Because our favourite grocery store uses soy flour in most of their in-house breads, I never bothered to check in with the baker about their bagel ingredients. I just stopped buying them, but I missed them. I love their chewiness and texture that is so different than regular bread.
So, now that I've made them twice, I can vouch for this recipe. They were not tough to make and didn't take any longer than my bread recipe.
And it's fun to stick your finger through the hole and twirl it. Alice and Laura liked that part too. That may account just a little for their inconsistent shape.
This recipe comes from Julie van Rosendaal, a Calgary food critic and traffic reporter. She also has a very good blog full of recipes and food ideas that real people (even people with a toddler) can try. I'm not great at kneading, so I did most of this in my stand mixer, the same way I make all of our bread.
3 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I used the quick rise stuff)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
4 - 5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, stir yeast and brown sugar into 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water until it dissolves. Let it stand for five minutes
unitl it gets foamy. (Even though I used the quick rise yeast, I did this part just so I got the ingredients in the bowl in the same order).
Stir the oil and 1 cup flour into the yeast mixture, then add
the salt and enough of the remiaing flour to make a soft dough (usually about 2 1/2 cups). Turn the sough out only a lightly floured surface and knead, gently incorporating more flour until it is smooth and elastic. It should take about ten minutes. (I just kept using the mixer with a dough hook,
adding enough so that the dough formed a soft ball, softer than a bread dough.)
Cover with a towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10 - 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and then shape into a circle, pinching the ends together. (I made a log out of the whole ball of dough, cut it into 12, stuck my finger through it and twirled until we liked the size of the hole. That was more fun.)
Let rise for 20 minutes. Boil a big pot of salted water and
preheat the oven to 425.
When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and gently place a few bagels at a time into the water. Simmer for
one minute, then flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack to dry. Once they've all been boiled, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Sprinkle with sesame, poppy or caraway seeds just before baking.
Add cheese, garlic, onions, raisins, cinnamon, or fruit while kneading for the last few minutes. We used some raspberries in ours.
It looks like a lot of instructions, but it's really just mix, knead, rise, boil
and bake. It was well worth it and the texture was great. Next time I might
try her method of forming the shape though because ours were not very high,
but I'll miss the twirling.