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Overnight Egg Bagels With Blueberry Cream Cheese

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Homemade egg bagels!

Homemade egg bagels!

A Great Addition to Sunday Brunch

A sharp breeze nipped our cheeks as we strolled around Brooklyn and admired autumn foliage. When we happened upon a quaint bakery, our rumbling tummies signaled it was time for breakfast. The fragrance of freshly baked bread flowed over us and a tinkling bell announced our arrival as we slipped in the door.

When my eyes had adjusted to the dim interior I beheld trays of fruit-filled pastries, baskets brimming with breads of every size and shape, and strings of shiny bagels: pumpernickel, sesame, poppy seed, and onion. As a Midwestern teenager who had never tasted a bagel, their chewy texture and unforgettable flavor blew me away. And I was thrilled when, years later, a small bagel store opened just around the corner from our home.

The bagel’s reputation for being difficult to prepare is undeserved, and this recipe makes the job even easier. Do most of the work in the evening and the following morning, after just 15 minutes’ prep time, you can pop the bagels into a hot oven. This makes them a perfect candidate for Sunday brunch. The blueberry cream cheese can also be whipped up ahead of time.

"A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed."

— George Rosenbaum

The Origin of Bagels

The bagel was invented in 17th century Kraków, Poland, where it was often given to women recovering from childbirth. Soon afterward, it became a staple of the Polish diet.

Bagels have been sold in England since the mid-19th century. They were brought to the United States by immigrant Polish-Jews; Harry Lender and Florence Sender began commercial production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s. Sesame seed bagels were launched into space with Canadian-born astronaut Gregory Chamitoff in 2008.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 egg + enough lukewarm water to equal 2 cups
  • 5 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, not rapid rise
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For boiling and baking:

  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • sesame and/or poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)
bagel

Instructions

  1. Combine 3 cups of flour, salt, brown sugar and yeast. Reserve the rest of the flour.
  2. Add water/egg mixture and blend on high speed with a hand mixer for about 5 minutes. Or if using a stand mixer, insert the dough hook. Follow manufacturer's instructions for making bread dough then skip to step #5.
  3. Add one more cup of flour and stir with a wooden spoon until flour is incorporated.
  4. Place dough on floured surface and knead as explained above in the "tips" section below, incorporating most or all of the remaining cup of flour during the kneading process.
  5. When dough is smooth and elastic place in an oiled bowl, rubbing a little oil on the dough's top surface so it doesn't dry out. Cover bowl with a towel and set in a warm place for 45 to 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  6. Return dough to floured surface. Cut dough into 10 uniformly sized pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into a rope. Wet both ends of the rope and press them together, forming a circle. Roll over floured surface until the ends have joined seamlessly.
  8. Place waxed paper on two baking sheets. Oil the waxed paper.
  9. Place bagels on waxed paper and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Refrigerate overnight, but no longer than 10 hours.
  10. Remove bagels from refrigerator 20 minutes before baking.
  11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Fill a Dutch oven pot with 3 inches of water. Add 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of baking soda to the water. Bring water to a rolling boil.
  13. Carefully place bagels in boiling water, two or three at a time. Boil, uncovered, for about one minute on each side.
  14. Allow bagels to dry for a moment on a kitchen towel. If using, sprinkle bagels with poppy or sesame seeds.
  15. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle heavily with cornmeal or polenta.
  16. Place boiled bagels on baking sheets and bake in hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

How to Knead Dough

  1. Generously sprinkle countertop or Silpat with flour. Flour your hands.
  2. Push ball of dough away from you, then pull back toward your body, fold in half and rotate a quarter turn. Lastly, push away again with the heels of your hands.
  3. Reserve the last half cup of flour to sprinkle on the surface as you knead to prevent sticking. You may not need to incorporate all of the flour.
  4. Continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic, or springs back to your touch.
  5. You can test if you've kneaded enough by pushing two fingers into the dough. If the indentations remain, the dough is ready for the first rise.

Photo Guide

Roll dough into a rope

Roll dough into a rope

Form the bagels

Form the bagels

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Delishably

Ready for overnight rise

Ready for overnight rise

Boil the bagels

Boil the bagels

Bagel Baking Tips

  • For a healthier bagel, substitute whole wheat flour for half of the white flour.
  • High gluten flour makes the best bagels.
  • A stand mixer is invaluable if you don't have a bread maker, as it will knead the dough for you. A hand mixer will work in a pinch, but you will still have to knead the bread for at least a few minutes.
  • Don't worry if the dough creeps up the beater bars. This is due to the action of the yeast. Just clean off the bottom of the mixer afterward.
  • An overnight rise in the refrigerator or "proofing", as it's called among bakers, adds more flavor and texture to the bread.
  • Make sure water is at a rolling boil before adding the bagels.

What About Bread Makers?

Although bread makers fell out of favor after the rise in popularity of low carbohydrate diets, they are highly recommended to any home cook who enjoys bread products. Just add ingredients to the pan and the machine does all the hard work.

Besides baking a perfect loaf of homemade bread, most models have a "dough" cycle that kneads ingredients and keeps dough warm during the first rise. This feature is very handy for making pizzas, bagels, pretzels, and sweet breads such as cinnamon rolls. Most machines also have a special cycle for healthful, whole grain breads.

A stand mixer is a great option for those who make bread dough on a regular basis. The KitchenAid comes with a dough hook, which takes care of the kneading for you; allow the dough to rise right in the bowl before proceeding. Stand mixers are also indispensable for whipping egg whites and mixing batter. Optional attachments can be purchased for grinding meat, juicing citrus fruits, and slicing and shredding. Attachments for making pasta and an ice cream option are also available.

Blueberry cream cheese is delicious on bagels

Blueberry cream cheese is delicious on bagels

Blueberry Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 heaping tablespoon blueberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy
  2. Fold in jam and powdered sugar until completely combined.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.
  4. If you want enough blueberry cream cheese for all 10 bagels, double this recipe.

Variations

Try raspberry or blackberry jam instead of blueberry

bagel
bagel

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