These Homemade Everything Bagels are perfect for a tasty snack or a delicious bagel sandwich!
There’s something about the smell of freshly baked bagels (and all bread in general) that just puts me in a good mood. On days when I make homemade bread, my wife always says she can smell it when she first pulls into the driveway. And my two dogs go absolutely nuts whenever I bake fresh bagels and bread, too. I don’t know if it’s the smell of the yeast or what…but they don’t leave my side the entire time the bagels are baking! (Since dogs can’t eat onions, I leave one bagel plain for them to snack on, too.) I find that these Homemade Everything Bagels are a delicious treat with your morning coffee, but they also work great for bagel sandwiches, too!
This recipe calls for the bagels to be simmered in a water bath with malt syrup. Malt syrup is made from malted barley, and (in my opinion) it’s the secret ingredient to a delicious bagel! You can usually find malt syrup in any health foods store or you can also order it online. (One jar will last a long time!) The malt syrup not only adds color and sweetness to the bagels, but it also helps make the bagels glossy once they’re baked. Don’t let all of this talk about malt syrup discourage you from making these delicious bagels, though! You can certainly substitute honey instead of malt syrup, and the result will still be a delicious bagel. In fact, my wife and I took a quick weekend trip up to Montreal last Fall, and Montreal bagel shops are known for using honey rather than malt syrup in their water bath. (One of the most famous Montreal bagel shops also baked their bagels in a wood-fired oven…and those bagels were among the best I’ve ever eaten!)
There’s also another little catch to making homemade bagels…the dough really should rest in the refrigerator overnight. I know, I know. First, I got going on that malt syrup tangent, and now I’m telling you that making homemade bagels is a two-day process. But it really doesn’t require additional work. The shaped bagels are just placed on a sheet pan, covered, and transferred to a refrigerator overnight. Why? Well, the long, slow fermentation process yields better (much better!) flavor to the finished bagels. I’ve seen plenty of recipes that don’t call for overnight refrigeration…and they taste great. But true bagels really need this extra time to develop flavor. This additional time could be seen as an advantage since you could make the bagel dough the day before, and then just boil them and bake them before serving. I promise I’m done springing surprises on you here! Just trust me with the malt syrup as well as the overnight method…you won’t be disappointed. (In a pinch, you could let the dough rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours and then proceed with the baking process.)
I know this recipe looks long and really involved, but I wanted to make the instructions as detailed as possible. Once you’ve made these Everything Bagels once or twice, you’ll become better at it and probably pick up a couple tips of your own. (Make sure to come back and let me know any tips that you learn!)