Now, never have I dreamed of baking breads - the thought of yeast and careful kneading scares me. But, after reading this well-written post with step-by-step photos , my fears were allayed. Excitedly, I went to get bread flour and active dry yeast this morning from SS19 Subang bakeshop.
I couldn't find bread flour but was told by lady at the bakeshop that high-protein flour is for bread-making (since I was all gung-ho about making bagels, I had to buy some kind of flour anyways - so, no choice but to trust her info).
Next, no label of "active dry yeast" was in sight, so I purchased a little sachet labeled "instant yeast" instead. At least it's "dry".
I posted the bagel recipe from http://bakingbites.com below :
Homemade Bagels :
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 and 3/4 cups water, warm (100-110F)
4 cups bread flour (not all purpose)
1 tbsp salt
1 egg, for egg wash
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) combine yeast, sugar and water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in flour and salt.
Mix dough thoroughly until it comes together in a large ball, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Add an additional tablespoon of flour or water, if needed.
If kneading by hand, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead dough with the dough hook until elastic, about 8 minutes on a low speed. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and preheat the oven to 400F.
When dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces (first quarters, then thirds). Shape each piece into a tight ball as illustrated below, pinching the corners together at the bottom of the piece of dough. When all the balls are shaped, let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered with a clean dish towel.
Once dough balls have rested, the bagel shape can be formed. Using your fingers, poke a hole through the center of each dough ball. Stretch out the dough into a ring with your fingers and be sure to make the hole a little larger than you want the finished bagel to have, as it will shrink slightly while the bagel is expanding during the baking process. Let bagels rest for about 10 minutes.
Working four at a time, drop the bagels carefully into the boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip and boil for an additional minute. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer bagels to a clean towel to drain for a moment, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Repeat process with remaining bagels.
Brush boiled bagels with lightly beaten egg (a pastry or bbq brush is a good tool for this) and bake for 20-24 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and toast to serve.
Makes 12 bagels.
I did make a boo-boo while making them. I so wanted to see the finished bagels that I got carried away and missed reading the instruction to leave the bagels to rest for 10 mins after making a hole in them before boiling.
Not sure if this missed step had caused the bagels to be slightly wrinkly and not Botox-puffy. Taste-wise, they were delicious according Barry. But then again, he loves everything I make. It's called l-o-v-e. HahaahaHahaha!
P/S : I wrote to Bakingbites' Nicole about the not-so-smooth bagels and she was kind to take the time to respond. I quoted part of her email here "...Even skipping the short rest period wouldn't really effect the results too much. Based on the pictures, I would say that yours aren't completely smooth because the dough balls weren't shaped as tightly as mine were before you formed the bagel shapes....."