Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

The first time I made bagels at home, I felt like a magician. I've always loved a good bagel, heck, I even enjoy the basic plastic wrapped bagels at the grocery store. But with all the boiling and shaping and baking involved, homemade bagels seemed like a lot of work when a decent bagel is pretty easy to get and relatively cheap to boot.

And then I moved to Florida. Okay, okay, I don't want to knock the sunshine state too much, you can get bagels at the grocery store or one of the bagel chains in town. These bagels are tasty and fit the bill, unless you've had the real thing. Glossy, chewy, dense and gorgeous, I'm talking about real deal bagels like I used to get in New York, not donut shaped rolls which are called bagels at more places than I can name.

When I realized that I couldn't get a high quality bagel here in Florida, I figured I could either learn to make my own or learn to live without. Of course, after I started making homemade soft pretzels, the idea of boiling then baking was a lot less intimidating so I set out straight away.

This recipe is really pretty easy, adapted from the one Jennifer Reese provides in her book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. It makes 8 substantial bagels in about 2 hours, although you could make them smaller and stretch the recipe to 10 or 12. A couple of notes. If you can't find barley malt syrup, brown sugar makes a fine substitute. Feel free to skip the yogurt too, I think it helps with the chewy interior texture and flavor.

3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tblsp cinnamon
4 1/2 tsps yeast
5 tblsp sugar
1 tbslp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbslp yogurt
1 cup raisins
neutral oil for greasing
2-3 tblsp barley malt syrup (or dark brown sugar)

I like to use my stand mixer for bagels because the dough is a pain in the butt to mix by hand. I start with my yeast, warm water and 1 tbsp of sugar in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Stir those together, let sit for a minute to wake up the yeast, then add the yogurt, flour, cinnamon, salt, and remaining sugar and mix with a dough hook until combined. Once its combined mix on medium for another 5 minutes, adding the raisins when you've got a minute left.

Bagel Dough pre-rise - kind of looks like chocolate chip cookie dough:)

 Grease a bowl, add your dough, cover and let rise for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.

At this point, you want to put a big pot of water on to boil and preheat the oven to 400.

Take out your dough, deflate it, and separate it into 8 dough balls. Use your thumb to much a hole in the center of the dough then shape them into bagels. They'll continue to rise so make sure you make the hole in the center big enough. I like to set these on parchment or silpat lined baking trays. If you are going directly on a tray, you need to grease the pans in a little oil, and even put cornmeal or semolina flour on the bottom before baking to keep them from sticking to the pans.

Let the bagels rest/rise for about 10 minutes, then get to the boiling process. Add your barley malt syrup (or brown sugar) to the boiling water and once it is dissolved, place one or two bagels in the water. You want the water simmering or boiling, but not going so crazy that it beats up your bagels. Boil on one side for a minute, then flip and boil a second minute. Pick them up with a slotted spoon to drain and place them back on your parchment lined sheet pans. After all the bagels have gotten their two minutes of boiling, place them in the oven and bake until the babies are golden brown and delicious, about 30 minutes. Since I place mine on two pans, I rotate them after 15 minutes and start checking on them at 25. When they are done, let them cool just a bit before eating, 5 to 10 minutes is all they need. And with freshly baked bagels as good as these, there is no need to toast them when they are fresh from the oven.

Once they are completely cool, I like to slice and wrap them, then place in a bag in my freezer. That way in the morning during the week, I can pull out a frozen bagel, pop the 2 halves straight into my toaster, and have breakfast easy peasy.

Labels: , , ,