How are bagels made?

Lately, a lot of my friends have been asking me how bagels are made..after they’ve gotten over the fact that we can actually make them. It’s not rocket science, but it is a pretty laborious process that we are continuously trying to perfect.

Step 1

Make a starter – First we mix together yeast, flour and water to make a gooey dough which we set aside for a little while so the yeast can work its magic. After about half an hour, the dough will rise significantly and feel like a sponge.

Step 2

Make the dough – The actual dough we use requires more flour, yeast, salt, malt syrup, and other ingredients depending on the flavor we are making. We mix all of that in with the starter and kneed until our arms are about to fall off.

Step 3

Shape the dough – We divide the solid clump of dough into smaller sections. We then roll each ball of dough into sticks and attach the ends to form a bagel ring. There’s another way to shape the dough which we call the “poke-a-hole method”. You basically stick your thumb in the middle of the ball, rotate and smooth out the edges. We don’t use this method because the bagels usually come out wrinkly and oddly shaped, but we did get a few good laughs out of it 😀

Step 4

Let it rise – We let the bagels sit overnight in the fridge so the yeast can be fully activated. But it is important that the bagels are kept at a low temperature so they don’t rise too much.

Step 5

Boil the bagels – In the morning, the bagels become about 50% larger. We let them swim briefly in a boiling mixture of water, baking soda, and malt syrup which we then glaze with egg white to give it a nice shine. Toppings are added as necessary.

Step 6

Bake the bagels – The bagels are quickly injected into the oven which is preheated to 230 degrees Celcius. We cook them for about 15 minutes until they are crisp and brown on the outside. We let them cool off on a rack (sometimes not) before devouring a few for breakfast. We found that bagels are best consumed while warm with a thick layer of cream cheese or peanut butter slathered on…yummmm!

Total time spent: About 3 hours for a dozen bagels (excluding waiting time for yeast to rise)

What you get: Chewy and dense bagels with a hard crust…the way God meant them to be


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