This is a recipe post from Jennifer Garner’s Facebook post where she made her family fresh homemade bagels. I couldn’t wait to give these a go and wanted to create this post for easy access – mainly for myself! These bagels are the real deal – crunchy on the outside and chewy, yet soft in the middle. So good with cream cheese.
Jennifer’s recipe is from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and the water bath by Rose Levy Beranbaum, which I think is pretty much the best name ever. As usual, I was shocked at how easy it was creating something at home I’d normally buy in. The bagels are actually easier than Jennifer Garner makes them out to be in the video, although her frustrations and second-guessing were sweet and funny. Baking is always like that for me too so I can relate.
Bagel dough is a heavy dough. I actually stopped my machine halfway and proceeded to knead by hand because I was worried my stand mixer would break! Don’t skip the long kneading step though – this will be key to giving your bagels that fantastic chew that they have, yet without being overly tough.
I started mine in the morning though and finished at night. I don’t do 5 am. I’ve doubled the recipe, making 20 fresh, beautiful bagels for lower than the price you’d get 1 pack in the store. These bagels can be frozen on the day they are made and easily defrosted when needed so that they remain the freshest quality.
- ½ Cup Unbleached Bread Flour
- ¼ Cup Cool Water
- Pinch of Instant Yeast
- 7 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2½ Cups Cool Water
- 3 teaspoons Instant Yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp Molasses
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, make your "puffy starter" by stirring together the ¼ cup water with ½ cup flour and pinch of yeast. Cover and let this sit at room temperature for 7-8 hours.
- Add in the 7 cups of flour, 2½ cups water, 3 Tbsp yeast, and 2 tsp salt. Using the dough hook attachment (or by hand) mix slowly to incorporate, then knead for 10 minutes.
- Oil the dough slightly, cover and let prove for 1 hour in a warm place. Knock the dough down and let it prove again for 30 more minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a workstation and divide into 20 pieces. Roll into smooth balls with no seams, cover and let prove for another 30 minutes.
- Stick your finger in the middle of each ball and then swing the dough around your finger until it's about 2 inches in diameter.
- To make the water bath: Heat a large deep and wide frying pan with 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a low boil. Add in the molasses and baking soda. Drop 4 bagels in at a time and cook 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the other side.
- Drain and place the bagels on 2 large baking trays. Bake in 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.