How gaggerific is that photo? I know, I couldn’t help myself. I made these for Justin and was originally going to write “I ❤ UR ε==>'” but I ran out of plate space and the craisins kept slipping. So instead he got a little more heartfelt message in the morning.
My intention was to make these and have them posted by Valentine’s Day, but I got busy. But today is Justin’s birthday, so now they’re Birthday Bagels. Whatever though, one does not need a special circumstance or over-marketed holiday to treat their loved one with home baked heart shaped (or ass shaped, depending how you look at that them) nummies. These bagels are adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet’s New York Style Bagels. I had such good success with this bagel recipe I haven’t really tried any others.
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups H2O (110° or whatever your yeast specifies)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tbsp H2O
1 cup craisins
1 1/2 tsp salt
500 g bread flour (3 – 3 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp white sugar
Resting time: about 1 hour 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Make a paste out of the 1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tbsp H2o. You want it to be dry. Set aside.
Add your 1 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp white sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt.
Then add your bread flour and mix. You can use all purpose flour instead, but you won’t get that classic bagel consistency.
In all my other recipes where I’ve made bread I tell you of course you can make them by hand, but then I never do. So today I decided to make these bagels by using a bowl as little as possible. Pour your flour onto a cutting board and make a well deep enough to hold your water.
Add your 2 tbsp of brown sugar and your warmed water and mix gently, breaking apart the brown sugar clumps.
Sprinkle your yeast on top and let it sit.
2 minutes in. This is why it’s good to take the temperature of your water. If the water had been too hot we would have damaged or killed the yeast and if it was too cold it wouldn’t have activated them.
Start gently swirling your fingers in the water to move the yeast around.
Then start swirling near the edge of the flour slowly incorporating some of the flour into the water. The key word is “slow,” if you try to do it quickly you will have a very big mess on your hands and it will not be my fault because I told you the key word.
When enough of the water has been incorporated you can start to push it all together. Use only one hand to do this to keep one hand clean. Scrape your wet hand off and then begin to knead it as you normally would.
Now here is where I screwed up, but now you won’t. I added my craisins in too early. Add them very near the end of your kneading.
I think adding the craisins in too early really prevented full proper gluten formation during the kneading process.
When you think your dough is done chances are it could go for a minute or two longer since home bakers are notorious for under-kneading their dough, myself very much so included. So when you think your dough is done add your cinnamon paste in 1/4 or 1/3 chunks. Knead it just enough to incorporate and add the next chunk. This is how we’re adding this swirl. If you’re not as crazy about cinnamon as Justin and I are then either just do the swirl or just do the initial cinnamon addition with the flour.
Because of my craisin fiasco I also went on to add my cinnamon paste a little too early and didn’t have as much of a swirl as I wanted. 😦
Coat your bowl and dough lightly with oil and cover. Let rise for 60 minutes
60 minutes: Hey, it’s not perfect but I didn’t completely screw it up!
Punch down your dough.
Punch it down everywhere. Doesn’t make much sense just to punch it in the middle.
Cover and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
Now cut your dough into equal sections. I had 36 ounces after everything, so I was going for 8 bagel at 4.5 ounces each. I wasn’t crazy particular about getting them all at 4.5 ounces, just in that area.
If you want to do the heart shape, here is how I did it. Roll out one of your pieces as you would to make a pretzel, about 12 inches long.
Then roll up each side, gently pulling as you roll to stretch it out until both sides are even when they meet in the middle.
Relatively even, whatever.
Gently pull on the opening of the heart to make a bigger bagel whole. Pinch the ‘V’ part of the heart with your fingers.
To make a regular bagel just roll into a ball using the pressure of your work surface.
The Sophisticated Gourmet’s Bagel Balls look like perfect spheres. It irritates me. I’m willing to wager the under side isn’t perfectly smooth but it still irritates me. I wanted to show you the underside of my bagel ball to let you know not all of us are fucking perfect.
Coat a finger with flour and poke through starting at the top side. The hole should be about half the size of the whole bagel.
Put all your formed bagels on a sheet and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes.
While resting bring a pot of water to boil and preheat your oven to 425°.
When your water is boiling add as many bagels as you feel comfortable adding to your pot. Boil for 1-2 per side. 2 minutes if you want a chewier bagel (NY bagels are the chewier kind).
Your bagels should float. If they don’t then you screwed up and you should throw them all away and beat up on yourself for the rest of the day. Oh, that’s not how you cope with a failed recipe? My bad. No, if you put one in and it sinks and doesn’t pop up after 5 seconds then pull it out and let all your bagels rest for another 10-20 minutes and try again.
Pull out with a slotted spoon and put on a cooling rack.
The tops of your heart bagels may pull open in the water, a couple of mine did. If this happens just hold them together after you put them on the cooling rack as the water dries. When the water dries they will have dried back closed.
Bake in 425° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy with some cream cheese…
…or delicious lemon curd!