Homemade bagels are a favorite in our house. The secret to a good chewy crust is dipping the raw formed bagels into a pan of simmering water for one minute before baking.
By request, the recipe . . .
3.5 cups flour (all purpose or bread. can also use whole wheat)
2 tsp dry yeast (I use instant which is so fine and powdery it does not need dissolving first)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar or honey
1.25 cups water (more or less as needed to make good, shiny, firm dough)
1. Mix all ingredients to make a moist, shaggy dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Turn dough out onto counter top and knead for 5-10 minutes. Add flour if it's too sticky. Dough should become smooth and shiny.
3. Place dough in a clean greased bowl and let rise for 1 hour
4. Fill a wide shallow pan with about 2-3 inches of water and start heating so that it is good and hot and simmery. If the water is boiling, that's okay too. It's better too hot than not hot enough. Turn oven on 400 degrees so that it is also good and hot and ready for baking.
5. After 1 hour of rising, punch down and cut dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and shape into bagel shape. The dough is very springy so you might have to really stretch the middle to keep the hole open. Let them rest for 10 minutes on a floured surface.
6. Assemble cooling rack (for draining bagels) beside your pot of simmering water, and a good slotted spoon.
7. Drop 3 or 4 bagels into water (or however many you can fit so they have room to float freely and not stick together) and flip after 30 seconds. Scoop them out after 1 minute and let drain briefly before putting them on a baking sheet (put a dab of oil under each one so they don't stick)
8. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Take them out and let cool. They should be light brown and hollow sounding, crusty and chewy.
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