em!!! As intimidating as they appear to be, I knew that I had to give homemade bagels a try.
I tried two recipes, and I even went out to buy the famous hi-gluten flour that apparently is 'the' secret ingredient for successful bagels (fyi- for anyone living in France, hi-gluten flour is ''farine t80'').
The first recipe was off the BBC GoodFood website- which I absolutely love and have tried several recipes before with great success- but Im sorry to say, their bagel recipe is so-so. It was more like a roll-with-a-hole. Here are some pictures:
Shaping the dough:
And here's the test-batch in their water bath:
And then while they're still wet, I sprinkled some with sesame, some with poppy seeds and left some plain
20minutes in the oven, and here is what I got:
VERDICT: Good, but not GREAT
The second recipe however was from Elle a table- and this recipe ladies and gentlemen- produced some fantastic bagels! So fantastic that I am saving the recipe on my laptop, in my recipe notebook, on my cell phone, under my mattress and I'll even try memorizing it if I can!!
bagel recipe #2- the pictures:
I divided the original's recipe quantities by half, which made 6 large bagels and a baby bagel:
By the way- the white stuff on the plain bagels is corn flour. The recipe suggested to sprinkle corn flour on the parchment paper- but as I was half awake making those, I sprinkled the corn flour on the bagel! Aaahh... I call that late-night baking clumsiness!
And this time, significant improvement- they were simply beautiful and tasted just as good as they looked!
For bagel recipe #1 click here
For bagel recipe#2 (the one that worked for me!) click here
And translation for non-French readers for bagel recipe #2 off Elle a Table:
Makes 10 bagels
Mix 750gr flour (T55) + 1 tsp instant yeast + 4 tsps salt
Add 380ml water + 2.5 tbsps liquid honey + 30ml olive oil.
Knead dough for 10 mins, split into 10 equal balls. Form bagel shapes, leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm room on an oiled surface.
Preheat oven to 225C.
Boil bagels for 2mins in a deep pot containing 3 liters boiling water + 1 tbsp potato starch + 1 tbsp brown sugar 'cassonade' + 2 tbsps salt. Remove bagels after their waterbath and place on a baking tray covered with greased parchment paper and sprinkled with cornflour. If you want to add sesame, poppy seeds or whatever else- this is the time to do it!
Reduce oven temperature to 215C and bake for 20-25mins.