What is a bagel? pt 4

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N See part 1

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead dough by hand, adding more flour as necessary, for 10 to 15 minutes until dough is smooth, shiny, stiff and elastic. Keep the board and your hands dusted with flour to prevent sticking.

Knead by pushing down on the dough with the palms of your hands, exerting pressure from your shoulders. Lift the dough from the top edge, turn it a quarter turn, fold it in half, press again, turn, fold, press, and repeat the process until dough forms a cohesive ball. When the dough is no longer sticky, stretch it to help develop elasticity. Knead it a few more times (by now you should be about ready to drop dead and buy frozen Lender's <G>.) Drop it on your board, lift it, pick it up again and drop it again, continuing to stretch, drop and knead a few more times. If it becomes too stiff, add a few drops of water; if too sticky, add a little more flour.

When optimally kneaded and shaped into a ball, dough will spring back when poked gently.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Turn dough so all surfaces are greased. cover with a sheet of plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick vegetable spray and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour. the test for proper rising, which about doubles the mass of the dough in size, is to poke two fingers lightly and quickly about ½" into dough. If dent stays, dough is doubled.

Proceed to Shape Bagels


Prepare baking sheets by lightly greasing them with nonstick vegetable spray, or oil with a little vegetable oil spread with your fingertips or waxed paper.

Reach into the bread machine pan and pull dough out (if it is slightly sticky, dip your fingers into flour first.) Some machines punch dough down automatically at the end of the rise cycle, and just the act of removing the dough from the pan is usually adequate to remove gases, but you may need to punch dough down to remove any remaining air. Or, remove dough from bowl or food processor bowl and punch down.

Knead dough once or twice and let it rest for 5 minutes. If the dough is still a little too wet and sticky, lightly flour the bread board or your hands and knead the dough manually, until it has a smooth, elastic consistency. Bagel dough should be stiff but elastic; if it's too stiff, sprinkle a little water on it or moisten your hands and knead the moisture into dough. After you've made one or two batches of bagels, you'll get the feeling of the ideal consistency.

Roll and pull dough into a rectangle about 10x14" for a 1-pound recipe and 14x18" for a 1½-pound recipe, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with dried fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, spices, chocolate, or any combination of flavorings. Roll dough into a log and knead the ingredients into the dough for a minute or so.

The dough should weigh a little more than the size recipe you are using.

Divide dough into pieces depending on the size bagel you want. A 1 ½-pound recipe yields 8 to 12 finished bagels, each weighing 2 to 3 ounces, measuring about 4 inches across. Use a food scale if you want consistency, or measure with a ruler. Cut smaller pieces for mini bagels.

Knead in added ingredients well before shaping each bagel. You can also divide dough and add different ingredients to each part so you get a varied batch of bagels from one recipe.

Shape using any of the following methods: HOLE IN THE MIDDLE METHOD: Roll each piece of dough into a ball, poke a floured finger through the center to form the hole, and then shape top and smooth sides. Moisten your finger with water, if necessary to smooth. Pull gently to enlarge hole. The resulting bagel is smooth and there is no joint.

OR, press the round on your floured board. Using the index fingers of both hands, poke a hole an pull dough until the hole is large, and then round out the bagel and smooth the top and edges.

THE HULA HOOP AROUND THE FINGER METHOD: Create a circle without a joint by flattening a ball of dough slightly into a round shape, folding the bottom edge under and smoothing it until it looks like a mushroom top. With a floured index finger, make a hole in the center of the circle from the bottom up. Twirl the circle around your index finger, or two fingers, like a hula-hoop, to widen the hole. Pull out and shape the round.

THE ROPE METHOD: Roll each piece of dough into a rope by rolling it on the bread board or between your hands. Wrap the rope around four fingers, overlap and join the ends, and turn the circle inside out. Until you get this hand movement down pat, you may have to moisten the ends to hold them together. Initially the length may be lumpy and the joint will show. It takes practice.

continued in part 5

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