Bagels are my breakfast staples. I have always flirted with the idea of baking them myself, but thought that they are complicated to bake. Most importantly, decent bagels cost less than a dollar in any local coffee shops.
Recently I was introduced to furikake, a dry Japanese condiment. Furikake is sprinkled on rice for seasoning. Furikake has small pieces of dried fish, seaweed, katsuobushi (bonito flakes), sugar, salt, seasonings etc.
In theory, it seemed like a perfect idea to use furikake as a bagel topping. One starch, i.e., steamed rice, seasoned by furikake is substituted by another starch, i.e., flour in bagels. Since furikake bagels are not available in the market, they are my motivation for baking bagels.
Furikake, on-hand, had shaved bonito, sesame seed, sugar, salt, sauce and seaweed.
I was determined to make a simple and easy bagel. The recipe is adapted from one on Red Star Yeast.
all-purpose flour 3 cups
sugar 2 tablespoons
dry yeast 2 teaspoons (or 1 packet)
water 1 cup
sugar water bath
1 tablespoon sugar per 4 cups of water
egg white (from 1 egg)
furikake (Japanese rice condiment)
Combine all ingredients for bagels, i.e., 1 cup flour, yeast, salt and sugar, except 2 cups of flour.
Add water, beat 2 minutes, slowly pouring remaining flour to make a dough.
Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Use some extra flour, if need.
Rest slightly oiled dough in a bowl. To see if dough is ripe (and ready), touch the dough lightly. If indentation of finger remains, the dough is ready.
Fold dough gently in floured surface couple of times.
Divide the dough into 12 parts. (Note: these bagels were tad smaller, so I would recommend dividing the dough into 9 equal pieces rather than 12)
Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Gently punch a hole in the center with a finger.
Let it rest for few minutes. Let it rise, unless you get a dense bagel.
Boil water. Add 1 tablespoons sugar per 4 cups of water.
Place a few bagels at a time, about 3 minutes each side. Don’t boil more bagels than the number that comfortably floats on the water surface, depending on your utensil.
Remove, drain water and put a greased cookie sheets.
Brush with 1 beaten egg white.
Sprinkle with furikake or any other toping such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes. Skip this step for plain bagels.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake about 20 minutes (until golden brown).
Let it cool and eat with cream cheese or homemade smoked salmon cream cheese.
Fresh bagels right out off the oven are the best bagels you will ever eat.
Since baking bagels was easy, now that less-than-a-dollar bagel seems expensive. More than being able to customize bagels, the fresh bagels just taste better; even baked by a non-baker. Think about how warm chocolate-chip cookies out off an oven baked by an amateur tastes better than stale ones crafted by a professional.
Posted in: Cooking |