For me, bagels are something that I would eat in a hurry, when there is not time to make anything else for breakfast. We like onion, cheese and sesame ones. And you could tell I went crazy with sesame here :)A nicely toasted and crunchy bagel is a good vehicle for cream cheese. With the cream cheese I could be creative, because you can literary put anything you like in there. Herbs, jalapeno peppers, vegetables, salmon...I would even put dips. Guacamole with cream cheese, egg salad with celery, and my latest favorite, radish salad with olives and cheese. You can check out the recipe for it in Serbian at my friends blog. So, if I could make all these good toppings, why couldn't I make good bagels also?
I decided to try. It is much easier and less time consuming than I thought.
For the dough you will need:500 gr. flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
350 ml water
Start the yeast by mixing warm water, sugar, yeast, and 2-3 tablespoons of flour. When it foams, mix it with dry ingredients, and kneed or mix until dough becomes satiny and elastic. Transfer to lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it double.
Before you divide and shape your dough, prepare our water bath. You should have pot big enough to boil few bagels at the time (I did 5), and at least 4 inches (10cm) of water. Some recipes call for malt syrup that I could not find in grocery store, some are using sugar, I used 2 tablespoons of molasses. Let the water come to a boil, and preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
Divide the dough in 10 peaces. Ball each peace, than roll it into the rope. Wrap the dough around the back of your hand, overlapping the ends in your palm. Place your hand palm down on the work surface and roll dough back and forth until ends seal together. At this point, you can place your bagels in the fridge overnight which helps them develop better flavor, or you can boil and bake them in 10 min.
Gently lower each bagel into simmering poaching water with molasses. They should float to the surface within 15 seconds. Turn each bagel after 20 seconds, poach for another 20 seconds, and with slotted spoon transfer it back to the wire rack. Lightly oil parchment paper, brush each bagel with beaten egg mixture (I forgot, so my seeds were falling of), dip them into the bowl with sesame (or just sprinkle), and bake them for about 15-20 min until there are golden. They freeze very well if you wrap them while they are still warm.