If you're looking for the perfect bagel recipe, here it is! These bagels are crisp on the outside while staying light and fluffy on the inside. And the best part? You can customize them to be any flavor you like!
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tspactive dry yeast*
1/2 cupsourdough discardoptional
2 cups bread flour
1 tspkosher salt
1/4 cup honey
Make the Dough
Combine the warm water (3/4 cup at 105-115°F), brown sugar (2 tsp), yeast (1/5 tsp), and sourdough discard (if using) in the bowl a large bowl (or the bowl of a stannd mixer fitted with the dough hook). Let sit until the yeast becomes foamy on top-- about 5 minutes.
Add the kosher salt (1 tsp) and bread flour (2 cups) and mix until the dough forms a shaggy ball. My favorite tool for this is a dough whisk but a wooden spoon or stand mixer works perfectly as well.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky-- about 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 90 minutes, or until doubled in size. If you are making this dough during the winter, place the bowl in your oven and turn on only the light! This will make an environment warm enough to activate the yeast.
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto your work surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
Gently punch your thumb through the center of each ball to create a hole. Work the bagels until you get the size and shape you like. I prefer thick bagels so I punch my thumb through and then flaten them with my hand slighly.
Cook the Bagels
Preheat your oven to 425° F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and whisk in the honey (1/4 cup).
Boil the bagels (one at a time) for one minute on each side.
After boiling, place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper. At this point you can use your hands to reshape the bagels into circles if they became mishapen during boiling. The right is before boiling while the bagel on the left is after boiling.
Brush the bagels with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of water) and top with your favorite bagel toppings.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bagels are golden brown.
Enjoy immediately. Bagels are best eaten on the day they are made but you can store them up to a day in a ziploc bag. Just make sure to let them cool completely before placing them in the bag or they will steam and become soggy.
*If using Instant (or Fast Acting) Yeast rather than Active-Dry Yeast, skip step one. Instead, combine all the ingredients at once and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Then, continue as listed.