Embellishing this recipe for plain bagels is as easy as sprinkling on your favorite topping just before baking.
Serves: 8Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 2 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 1 cup plus 1 quart water, divided
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- ½ tsp. plus ⅛ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 large egg
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Spray a baking sheet with pan spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and shape into a rope, about 3" thick. Slice 2" pieces off the rope, then roll each into a tight ball. Leave balls on the floured surface, dust with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine milk and 1 quart water in a large, deep skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Working with 1 roll at a time, poke your finger down through its center, and on a well-floured surface, begin spinning the roll to open up a large center hole. Make the hole large, as it will close in during baking.
- Drop each formed bagel into simmering milk and water mixture, and poach 30 seconds on each side. Remove, tap off excess liquid, and place on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down. Mix egg with remaining salt and brush lightly onto bagels. Place a pan of water on the oven floor to create steam, and bake until brown, about 20–25 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.