France is a pretty great place to live if you like bread. I personally consider myself a carbivore, and have been known to make a meal entirely out of bread. And I’m certain that I’ll spend a lot of time craving baguettes and brioche when we move back to Canada! But occasionally, I still crave a good ol’ bagel, something that’s actually pretty hard to find here, so I decided to make them at home.
makes 8 bagels
185 mL lukewarm water
30 g sugar
25 g butter, melted
5 g yeast
20 g egg, beaten (about ½ a small egg)
10 g honey
375 g flour (use T65 in France)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
10 g honey
poppy or sesame seeds
Whisk together the water, sugar, melted butter, yeast, egg, and honey, until the yeast is dissolved.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together half the flour and the salt. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the liquid ingredients. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the remaining flour, switch to the dough hook, and mix again until the dough comes together in a ball. Mix for five minutes more on medium-low speed.
Let the dough rise in a greased bowl at room temperature for 2 hours.
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, and punch it down. Divide the dough into eight pieces, and form each into a slightly flattened ball.
Push your thumb through the center of each piece of dough, and stretch the dough to form the bagel shape. (You’ll want to make the hole in the center quite large so that it doesn’t disappear during rising and cooking). Place the formed bagels onto a sheet lined with parchment and sprayed with oil. Allow them to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Add the baking soda and honey to medium pot, and fill the pot with water. Bring it to a boil, then drop the bagels into the boiling water, one or two at a time, and cook for about 45 seconds per side. Place the bagels onto paper towels to dry, and sprinkle generously with seeds immediately upon removal from the water.
Transfer the boiled bagels back to the oiled and parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake the bagels for 8 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F) and bake for 7 to 10 minutes more, until golden brown. Cool the bagels on a wire rack.
Enjoy with butter or cream cheese, or – my personal favourite – toasted, with a whipped mixture of butter and boursin cheese!!