I am almost at the dead line for my 31 while 31 list and one of the things I haven't made yet but really want to are bagels. We buy bagels several times a month and they are fairly pricy for the ingredients that go into them. It's basically a bread dough that is boiled and then baked. The ingredients cost pennies but yet they are able to charge around a dollar per bagel.
My husband and I are particularly fond of the jalapeno cheddar bagel. Melted cheddar cheese and jalapenos both on top of the bagel and in the dough are just a winning combination. Not everywhere sells these bagels but when they do, we buy them. Whenever jalapeno bagels are not available, we enjoy salt bagels topped off with cream cheese.
I set out to make both of our favorite bagels and decide which one was better homemade. The bagels were much simpler to make then I thought which means I can now make them more frequently. I divided the dough in half and made two batches. The first were the salt bagels. They sank in the boiling water but as soon as I used a spoon to touch them they floated to the top. I sprinkled the salt on top and baked them.
They were a little flat but still very good. The salt on top only lasted a day before dissolving onto the bagel. The salt taste was still there but I would sprinkle them with additional salt before serving them. The jalapeno cheddar bagels puffed up and looked really great. I placed 4 halved jalapeno sliced on each and then sprinkled them with cheese. They tasted just like the ones we buy in the store and they looked gorgeous with the browned cheese.
I'll be making the jalapeno cheddar ones frequently this summer and I hope to make other flavors as well. It doesn't take much time and they are perfect for breakfast!
Homemade Bagels: Jalapeno Cheddar and Salt (adapted from Good Thymes and Good Food)
1 c. warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
1 ½ T. sugar
2 t. salt
3 c. flour (I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup stone ground wheat)
3 quarts of water with 1 T. sugar
2 T. jalapenos, chopped
1 egg yolk
3 T. kosher salt
⅓ c. shredded cheddar cheese
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes or until it is foamy. Mix in the sugar and salt.
2. Slowly mix in 2 cups of flour. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining cup of flour. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
4. Punch down the dough and divide in half. Knead the chopped jalapenos gently into half of the dough, until they are incorporated.
5. Cut half the dough into 4 equal pieces. Knead each piece into a small ball and poke your thumbs through the center. Work the dough into a donut shape that is about 2 inches in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Let all of the bagels rest for 20 minutes.
7. Drop the bagels into the boiling water 2 at a time. Allow to boil for 30 seconds on each side. Lift the bagels out of the water with a slotted spoon and briefly drain on a paper towel, then place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels.
9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bagels are browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.