One of my favorite things to make is homemade breads. I love the challenge of yeast breads, using my kitchen scale to measure out the ingredients and the excitement that comes with watching the dough transform when it rises. So, every weekend (if I have time), I like to try a new bread. This weekend cinnamon raisin bagels were on the list.
The bagels were fun to make, and easier than I thought. The recipe I used called for malt powder, which I didn’t have. The way it was written seemed like brown sugar was an o.k. substitute for the malt powder but I do wonder if it would have made a difference.
For me, cinnamon raisin was an obvious choice since it’s my favorite type of bagel but I would love to try other flavor variations, as well as other recipes. Michelle at the Brown Eyed Baker has a recipe that calls for an overnight rise which I think would be delicious and develop the cinnamon flavor even more. So, those have been added to the list. Do you have a favorite type of bagel that you’d love to try at home?
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Yield: 8 Bagels
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups (17 oz) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) lukewarm water
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup cinnamon-sugar
2 quarts (64 oz) water
2 Tablespoons (1 oz) non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead vigorously, by hand for 10-15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. Since you’re using a high-protein bread flour, it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten. The dough will be quite stiff; if you’re using an electric mixer it will “thwap” the sides of the bowl and hold its shape (without spreading at all) when you stop the mixer. Knead the raisins into the dough toward the end of the kneading process. Just before you’re done kneading, sprinkle your work surface heavily with cinnamon-sugar and give the dough a few more turns; it will pick up the cinnamon-sugar in irregular swirls. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and set it aside to rise until noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Coat one side of plastic wrap with cooking spray and use it to cover the rolls. Let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up very slightly.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt powder (*this is what I left out), and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Use a bagel cutter, or use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it’s about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). *The dough was very sticky so it helps to keep your hands heavily coated with flour.* Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, gently flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re as deep a brown as you like, turning them over after about 15 minutes, which will help them remain tall and round. Remove the bagels from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Source: adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion