In my heap of Cookbooks, thrown on a shelf….I found an old favorite called the “Complete Book of Small Breads,” and this great recipe. There are two main types of bagels: water and egg. Those form the basis for all the different types of bagels with which you’re probably familiar. I’ve tried both over the years, but the water variety is much simpler. You really do need to try this recipe…..I think the taste and texture is amazing. You won’t believe that so few ingredients are involved., and it’s deceptively simple. They also freeze well, so we should all make these more often.
2 1/4 tsp instant or active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. hot water
1 1/2 Tbsp malt syrup (optional), for boiling bagels;
1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar can be used instead
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F and bring a large pot of water to a boil on your stove. Add 1 1/2 tbsp of either malt syrup or sugar to the water you’re bringing to a boil. Divide dough into 8 balls of the same size. Flatten each ball into a disc. Punch a hole in the center with your thumb and smooth and pull the resulting bagel into shape. Allow them to sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes. Place a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet.
Boil the bagels, 3 or 4 at a time, in your pot of sugar or malt syrup water. Do not crowd the bagels. They should be boiled for a total of 1 minute; turn them over once in the middle of the boiling. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on a towel to drain; move quickly so that the bagels do not stick to the towel; you can also use a rack to dry them, if you prefer. Place boiled, drained bagels on the parchment on your baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes; when 25 minutes have elapsed, flip the bagels over and bake for 5 more minutes. Cool on a rack and serve any way you like.