A toasted bagel slathered with a generous layer of cream cheese makes for a very satisfying breakfast. For a while, I’ve not entertained the idea of making bagels just because I could grab a bag of bagels for 4 bucks off the supermarket shelves. Moreover, it just feels like one of those very challenging recipes.
But trust me, it isn’t as complicated as it seems. The process is time consuming, but not difficult. The kneading, punching and shaping is very therapeutic and all part of the fun. It’s an activity that one could do together with the kids on a lazy Sunday morning.
Homemade bagels have this rustic look to them. Every bagel looks different, some rounder others flatter. But I find it immensely satisfying to know each bagel is a unique product of your love, not something churned out of a factory production line looking like clones of each other. Bottom line, go make the bagels. Right now.
Homemade Honey Oatmeal Bagel
Most bagel recipes call for bread flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten content which gives the bagels a chewy texture. There wasn’t any bread flour in my pantry and so I went ahead with all-purpose plain flour. I might start making my bagels with regular flour from now on because I actually prefer the more tender consistency as compared to a traditional bagel. I’ve made the recipe healthier by replacing part of the flour with oatmeal flour. The result is a high fiber, lower GI bagel and yet incredibly delicious. The honey in this recipe imparts a fragrant aroma to bagels but it doesn’t make them taste sweet. This recipe makes 12 to 14 small bagels.
Prep Time: 15 minutes Inactive Time: 1 to 2 hours Cook Time: 50 minutes
1 package (7g) instant active dry yeast
3 to 3.5 (390 – 455g) cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
1 cup (90g) rolled oats (or oat flour if available)
2 tsp baking powder (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups lukewarm water
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown/regular sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp milk/water
2 tsp honey
Rolled oats, shredded cheese, sesame seeds (optional)
- Dissolve honey in lukewarm water. Add yeast to the water and stir. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Using a food processor, pulse the rolled oats until it resembles the consistency of flour. If you are using ready-made oat flour, skip this step.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the yeast mixture, oatmeal flour, salt, baking powder (gives the dough extra lift) and half of the all-purpose flour (or bread flour). With a dough hook attachment, knead the mixture at low speed until the flour has been fully incorporated. (you can also do this by hand)
- Gradually add the remaining all-purpose flour, a little at a time until a sticky elastic dough is formed and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This will take about 5 minutes. You may or may not need to use up all the flour.
- Turn the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and knead it with the heel of your palm for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Lightly grease the surface of the dough with cooking spray and transfer it back into the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and leave it in a warm sport to allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in size (takes about 1 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature)
- Using your fist, punch a hole in the dough to remove the air from it. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead for another minute.
- Seperate your dough into equal-sized portions of about 2.5 to 3oz (70 to 85 grams) depending on how big you like your bagels to be. I recommend using a scale to do this.
- Shape each piece into a ball. Then using the handle of a wooden spoon (or your finger :p), make a hole in the middle of the ball about 1-inch wide.
- Bring a shallow pan of water with baking soda and sugar to boil. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Slip bagels into boiling water. Do this in batches, not more than 4 in the pan at each time. Allow the bagels to cook for 2 minutes on each size.
- Remove bagels with a slotted spoon and drain away excess water. Leave the bagels on a baking tray lined with parchment paper to cool slightly.
- Prepare an egg wash by whisking together egg, honey and milk (or water). Brush each bagel with the egg wash and sprinkle your choice of topping over the bagels.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until browned and crisp. The bagel should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
Note: These bagels can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also allow the bagels to cool completely and freeze them.