Happy National Bagel Day! Today, we celebrate the delicious, versatile, oh-so-chewy breakfast staple. Whether you like ‘em plain, with cream cheese, or loaded up with toppings, you gotta start with a good base. So why not trying making your own bagels at home? Here’s how…
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 egg yolk
In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it becomes frothy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, using a wooden spoon or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, to mix the ingredients together until a dough forms.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425º F (220º C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then use your fingers to poke a hole through the center to create a ring shape. Let the bagels rest for about 10 minutes.
In a medium pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Gently drop the bagels into the boiling water, cooking 1 minute on each side. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash over the top of each bagel, then sprinkle them with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!