Yeast bread dough can be intimidating… Will the dough rise? Will the bread keep its shape while baking? Will this really taste better than store-bought? …I had read that bagels were beginner-friendly so this was a good choice for me. Once you make a few loaves of bread with success, the mystery and fear of bread baking falls into the background and you are left with confidence and optimism that your next loaf will turn out as planned.
I followed the King Arthur’s recipe for bagels found here on their website. The only slight change I made was to refrigerate the formed bagel dough overnight then baked them in the morning. I found that tip on America’s Test Kitchen’s bagel recipes and appreciated the timing of making the dough at night then enjoying fresh bagels in the morning.
I am learning about dough and yeast and bread-making each time I try a new recipe. I declare this bagel baking episode a success, though it was far from perfect. All of my bagels could not pass for something bought at the local bakery. Some were just right; others were flat and did not have that round, puffy look that one would expect from bagels. The less you touch the bagels after the second rising time, the prettier your bagels will look. I spent too much time re-stretching the hole in the middle of a few of my bagels and this deflated them quickly. Don’t despair if your bagels don’t look picture-perfect. Call them bagel flats and use your thinner bagel halves for sandwiches. Make bagel chips or bagel croutons. Just keep trying and you’ll stumble upon baking success!
(Please note, I haven’t forgotten to share the recipe but since I did not substantially change King Arthur’s recipe, I thought it best for you to go to their site and print out the recipe there. Happy Baking!)
I submitted this post to Wild Yeast. If you need baking inspiration, stop by Wild Yeast!