Video was shot for Instagram Stories and then compiled for our blog. While putting the bagels in the oven we were interrupted and consequently the bagels in the front of the oven were put in 10 minutes later.
Bagels baked in the wood-fired oven are a fun and delicious bread to make at home. Many varieties are readily available at any grocery store, but making bagels at home will allow you to customize them exactly to everyone's liking. The possibilities are limitless. You are in control of the quality of the ingredients, what you put in the dough, and of course the toppings. Although several steps are necessary for the creation of this classic, firm, round roll, it is well worth the process and time it takes for you to bake them at home. Homemade bagels are not only easy to make, but the satisfaction that follows is well worth the time and process it requires.
*If you don't own a digital scale, you may want to consider purchasing your own as they will make your baking adventures so much more precise and consistent. A digital scale is a practical and accurate measuring tool in any kitchen. Even though I posted both measurements, this recipe is more precisely given with the metric system. You will not be disappointed.
1 kilogram high gluten bread flour - 8 cups
4 grams yeast - 1 tsp
575 grams water - about 2 1/2 cups
20 grams salt - 1 Tbsp
18 grams malt syrup - about 1 Tbsp for the dough
36 grams malt syrup - about 2 Tbsp for the water where you will boil the bagels before baking
For the baking process you will need to bring 3 liters or 3 quarts water to a boil to which you will add 36 grams, or 2 Tablespoons malt syrup. It is in this simmering water that you will quickly "boil" the bagels before baking.
*View the video to easily follow directions on how to make this classic, delicious roll.
In a large capacity bowl combine flour and yeast and mix thoroughly.
In a separate container dissolve the water, salt and malt syrup.
Make a well in the flour and add the liquid ingredients.
Mix and knead vigorously by hand for at least 15 minutes or by mixer with the use of the dough hook for 4-5 minutes on low speed and an additional 4-5 minutes on medium speed. In order to form the gluten with this high-protein bread flour, this dough requires more time with the kneading process. When the kneading is done, the dough will be firm to the touch and hold its shape.
Some allow the dough ball to rise covered with plastic wrap or a damp cloth for about an hour. We have allowed the dough to rest covered with a damp cloth for about 10 minutes, and then have immediately proceeded with the dividing and shaping. (The shaped bagels will have time to rise for 8-12 hours in the cool environment of the refrigerator, thus allowing development of great flavors.)
After the short rest period, the dough is placed on a slightly dusted work surface and divided. With a bench knife or dough scraper divide the dough into 140 grams pieces. As shown in the video shape each piece into a tightly formed cylinder. Ones all pieces are shaped it is time to roll them into even skinnier cylinders.
With the help of the palm of your hand, flatten one end of the dough. Slightly wet the flattened section.
Cover the opposite end with the flattened section, wrap and secure as shown in the video.
Slide two or three fingers into the center of the formed bagel and roll the joints between your fingers and the work surface.
Dust the dough boxes with fine cornmeal and place each bagel on it making sure to leave enough room for them to grow.
Place the covered dough boxes into the refrigerator and allow them to rest for at least 8-12 hours.
With the help of a dough scraper transfer the proofed bagels and place them in the simmering water.
Do not overcrowd the bagels as they might get stuck together.
Allow the bagels to simmer for about 15 seconds on each side.
Next, place each bagel on a screen to remove excess water for a lighter, fluffier texture; or, shock them in ice cold water for a chewy texture.
With the surface of the bagel still damp, dip each one in your desired topping. Alternatively, they can also be lightly brushed with beaten egg whites so that the topping will easily stick to the bagel.
Check the wood-fired oven with the infrared thermometer to make sure that the temperature of the oven is at around 475°-500° F.
Place each bagel on a cornmeal dusted peel, or on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
If using the peel, position it in the back of the oven and with a gentle tug quickly pull back allowing the bagels to transfer on the oven stone surface. If using the baking sheet, place it directly in the oven and immediately close the door.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. The bagels will be ready when they turn golden brown and soft to the touch.
Cool the bagels on a rack. Enjoy!
What is your favorite way to eat bagels?
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Tag #fontanaforniusa with an image of your bagel made with this recipe.