Do you love bagels?
I love myself a good bagel. But I am picky about said bagel.
I love chewy, have to yank on them to get them to break apart bagels. I do not like rolls with holes pretending to be bagels. They must have that shiny outside that says, “I’ve been boiled before baking. I won’t chip your tooth when you bite into me, but I will have that chewyness you love … Slap some cream cheese on me.”
I have my “bagel spots.” Places that I know that sell the best bagels in Virginia, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. When people ask me where the best bagels are I say, “Walmart….” There’s only so many everything bagels to go around on a Saturday morning. Okay, I lied. Maybe.
Throughout the week (Sunday through Friday) I have been eating “clean.” Trying to avoid processed foods and sugars as well as white processed flour. It hasn’t been that great of a challenge … until today. When I decided it would be a good idea to whip up a batch of my Famous Cinnamon Bagels for the blog.
The things I go through for you …
I will not sit here and tell you that these are better than Panera’s cinnamon crunch bagel. I would be lying to you. That bagel has alluded me for 3 years. I have chased down every recipe and have attempted each of them. I cannot land on it perfectly, but I will say that these are close to Panera’s. And if you are like me and you live in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming and the closest Panera to you (oh Caesar Salad I miss you … ) is most likely a state away … these would be a great alternative for you.
Now let’s talk about some things that I’m sure MANY of you are thinking –
-“Who has the time?!
I may be a stay at home mom and you may assume that I have an ample amount of time on my hands, but I want to remind you of something … I have a 3 month old, my husband works until 9PM almost every single night leaving me to be solely responsible for all house upkeep, I’m a senior in college, I have two dogs, and there are 3 baskets of laundry calling my name. When I bake I am doing 3 different things at once. Especially when my baking requires rising time. I do it in steps, and inbetween or while I am waiting, I’m folding clothes or tending to baby or studying.
– “Why bother making them?!”
I enjoy baking. It is a stress relief for me. If I could open my own bakery/cafe I totally would. If it isn’t for you – no one is holding a gun to your head requiring you to bake your own bagels.
-“I’m scared of working with yeast!”
This is a pretty common fear. In fact I suffered for many years with this phobia. Over time of working with it I have mastered using those little yeast packets. I’d call myself Yeast Queen, but then I would be afraid of people assuming the yeast means something else … Here’s what you should know about yeast: It needs two things to work a sugar to feed on and warm water to make it bloom. Not hot water, not cold. Warm. You know that point right before your coffee is “cold” and undrinkable? That’s perfect for yeast. Most recipes that use yeast call for some type of sugar (honey, white sugar, brown sugar, etc.) – I always elect to put the whole amount called in with the yeast and water. And remember – if it doesn’t bloom it isn’t right and DO NOT proceed with the recipe!
– “It’s too many steps!”
You’re right. It’s a lot of steps. But like I said up above – you CAN walk away from it and do other things. If you want to try your hand at bagel making … go on with your bad self. Fold some laundry while the dough is rising, or watch your DVR’d episodes of Modern Family.
Let’s get down to business (to defeat the HUNS!) shall we?
This was the first bagel recipe I ever tried. I have stuck with it and used it time and time again – with my own flavor additions. In this case – cinnamon.
I began by following that dough recipe. Once all flour was added and it was properly kneaded I added my cinnamon chips by hand. (These were on sale at Walmart a few weeks ago. I’m assuming they’re a “Christmastime only” item. If you can find them in your store – awesome! If not you can substitute white chocolate chips tossed in cinnamon.)
This is the part that all of you who are Yeast Haters will loathe … The rising.
All doubled in size and ready to be punched down. Isn’t it glorious?
Time to start sectioning into even amounts. I was able to get 10 donuts out of this – I’m sure you could get a full dozen as I made mine a tad large.
Yes, I made bagels with a baby on my hip (except when working around the hot stuff) and an audience of Labradors. If I can accomplish the task under these conditions – you can make some dang bagels!
Section off your bagels, and poke your finger in the center. Don’t make too large of a hole as you want the cinnamony-sugary goodness to stay on top and not go right through. Now this is the weird part … It is said that a bagel that has not been boiled is just a roll with a hole. So you must boil these for 3-7 minutes. Don’t freak out. Don’t think I’m crazy. Don’t run away screaming. DO NOT decide to just bake these without the boiling. Boil the bagels for 3-7 minutes. Take them out with a slatted spoon and place them on your baking tray, let them rise again, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Baby E tried some of Momma’s sweet potatoes while we waited for the bagels … Look at me multitasking while baking …
Right around 15-20 minutes I want you to make a mixture of:
1/2 c butter, softened
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 c sugar
Mix it altogether and set your oven to broil – med/high. Smear some of that cinnamony-sugary-buttery spread on each bagel and pop each tray in under the broiler until the sugar begins to caramelize and get all crunchy. (About 4 minutes for me! This is an area where you must watch closely!)
Remove from the pan onto a cooling rack, and wait patiently.
And then when they’re cooled you can toast and devour. Preferably with cream cheese.
(TIP: DO NOT put these in your toaster. I recommend a toaster oven or your oven on “broil.” If you put them in the toaster you’re opening yourself to years of your toaster smelling like burnt sugar and I will not be held responsible.)
Crunchy Cinnamon Bagel
*Adapted from this recipe.
4 -5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups very warm tap water (120°-130°F)
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 c butter
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 c sugar
1) Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar in stand mixer with dough hook attached.
2) Allow yeast to bloom and get bubbly.
3) Add flour, with mixer on, one cup at a time. When dough is no longer sticky it is good to go.
4) Add cinnamon chips by hand.
5) Allow dough to double in size.
6) Section into 10-12 parts, place holes in each center.
7) Allow to rise again.
8) Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes (time varies per oven – should not be doughy when touched)
9) Mix butter, cinnamon, and sugar in separate bowl. Smear on each bagel and broil until bubbly and caramelized.
10) Allow to cool, smother in cream cheese.