These bagels I made on a whim after realizing I haven’t actually had a decent bagel for a very, very long time. To tell the truth good bread really doesn’t exist in Nakhon Si Thammarat, so when I want it I have to make it. These bagels are very simple- if you have made any type of bread before you can make these. I mixed mine by hand and baked them in a toaster oven- but use whatever you’ve got.
Adapted from CHOW
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 heaping teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons raw sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 large egg
Sesame seeds, raw sugar and cinnamon, or coarse salt for topping
a pinch of salt and baking soda for the boiling water
Place 1 1/2 cups of the water in a small bowl and dissolve the yeast completely. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, and sugar and mix to combine. Make a well in the flour mixture and add yeast mixture little by little, stirring as you go. Keep mixing until the dough begins to look shaggy. At this point you may need to give up on the wooden spoon, turn the dough out onto the counter, and start to work with your hands. Begin to knead the excess flour into the dough and continue to knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be dry, not tacky or sticky, a little stiff.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place, until it is puffy and doesn’t springs back when you poke it, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and arrange the rack in the middle. Fill a large sauce pan with water, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer. Throw a pinch of salt and baking soda into the water and cover it until you’re ready to boil the bagels. Grease a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray and set aside.
Turn the risen dough out onto a dry surface and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, lightly moisten the ends with water, overlap the ends by about 1 inch, and press to join so you’ve created a bagel. Alternatively, roll the dough into a ball than create a quarter sized hole in the middle. Cover the shaped bagels with a towel and let them rest 10 minutes.
After resting, stretch the dough to retain the quarter-size hole (the dough will have risen a bit) and boil the bagels 2 or 3 at a time, making sure they have room to bob around. Cook for about 45-60 seconds on each side until the bagels look a little shriveled, then drain and place on the baking sheet.
Whisk the egg and brush the egg wash all over the bagels, then sprinkle as desired with toppings. Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes. Rotate the pan after 15 minutes and bake until the bagels are a deep toffee color and have formed a crust on the bottom and top, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before eating.