August 23, 2010

Happy Monday: homemade bagels and a food blogger praise

I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks, more precisely since when I finally tackled one of the recipes in my wish-to-make-soon list: homemade bagels. I really thought this was going to be a hard recipe. Somehow bagels intimidated me....up until that day! I knew I needed a trustworthy recipe and when I need that I know where to look for: Joudie's blog, Mood Food.

You should know that Joudies' blog is one of the blogs I follow since the very beginning of my journey through the food blogsphere. And for several reasons, of which I will mention the two I believe are the most important ones. First of all, her philosophy when it comes to food, so well represented by the name of her blog. I have a long (way too long) wish-to-make-soon list and every day, when I go through hundreds of food blogs, I add more to it. There are so many recipes out there worth trying, so many recipes that make me drool...but at the end of the day I always choose what to make according to my mood at the moment. My mood more than anything dictates the ingredients I'm craving for, whether I want to use a simple cookies recipe or a complex layered cake recipe, whether I need a creamy tart or a yeast good. Joudie's blog definitely catches my own approach to prepare and eat food. 

The second big reason why I love her blog is that she presents even complicated recipes in an easy way. I do love challenging myself and I do believe that some people have more natural talent for cooking and baking (she certainly does! I don't consider myself one of those people with natural talent!), but I also believe that everybody can learn and get better. She makes you feel like "you can do it!". And you can. 

That is in fact how I could make homemade bagels: by following her recipe and her step by step instructions. Well, mine did not came out quite as pretty and perfectly round as hers...but I think it was a good first time and above was stress-free. Everything happened very smoothly and this for me is very important because you all know that I consider baking as a relaxing activity...if I have to get stressed also in baking I don't do it.

So here is the recipe but you should really look at her post for step by step instructions and pictures.

yields 14 (really) big bagels*

840 gr (29.6 oz) bread flour

15 gr (1 tbsp) of salt
7 gr (1 ½ tsp or one packet) instant yeast
30 gr (2 tbsp) sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
540 ml (18.2 fl oz) warm water

*On my first try I used half of the ingredients because I did not want to risk failing 14 bagels. Joudie mentions that they grow a lot in size during the boiling process...and it's so true. Mine came out enormous even if I was warned!

Below are Joudie's instructions with some additional comments from myself:

Mix the flour, the salt, and the yeast into a bowl/kitchenaid. (As you all know, I don't have a kitchenaid and I did all this by hand...totally doable)

Add the sugar, the water and the oil together and then mix into the flour mix.

Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes. This will help activate the yeast and work the dough. (If you are kneading by hand just keep going for about 10 minutes)

When it is done kneading, let the dough rise in a bowl that is well oiled and cover with oil all over for about an hour in a warm space until double in size.

When the dough has risen get an apple-size chunk, and shape it in to a ball. (Really, a small apple-size chunk...they become gigantic during the boiling process!)

Press down in the middle to make a hole and press all around to make it even and you will get a nice sized hole to work with. Make sure it is big enough as you are going to let it rise again and don't want the hole to close up. (Absolutely true! Make the hole big! Also, you guys are probably all better than I am in making bagels but it took me 2-3 bagels to practice in order to get them well round and smooth...that's why they do not look very nicely shaped...oh well, I'll do better next time!)

Once you have made you bagel shapes, place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let rise for another 20 minutes or so till they have doubled in size.

I made about 14 bagels, but they turned out quite big. I could have made about 20-22 . I should have made them smaller, but I didn't realize they would get so big while boiling. (Yeah, as I said I did 7 bagels but they could have been 10ish!)

While they are rising, get some water in a pan and bring it to the boil, adding 1 tbsp of sugar and 3 tsp baking soda.

Get your bagels about 3 at a time, and boil them for 1-2 minutes, on one side only. Drain them and place them on a baking sheet.

When they are all ready, egg wash them and coat them with sesame, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, cinnamon sugar, or leave them plain. They will taste amazing whatever you choose. (I chose poppy seeds, cinnamon, cinnamon and raisins and plain...they were all super yummy)

Then place them in an oven at around 390F degrees for about 15-20 minutes. If you have many shelves, rotate them once in a while.

Take them out when they have turned an ice golden brown and let them stand for about 20 minutes before serving them. (yeah, right! I ate half of them before they cooled down :) )

Have a sweet day!

Source: Mood Food


  1. Love that you pay tribute to your blogger inspiration. I find that mood plays a big part in what I choose to make. Hanging out at my blogger friends sites perks up my moods in general though. Those bagels look big and really yummy!

  2. Lovely bagels and a lovely fellow blogger tribute!I'm going to hop over and visit on your recommendation. I've found so so many wonderful helpful people with blogging!

  3. Amanda and Scrambledhenfruit: I do think it is important to recognize other people merits. I am not a professional baker, I have no training and not even a family of sweet tooth that passed on me this passion so I am really learning a lot from bloggers, cooks, friends and I'm loving this learning process so from time to time I like to stop and say thank you. And btw...these bagels were!

  4. I completely agree about cooking by your moods. Usually I'll plan a handful of recipes for the week and then choose what I'm going to make based on what sounds good the day of. That being said, you must have been in a great mood today because those bagels look super yummy!

  5. I have recently been seeing more about home made bagels. My kids love them, this would be a wonderful breakfast treat! After our successful try at pretzels I'll bet we could do this!!

  6. Hey Sara...... THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL POST ABOUT MY BLOG AND BAGELS. SO GORGEOUS! Your bagels look scrumdidlyumptious!!!! What a great way to share something. I hope your friends like my stuff..... YAY!!!! xx

  7. @Koci: I was indeed in a great mood that day!
    @Kim: if I did it, you can do it!
    @Joudie: before trying your recipe I was shaking at the idea of making bagels and instead it was so "easy" so I need to thank you (my husband thanks you as well considering he ate almost all of them!) I still need to practice on shaping them more pretty and smooth

  8. No thanks needed. Tell your husband from me, its my pleasure.My husband and i are eating our way through your blog too. My husband is telling me to tell you that he loves the look of your 'rustic bagels'. He thinks they look like the real deal and is now insisting i make him some. I wish we lived closer as i would pop by and get some now....

  9. These bagels look awesome! I have yet to try the bagels myself, but I am thinking I will have to now, since you make it seem so easy:) Thanks for giving me another blog to stare at and marvel

  10. I always thought bagels were intimidating as well until Mountain Man gave em a try.. yours look great especially for your first time go :) I'm going to go grab some cream cheese if you'll please send one my way!

  11. @Joudie: my husband instead was pointing at yours saying "see? hers are prettier" (before trying them out!) so we either swap husbands or we should definitely live closer :)
    @Camala: yeah, this is another blog to stare at...and drool
    @Evan: sorry, they are over :) I'm also pretty happy as first time :)

  12. I never made bagels, but you make me want to change this! I love the rugged look of the bagels, they look simply delightful.

  13. Congrats! I love home made bagels but haven't made them in a long time. I think yours are gorgeous! You've inspired me to jump back into them when I get home.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.