To answer my own question, it's definitely more like bread. Yet it is a little bit different. It's denser and a little bit sweeter in my opinion. Regardless, bagels are great! They're not as popular in Australia compared to in the US, but on the rare occasion when I get my hands on one, I will savour every last bite.
I don't know what got me thinking about bagels today but I decided to make my own vegan bagels. I can't ever remember having anything other than jam or margarine spread on my bagels, so I decided to do something more fancy and make a breakfast bagel. I filled my bagel with fresh slices of tomato, baby spinach leaves, balsamic mushrooms (I also added some dried basil to mine), red wine sauteed onions (half an onion sliced and sauteed in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon red wine) and avocado. It was light but satisfying. Good stuff.
Making bagels is similar to making soft pretzels. You need to boil them in water before baking them in the oven. Not sure about you, but I certainly didn't know that. None the less, these babies were quite easy to make :)
Recipe from Hidden Fruits and Veggies
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ¼ c warm water (not hot!)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 c white whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 – 1 ½ c water (warm/room temp)
- Cornmeal (optional)
- Bagel toppings (optional, suggestions in notes)
- Combine the first three ingredients and stir. Allow to sit 5 minutes, until foamy (if it’s not foamy, something happened to your yeast and the recipe will NOT work)
- Meanwhile, using a stand mixer combine the flour, salt, and remaining sugar.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the flour, while stirring with a dough hook (I just used a wooden spoon). Add 1 c water. Allow the stand mixer to run for about a minute, and if all yeast isn’t picked up into the dough add up to ½ c water, 1 tbsp at a time. Stir using dough hook on a slow/medium speed for 5 minutes – you can knead by hand if you prefer (knead for about 15 minutes).
- Spritz dough with nonstick spray, turn over and spritz again. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size.
- After rising, cut the dough into 12 equally sized pieces and roll in balls. Prepare baking sheets with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Let the dough rest for a minute or two, then work a hole into the middle of the balls with your finger, until they are bagel-shaped. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a wide saucepan or skillet with water, at least 2 inches deep, and bring to boil. Boil bagels for 90 second on each side – I found it easiest to do 3 at a time, spaced about 30 seconds apart.
- As bagels are done boiling and while still wet, press tops lightly into desired toppings and bottoms into cornmeal (optional, helps prevent sticking - The bagels WILL stick to the baking paper. I highly recommend covering the bottom with cornmeal).
- When all bagels have been boiled, bake for 8 – 10 minutes, flip an bake 8 – 10 minutes longer. Adjust time based on how dark you like your bagels.
|When I gently stirred the yeast mixture with a fork, this is how foamy it looks.|
|Before I covered the dough and let it rise.|
|Before being boiled.|