Now, if I lived in NYC, I wouldn't even bother doing this test. They have the BEST bagels. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside - don't even ask to have it toasted. AMIRIGHT? Anywho, I don't live there, and I'm going to look to replace my grocery store bagels with something better. Here we go!
The Store Brand: Thomas' Everything Bagels
My Recipe (adapted from http://www.lifecurrents.dw2.net/):
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon grapeseed or light olive oil
3 ½ – 4 ½ cups unbleached bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Toppings - use whatever your heart desires - I used 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and garlic powder
- Whisk together water, eggs, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, yeast, and oil in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves.
- Stir in 1 cup of the flour. Then stir in 1 tablespoon salt and enough additional flour to make a soft dough, about 2 ½ cups.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gradually incorporating more flour, until the dough is smooth and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly.
- Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
- Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Bring 6 quarts water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot.
- Get your egg wash and topping ready to go, because the next few steps go fast.
- Slip about 3-4 risen bagels at a time into the pot; the water should be at a lively simmer. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over, and cook for another 45 seconds.
- Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the tops of the bagels with egg white and sprinkle each with ½ teaspoon of your chosen topping, if using.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake until golden brown, about 5 more minutes.
- Freeze fresh bagels (once cooled), unless you are eating them all that day (don't laugh - you might!).
I just made a half batch - very easy recipe to split. And the taste? They were SO amazing. The bottoms were perfectly crispy - next time I will probably leave the tops under the broiler for just a minute to get them a little crispier. Thomas' just weren't good - no crisp to the crust at all. If you're going to buy your bagels, get them from a bakery - packaged bagels just aren't the same.
And the cost? Wowser, Thomas' bagels are no joke - I guess that's why I always buy them when they are BOGO (buy one, get one free). Even at half price, they cost almost twice as much as homemade! Fair enough, mine are smaller, but you could easily make them larger and they would still cost less.
|Thomas' Bagels - Everything||6 Bagels||$ 4.49||$ 0.75|
|Homemade||12 Bagels||$ 2.41||$ 0.20|
So Bake or Buy? BAKE!
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