I have had SO many people ask about my homemade bagel recipe. I keep typing out the directions and emailing them to people and finally I realized that there was an easier way to do this! Tutorial time!
I originally started looking into making homemade bagels when my husband discovered the amazing chocolate chip bagel at Panera. As an occasional splurge item, it's okay; but on a regular basis, they are pretty pricey! So I set out to figure out how to make them on my own.
I've read through lots of bagel recipes, bagel forming techniques, bagel baking tips, and watched a few bagel YouTube videos. Through a bit of trial and error, I've figured out the best way (at least for me) to make them! It's pretty easy, although a bit of a process, so pick a day when you will home to try them.
Homemade Chocolate Chip Bagel Recipe
(with Bonus Homemade Asiago Bagel Tips!)
Makes 8 Bagels
Inspired by many recipes, but mainly from Little House Living's Homemade Chocolate Chip Bagel Recipe
1 1/3 Cup Warm Water
1 Tbsp Oil (I use vegetable oil)
4 Cups Bread Flour
4 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Yeast
Throw everything in your mixer.
Knead it well. This particular time, I put everything in the mixer and then cleaned the remnants of lunch off of my kids' faces. It was probably 6-7 minutes. If you are using your Kitchen Aid, use the "stir" setting. You don't want to run it at a higher speed than that while kneading dough or you run the risk of burning out the motor.
Look how pretty that ball of dough is! See how it's completely cleaned the sides of the bowl and there is nothing left on the dough hook once I took the dough off? It won't be too sticky, but it will definitely keep together.
Let it rise for 45 minutes under a towel and in a warm spot . You won't hurt it if it goes longer. I like to turn my microwave on for 2 minutes to heat it up, and then pop the bowl in there once it dings. (Btw, make sure you don't microwave your metal bowls!!)
After 45 minutes, put it back on the mixer and knead it down again for a few minutes. Yep, this is the same photo from above, because it's the same step again. :)
Then, let it rise for another 45 minutes. Like I said, it's a bit of a process.
After the second rise, go ahead and pull the dough out to sit on the counter. This is when you start to customize it.
Look how puffy it is now!
For this batch, I've decided to do 8 Homemade Chocolate Chip Bagels and 4 Homemade Asiago Bagels. I never make less than 16 bagels at a time, but I only had enough bread flour to make the recipe 1 1/2 times. So one full recipe will become chocolate chip bagels and the half a recipe will become asiago bagels.
At this point, divide your dough into sections based on your flavors. Below, you see 2/3 of my dough (8 bagels worth) with a pile of chocolate chips on it. In the background, you can see the 1/3 of the dough (4 bagels worth) waiting for it's cheese.
There is no measurement for the chocolate chips. Go wild! Remember to add a few extra so that as the bagels rise and increase in size, you won't run the risk of bites of bagel with no chocolate chips! That would be a travesty!
Knead the chocolate chips (or other ingredients) into the dough until they are evenly dispersed. Then, cut the dough into equal lumps of dough. I now have 4 lumps of plain dough and 8 lumps of chocolate chip dough (and 1 pile of chocolate chips dedicated to quality control. I promise not to eat them all.)
Roll each lump of dough into a ball making the top as smooth as possible. Flatten it out slightly and poke a hole in the middle with your fingers. Widen the hole a little more than you think will work. It will close a bit as the bagels rise. Put them on greased pans to rise...again! (This is the last rise, promise!)
Cover with a towel and come back in about 45 minutes or so. I have found that rising times are very flexible with the recipe (thanks, children!), but at least 45 minutes is needed for optimal rising.
Now you have grown-up bagels! At this point in the process, make sure you either turn on an exciting show for the kids, or put them down for a nap. This next part will require you to work fairly quickly and doesn't turn out well if there are interruptions.
Pop your pans of bagels in the oven one at a time under the broil setting. Broil about 2 minutes, flip your bagels over, and broil another 2 minutes. Watch them very carefully. All you are trying to do is create a bit of a crust to help them hold up to the boiling. Do not let them brown. In my oven, I know where the hot spots are and also that 1 1/2 minutes is plenty on each side, or I end up with brown bagels. Check often and adjust your time accordingly.
Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and add 1/4 cup of sugar to it.
Also make sure that your bagel station is fully set up before you start the boiling process. The rack is to drain boiled bagels, the first bowl is corn meal, the second bowl is asiago cheese, and then I have a slotted spatula and tongs to move the bagels around.
First, let's finish the Homemade Asiago Bagels:
Working with a few bagels at a time, drop them into the boiling water. Boil each side for 1 minute, using the tongs to flip them over (2 minutes total).
Use the slotted spatula to remove the bagels from the pot and place them on the rack. After about 30 seconds, most of the water should have drained away or evaporated.
Keep going until all of the Asiago bagels have been coated in cheese! Yum!
Now let's finish up the Homemade Chocolate Chip Bagels:
Boil the chocolate chip bagels just as you did the Asiago ones. Boil each for 1 minute per side. Note that I did the other bagels first because these end up turning the water chocolately. Not a bad thing, just not very pretty on a cheese bagel.
Drain them for 30 seconds on the rack and then using the tongs, gently dip the bottoms of each one in the cornmeal so that they pick up a light layer. Why? Because I read somewhere in my research that it's the cornmeal and boiling that make the bagels taste like real New York bagels. Since I've never been to New York, I don't have much to compare it too, but I do it anyway.
Once all of the bagels have been broiled, boiled, coated, and/or dunked, they should all be back on the pans. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Let cool. And then bask in the glory that is Homemade Chocolate Chip or Homemade Asiago Bagels.
One with natural lighting....
And one more so all bagels can be viewed equally....Yummy!
They freeze extremely well, so don't be afraid to make a large batch!
The top two flavors that I make are Homemade Chocolate Chip Bagels and Homemade Asiago Bagels.
I've also made Homemade Blueberry Bagels with fresh blueberries. Although Sean was a big fan of those, they are maddeningly difficult to get to turn out right. The blueberries burst when they are kneaded into the dough which puts way too much moisture into it. Then you have to add more bread flour to balance out the moisture. And then you realize that not all the blueberries popped the first time around as more suddenly start oozing, so then the dough is still too wet....it's a delicious yet vicious cycle. If you want to try a batch with fresh fruit, make sure you make a batch or two with dry ingredients first so that you know how the dough should feel. All that to say, the next time Sean asks for Homemade Blueberry Bagels, I'm going to try them with frozen blueberries. Hopefully that helps!
I also want to try Homemade Orange Cranberry Almond Bagels sometimes! I'll use orange juice in place of water, dried cranberries, and toasted almonds....Mmmmm!
Do you have any favorite bagels combinations? I'd love to hear them so that I can give them a whirl!