The only place to buy bagels on Kwaj is in the freezer section at the store and they taste like hockey pucks, no matter how much cream cheese you put on them.  So I make my own bagels and they're gone in a week.  I made two batches over the long Memorial Day weekend, plain and cinnamon raisin.  Bagels are a lot easier to make than you think they'll be and if you're kids are old enough to help, instead of "helping" like Sky does, it can be a family activity too.  Enjoy!

4C white flour
2Tbsp and 2tsp vital wheat gluten
475 ml warm water (a little less than a cup)
5tsp yeast
3tsp honey
3tsp salt

Poaching liquid:
16 cups water (I filled my dutch oven rather than measuring out the water)
1/3C honey
2Tbsp baking soda

  Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook (you can mix by hand if you don't have a counter-top mixer) and mix on low until blended.  Add extra flour if needed to make the dough smooth and easy to handle.  Knead the dough with the hook or by hand until firm and well-developed (you want the dough to stick to itself but not be sticky and to stretch rather than tear if you pull on it).  Let dough rise in a covered bowl until almost doubled, about thirty minutes.
  Preheat oven to 450F.  Mix ingredients for poaching liquid and bring to a boil.  Before adding bagels, reduce temperature to a simmer.  Roll the dough into a rectangle, cut in half to make two squares and then cut each square into 1 1/2- inch-wide strips.  To form the bagel, fold each strip in half the long way and roll into a rope.  Join the ends together and roll them between your fingers and the counter to seal the dough.  Place the bagels on parchment paper and allow to rise while you make the rest of the bagels.
  Add the bagels to the simmering poaching liquid, cooking as many at a time as will fit in your pan (I cooked three at a time).  Poach for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side, then remove from the water with a slotted spatula and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden, then remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.

*To Make Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:
Increase yeast to 2Tbsp and add 4Tbsp white sugar to the dough before mixing.  Add 2tsp cinnamon and 1C raisins to the dough toward the end of the kneading process. 

Recipe adapted from "On Baking" by R. Labensky


  1. You are amazing! I've made soft pretzels before (in a similar poaching liquid) but not bagels. It sounds fun and yummy

  2. Marissa has some of my old sourdough starter that I used in my bagels. If you are interested I am sure she will share. I got it from Nina Burnham and it came from Alaska. I also add some Barley malt which I found was the secret bagel flavor ingredient. Thanks for sharing the cinnamon raisin recipe...I tried to make them once and they turned out yucky. My favorite is cheddar cheese. Cheese makes everything yummy.


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