Saturday, February 2, 2013

{Basic} Bagels ($0.07 each)



$0.07 each          84% savings          save $57.60 yearly


I've gotten several recipe requests for homemade bagels, and I'm excited to share mine today. This is a very basic recipe, perfect for beginners and seasoned bagel-bakers alike (yes, I just made up the term "bagel-bakers). As with a lot of my recipes, it's also super economical. Homemade bagels cost a fraction of the kind you buy in the grocery store... and are way less expensive than the ones you might buy at Einstein's or Panera.

One of the best things about this particular recipe is how versatile it is. When you're comfortable with making bagels, you can customize them to suit your family preferences, because everyone likes their bagels to be "just so." Big, small, flavored, plain. Case in point: my family. Most of them are bagel snobs.

My dear husband - Plain or blueberry bagels used for sandwiches. (Yes, blueberry bagel sandwiches.)

My firstborn - Sea salt topped bagel eaten plain... no cream cheese, no lox, no butter. Nothing.

My second child - ANY kind of sweet bagel with strawberry cream cheese

My baby - Small cheddar and parmesan topped bagel eaten plain.

Me - Plain, cinnamon-rasin, or blueberry bagels slightly warmed with various kinds of cream cheese.

If I were to hand my dear husband a cinnamon-rasin bagel, he'd say, "Thanks, Honey!," while scanning the room for a child to discreetly hand it off to. 

If I were to give my firstborn a bagel with cream cheese, I'd get incredulous cries of dismay.

If I were to give my second child a plain-jane bagel, she'd probably give me the stink-eye.

If I were to give my baby anything other than her cheese bagel... well... she'd probably scarf it down anyway. She's like her momma.

Back on subject: these bagels are awesome! (Not to toot my own horn... but kind of...) 

The first time I made bagels it seemed fairly daunting, and honestly, I completely botched my first batch. The second time around, I had a much better idea of what I was doing and how it was supposed to go down. SUCCESS!! It's one of those "happily ever after endings."

So, I invite you to give it a go. You'll be so glad you did!

{Basic} Bagels
Printable Version

*Makes 12 large or 24 small bagels

INGREDIENTS
2 cups luke-warm water
1 tsp. dry active yeast
4 Tbsp. sugar (divided: 2 Tbsp for dough, 2 Tbsp. for boiling)
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. oil (divided)
1 Tbsp. salt
6 cups bread flour or high-gluten flour or all-purpose*

*I've used all-purpose flour and hard red wheat flour with yummy success. The texture just wasn't quite as bagel-like as it is when using bread flour or store-bought high-gluten flour. But if you've only got all-purpose flour or hard red wheat flour on hand, it will still work. You MAY choose to buy vital wheat gluten and add 1 Tbsp to your all-purpose or whole wheat flour for this recipe. It comes in a box in the baking aisle.)

DIRECTIONS
(I highly recommend a standing mixer, because this dough is very stiff, and more difficult to work with by hand. If you don't have one, you can still make them and enjoy a good workout.)

In a large bowl, combine the luke-warm water, yeast, and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve, and let set for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof. Add 1 Tbsp. oil, salt, and flour. Mix thoroughly, adding small amounts of flour if necessary to form a very stiff dough (should be satiny, pliable, and smooth, not sticky, and not tacky). Mix for 8-10 minutes in a standing mixer (knead for 12-15 minutes by hand.)

Form the dough into a ball, and lightly coat it 1 tsp. of oil (to prevent drying out). Cover with a damp dishtowel, and let rise 1-1.5 hours. Press the dough with your finger. It should spring back slightly.

Punch the dough down, and divide evenly into 12 large ball. One at a time, place each ball on a clean, hard surface, and roll into a 7-8 inch rope large bagel. (Remember making play-dough snakes?) Make rings with the ropes by overlapping the ends about 1 inch, and pressing them together to seal. Place the formed bagels on 2 non-stick baking pans. Cover with a damp dishcloth and let rise, 20-30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees (Yes, 500 degrees). Fill a 4-quart pot 1/2-way full of water. Add 2 Tbsp. of sugar, and bring to a boil. When your bagels are done rising, drop 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water. Cook for 1 minute on each side. Using a slotted spoon, lift bagels out, and return them to the baking pans. Sprinkle with toppings if desired.

Bake in the 500 degree oven for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a spatula to loosen them from the bottom of the pan if sticking. Continue baking until done.

Optional toppings: poppy seeds, sea salt, sesame seeds, cheddar, parmesan, garlic, onion, etc.


~ Savings ~


Cost Breakdown:
2 lb yeast - $4.68 = 48 T= $0.098/T = $0.033
1 gallon oil - $6.78 = 256 T = $0.026/T = $0.035
25 lb flour - $7.28 = 94.5 C = $0.077/C = $0.462
25 lb sugar - $13.94 = 945 T = $0.015/T = $0.060
26 oz. salt - $0.44 = 48 T = $0.009/T = $0.009
Total Recipe Cost - $0.90
Cost Per Large Bagel - $0.07

The Contender:
Thomas Plain Bagels (6 count) - $2.85
Cost Per Bagel - $0.48

Savings: 84%

"Over a year" scenario:
Make {Basic} Bagels 12 times = $10.80
Buy Thomas Plain Bagels (6 count) 24 times = $68.40

Money Saved: $57.60



47 comments:

  1. Those look delicious. I will be trying them soon!

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  2. Looks awesome! How strong do you recommend the mixer should be? I have a kitchenaid that's 300 Watts and I'm not sure if it's strong enough

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    1. Hi Elaine,

      My kitchenaid uses 575 watts, so I'm not 100% sure what to tell you. I did a little digging through comments of people who used a 300 watt kitchenaid for bagels, and there were mixed answers. Some said their kitchen aid had no problem with bagel dough. Other's said it made their kitchenaid motor super hot... I supposed you could give it a go, and SLOWLY work in the flour. If it's too much strain on your mixer, you can make them by hand... you'll definitely get a good workout. :) If you do try it out, please let me know how it goes, so others with the same question will have your answer to reference. Thank you so much! Good luck!

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    2. I have a lower wattage Kitchenaid and after combining, I definitely needed to knead by hand. It was a great workout!

      Currently on the second rise- I can't wait to see how they turn out!

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  3. These look so good, I think I will be buying yeast next time I go shopping =)

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  4. How long do you find these are good for and whats your preferred method of storing them?

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    1. Since there are no extra preservatives in them, they don't last nearly as long as the store-bought kind. If you keep them in a bread bag or ziplock bag on the counter, they're good for 4-5 days before they start to taste a bit dried out. I usually make a large batch, and store most of them in an air-tight zip-lock bag in the freezer, and pull them out as needed.

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  5. I store mine in the freezer as well, just remember to precut the bagels.

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  6. I just made these & they came out awesome! I used my 300 watts Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the dough hook & it worked out fine! I had to rearrange the dough in the bowl a couple of times to make sure it was all getting kneaded. Thanks for posting this fab recipe!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so happy you enjoyed them! (Don't you just LOVE your Kitchen Aid?) ;)

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  7. I made these tonight with the hubby. I really pressed those ends together, but about half popped open during or just after boiling. Any tips?

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    1. Hmm... I've never had that problem before, so I'm unsure how to address it. The only suggestion I can make is that you can use a secondary method for forming the bagels. Try rolling the bagel dough into individual balls, then press your thumb through the middle of the ball, and GENTLY stretch the hole to the desired size. I hope that helps!!

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    2. Thanks. Other than the coming apart, these are excellent bagels! Your recipes are fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    3. You're completely welcome. I'm so happy you enjoyed the bagels (even though they came apart). And thank you for your kind words about the recipes. It's much appreciated!

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  8. I made these today. I also had the ends come apart, but no matter - they were very good!

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  9. You mention making blueberry bagels at the beginning - when do you typically add the berries, and in what amount? Thanks!

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    1. I add 1/2 cup of the mini blueberries (Wyman's Wild Blueberries) found in the freezer aisle. I let them thaw, and then try to sop up the extra blueberry juice with a paper towel. Even then, they turn the bagel dough purple, and I add them after the dough rises the first time. (Punch it down, and mix in the berries as gently as possible).

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    2. Also, it occurs to me that (thought I've never done it) you could easily use dried blueberries, if you don't want purple bagels. :)

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  10. Thanks for the recipe! It is the second bagel recipe we have tried and it is much better than the other one. Both of us love it. We just did a plain batch to test but I am going to try additives next time.

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    1. Hi Kira! It's so fun to see someone I know on here. ; ) I'm really happy you loved the recipe. Thanks for taking time to say so!

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  11. I just made these and your Grandma's Country White Bread! Can't wait to try them for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the instructions and the encouragement!

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  12. Be sure to move those babies around! I had about half of mine stick, which really want's that big of a deal, because none of them stuck so bad the lost the whole bottom. Also, my non-stick pans have seen better day, and maybe I should have greased them a bit. Either way they are awesome!

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  13. I have been thinking about making homemade bagels for some time and finally last night I tried this recipe. I used all purpose flour since that's what I had on hand. They took a little time, but really were very simple to do. I toasted one last night and gave it to my husband. He looked at me and said, "I don't think I ever want you to buy another bagel at the store again!"

    To prevent sticking while baking, I lined my baking sheets with foil and sprayed them with a little non-stick cooking spray. No sticking at all!

    Mine didn't win any prizes for beauty, but the taste is fantastic! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  14. Just tried your recipe. Waiting on them to cool for the family to try. I only did half the recipe, in case I really boogered it up. :) We did salted, parmesan, colby/jack, and plain. The husband just tore into them and gives them two thumbs up! YAY!! So easy with your recipe and instructions--thank you so much for giving me another way to cut out some of the yucky stuff out of my family's diet!

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  15. First off, thanks for the recipe! I'm making these today for the third time, and every batch so far as been fantastic!

    Second, where do you get such large bags of bread flour? The largest my local grocery store has 5 lb bags, and Costco only has all-purpose flour. I'd love to be able to find a large bag, it would likely be so much cheaper than buying a 5 lb bag every other week.

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    1. Sam's Club carries 25 lb bags of bread flour. :) Also, I use all-purpose much of the time because it's cheaper, and works alright. Hope this helps! And, I'm so glad the recipe is working out out so well for you!

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  16. Okay, I want to make these. I have a bread maker that has a bagel dough setting. Do you think I could mix them in that? I also looked at your tortilla recipe. I'd tried making them before and they were so hard. Thanks to your post, now I know why. I'll try again with your recipe and watch the temperature on my griddle. I am so glad I found your site. I just had a baby and I'm out of work without pay and have a ton of medical bills so things will be very tight until I start earning money again. I enjoy cooking from scratch and you have some great economical recipes that should help me shave down my grocery bill.
    -Amie

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    1. Hi Amie!
      I've never used a bread maker, but it seems like you should be able to mix the dough with your "bagel dough setting." Go for it! Also, good luck with your tortillas! They can take a few tries to figure out. :) Best wishes! ~ Andrea

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    2. I just made the bagels and they're awesome! They are just as good as from a bakery. I mixed the dough in my bread machine on the bagel setting and rolled them out from there. I am beyond happy with these! Thank you.
      -Amie

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  17. Such a tasty recipe as always! Andrea you're the best! ;) I have yet to gift myself a kitchen aid (oh how I need/want one!) so for now I mostly do everything with my 10cup food processor, They came out great! I could have pulse/kneaded them a bit longer but the overall end result was great! I halved the recipe so it would definately fit in my machine and made a dozen "mini" bagels evenly dividing the dough and poking a hole in the center and working it out a bit, nice and fluffy that way :) My family is in heaven with these and I dont think I will be allowed to purchase bagels in the grocery again! ;)

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  18. Where do you get 2lbs of yeast? I can only get it in the small jar at the grocery store. I'm also located in Canada.

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    1. Rachel, I'm not sure what Canada has by way of grocery warehouses... but I got my yeast from Sam's Club, which is a larger, bulk version of Walmart. I'm sure you could get a similar deal at a Costco. Hope that helps!

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    2. Thanks, I don't go into costco much but next time I will have a look.

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  19. All these recipes are awesome! As for ingredients for the previous poster - try Amazon - I have been amazed at all the baking products they sell - some at excellent prices!

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  20. I just made the bagels today and they are awesome!!!! I made poppy seed, plain, and cinnamon. The ends did open up on me during the boiling part, but during the baking part, they sorta baked into each other.

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  21. I like what I'm seeing with the 'basic' recipe (compared to others I've seen on the web), but what are the quantities of cinnamon/brown sugar/blueberries? And when do you add them?

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    1. I add 1/2 cup of the mini blueberries (Wyman's Wild Blueberries) found in the freezer aisle. I let them thaw, and then try to sop up the extra blueberry juice with a paper towel. Your bagels will still be fairly purple. :) I add them after the dough rises the first time. (Punch it down, and mix in the berries as gently as possible). You could try using dried blueberries (the ones that are next to the crasins in the store). Freeze dried blueberries would probably work the best, though I've never used them.

      I've never tried to incorporate brown sugar before, but when I do cinnamon raisin bagels, I add about 1/2 cup raisins and a tablespoon of cinnamon to the dough. In this case, I add the extra ingredients BEFORE the first rise (right after I've initially mixed together the bagel dough ingredients.)

      Good luck!!!

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  22. this is the first recipe I am making on my brand new kitchen, cant wait to take my first bit... planning on baking one loaf and freezing the dough for the other loaf... I'd like to start making all my breads... and would like to stock up the freezer... wish me luck... found your site while looking for a bagel recipe... great resource, thank you!

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    1. sorry posted this comment to the wrong recipe, i should have posted this to your step by step bread recipe... i baked that first loaf and it was excellent... though i must have messed up the amount of flour i added... so after the first rise... i started to punch down the dough and i got a nice thick coating of dough across my entire hand... so i kneaded a bit of flour to make it workable, thanks great blog!

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    2. I'm glad it was a success. :) Thanks for letting me know how it went!

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  23. I made this today. I made a little mistake that made me very happy. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to make soft pretzels in the past. I knew that you used baking soda in the boiling water. Without thinking I added that in the water and then read sugar so I put that in too. OH MY GOSH ARE THESE GOOD!!!!!!! I ended up making 20 of them. I am truly working on reducing my waist line and the calorie count came out at 135.5. This means that they fit my calorie needs and are delicious! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Without the baking soda in the water I will make the blueberry bagels.

    I used to go to an Irish restaurant and get a sandwich on pretzel bread. I actually want to see if I can coil the dough and eat a chicken sandwich using these as bread. My daughter also liked them and I have no doubt my niece, who lives with us, will as well.

    I wanted to truly thank you for sharing your recipes. I have a family of picky eaters and I get little to no complaints with your recipes. I have made the refried beans, Utah scones, tortillas, bagels, granola, and pancakes. This is my go to site when I am planning meals for the week. Previously I failed many times in menu planning. That has become much easier with so many of the recipes pulling on my pantry staples they are easy. I am incapable of driving and appreciate being able to make something without a run to the store. THANK YOU! The Utah Scones were made on Christmas. One daughter said that they were not sweet enough and that they were "okay, not great". By the time she had finished off her 3rd or fourth one I was trying to hold back a grin.

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    1. Heather, I'm so glad you liked the bagels and other recipes. I''m even glad that your daughter thought the scones were "okay, not great." ;)

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    2. Thank you Andrea! Last night was the spicy peanut chicken. I served it over rice and it was wonderful. Perfect for a snowy night. We are getting more snow than we are used to here in Southern Virginia.

      Today I am going to make Grandma's Country White Bread. I am hoping it will turn out well with the 7 grain bread flour that I bought from Amazon. We bought the amazon prime when we ordered the tortilla press to make your tortillas. I also discovered that the tortilla press makes wonderful sized individual pizzas. I have been making my own dough for a while and my family had given up on round pizzas. I have switched to your recipe for pure ease!

      Reading your reply I hope I am correct when I see the smile in your comment about my daughter. I made smaller ones than your recipe called for, but even with that she ate her fill. She is 17 and when it comes to food choices I often watch more than listen.

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  24. I'm making bagels right now and I was wondering about when to add cheese to them? They are on the first rise right now, any suggestions?

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    1. I sprinkle the cheese on top right before they go in the oven. :) Good luck!

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    2. Success! The bottoms burnt a little on my last six that I put in the oven, I think it's just because I tried to bake them on the bottom rack while my top rack was finishing. I made cinnamon-sugar, parmesan cheese, sesame seed, plain, and kosher salt! I used a 250 watt kitchen aid that did have a faint smell of something burning toward the end, but overall it worked beautifully by being gentle...one cup of flour at a time, let it mix in, then add the next, then you really only have to mix it continuously for about 5 min. at the speed number one. What a fun process! This website is really helping me to get through my winter... here in NH it can be brutally long. Thank You!

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  25. They are ridiculously tasty. I put some butter on them just out of the oven and died, basically. Thank you!

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