Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

For her July Kitchen Challenge, Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil chose bagels. Since I had plenty of yeast left over from binge drinking ginger ale, hurriedly found a recipe and put off bagel making for tomorrow. The next morning, I realized I had the wrong kind of yeast in my pantry and made a grocery store run. Next, the sponge flour bombed my kitchen. Then my stand mixer overheated. And that was the beginning of a two-day process for some chewy, albeit delicious, bread.

bagel bird's eye view

These bagels are amazing, if I may say so myself. Usually I use a recipe at least three times before sharing it with bRUNchers, but for the amount of labor required, I see myself making bagels again only on special occasions. Besides, my co-workers said this first batch was near-perfection.

Bagels are a tough task. If you are use to baking fruit breads and burger buns, consider bagels tedious to say the least. Do this, let it rise. Do that, let it rest. Do other things and make it float. I mean, can we just bake and eat already? 

flour mess with dough

in the beginning there were bagel balls

muffins & bagels 025

The good news is, bagels are novice-baker friendly. Unless you boil them too long or make them square, I don’t really see how anyone could mess up bagels. Boiling the unbaked dough sets the crust to prevent the bagel from expanding much in the oven and making it chewier. 

boil bagels

Bagels are ideal for breakfast before morning runs because their easily digested carbohydrates provide the fuel your muscles need to get you through the run. Consider adding a little protein or healthy fat like boiled eggs or a tablespoon of peanut butter to keep hunger at bay.

I splurged and had mascarpone. 

bagel & mascarpone

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Prep, Boil & Bake Time: Let’s just call this a two-day process.
Servings: 18 regular size bagels

bagels July kitchen challengeSponge Ingredients
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 and 1/2 cups water, room temperature

Dough Ingredients
1 teaspoon instant yeast
3 and 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 and 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups raisins

Ingredients to Boil & Bake
1 tablespoon baking soda
cornmeal for dusting

Day One

  1. To make the sponge, stir yeast, flour and water in mixing bowl just until combined. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in warm kitchen for two hours. It should rise to double in size.

  2. Poke the sponge to collapse it.To make the dough, add yeast to the same bowl as sponge and stir just until combined. Add our, cinnamon, sugars and salt, stirring at low speed to avoid the flour bomb. If using stand mixer, use dough hook and continue to stir until dough forms a ball. Add raisins. If using stand mixer continue to stir with dough hook for six minutes. If mixing by hand, transfer dough ball to floured counter and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be stiff yet smooth with all ingredients well incorporated. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, if dough seems too dry. Add a sprinkle of flour if dough seems sticky.

  3. Divide dough into 18 even balls. I used a kitchen scale to make sure they were all the same size, weighing 4 ounces each.

  4. Place dough balls on baking sheet, cover with damp kitchen towel and leave them to rest for 20 minutes.

  5. Line three baking pans with parchment paper and mist with canola oil cooking spray. Use your thumb to poke a hole in the middle of each ball and gently rotate and pull the dough to widen the hole to about 2-inches wide. Be careful to avoid thin spots. Repeat for remaining 17 dough balls.

  6. Place six bagels on each parchment-lined baking sheet about two inches apart. Mist with canola oil cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave them to rest for 20 minutes.

  7. Fill a bowl with room-temperature water. Float test one bagel by dropping it into the bowl. It should float within 10 seconds. If bagel doesn’t float, return to baking sheet and allow to rest another 20 minutes. If test bagel floats, pat it dry, return to baking sheet, cover with plastic and refrigerate all three baking pans overnight.

Day Two

  1. Place racks in middle of oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add baking soda.

  2. Remove baking sheets from refrigerator. Drop three bagels, or as many as will fit comfortably, into boiling water. Boil bagel on each side for 60 seconds. The longer you boil the dough, the chewier it will be. Use a slotted spoon to remove bagel from boiling water and return to parchment-lined baking sheet lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Repeat for remaining bagels.

  3. Place baking sheets in oven for five minutes. Rotate pans 180-degrees, lower oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake another five minutes or until bagels are golden brown.

  4. Remove pans from oven and allow bagels to cool for 15 minutes before consuming.

    The Skinny
    nutrition information for one bagel (1/18th of recipe)
    247 calories
    56 gram total carbohydrates
    0 grams total fat
    8 grams protein
    2 grams fiber

    Barely tweaked from Smitten Kitchen, which she adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

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