One thing I have difficulty finding in our small local grocery is a good bagel. I love bagels, from onion bagels to blueberry bagels to everything bagels. When I can’t get my hands on the exact bagel I have a craving for…I sometimes resort to making them myself!
The following recipe is a basic French bread recipe that I have used for years. It is the perfect base for any type of bagel I wish to make. I also use the recipe for French loaf, dinner rolls and my super delicious Olive Oregano Bread.
Basic French Bread
- 8 oz warm water
- 2 & 1/4 teaspoons bread yeast
- 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 level cups of bread flour
- 1/4 cup bread flour for flouring kneading surface
In a bowl, proof the yeast by combining the water, sugar and yeast. Once foamy add the flour and salt until combined. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. I cheat by using a bread machine on the dough only setting.
Separate dough into 6 even pieces. Form each into a ball and create a center hole with your finger. Lay each doughnut-shaped piece of dough on a greased cookie sheet, cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm location.
Prepare a pot of boiling water with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar added. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the dough has risen, simmer each in the boiling water for a total of 6-7 minutes. I generally boil for 3 minutes on the smooth “risen side”, flip, continue boiling for 3 minutes on the bottom “greased side” and flip once more so the “risen side” faces down for 1 additional minute. This will ensure my toppings will adhere well to the top.
Sprinkle a light layer of cornmeal onto a cookie sheet in preparation for your boiled bagels. Remove each bagel from the water, placing the bottom side down onto the cornmeal. Sprinkle toppings onto the bagel while the surface is still sticky and shiny.
Bake in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the bread is done. It should sound hollow when you tap it with your finger.
Once your bagels are cooled, you can store them in an air tight container in the fridge so they last longer. Makes 6 bagels.
Don’t be shy, play around with your bagels! Add herbs, bacon, onions, spices or dehydrated fruit. I for one, am a huge fan of toppings because they make for an extra special crunch factor. One of my all time favorites is this topping found in the seasoning section at Trader Joe’s – Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. King Arthur also has a similar topping found HERE.
No matter what flavors you decide upon, making your favorites from scratch can be rewarding. In the end, you may find creating homemade bagels is not only super simple, but much more tasty than the store bought version. Here are a few more topping ideas!
- Parmesan Cheese
- Fine Crumbled Bacon
- Italian Herbs
- Poppy Seed
- Sesame Seed
- Wheat Germ or Flax Meal
- Finely Crushed Nuts
Please, don’t stop there! Most of us top our bagels with cream cheese or flavor infused cream cheese spread. One of my all time favorites is Olive Pimento Cream Cheese. Just chop pimento filled green olives and mix with a fork into your cream cheese.
Do you have a sweet tooth? How about cinnamon sugar whipped cream cheese? Or, strawberry jam mixed into cream cheese. The options are endless – here are a few suggestions!
- Fruit Jam & Cream Cheese
- Olives or Capers & Cream Cheese
- Basil Pesto & Cream Cheese
- Bacon & Jalapeno “Popper” Cream Cheese
- Garlic & Onion Cream Cheese
- Mini Chocolate Chip & Sweetened Cream Cheese (use powdered sugar)