bagels @ home

I’ll never recall which one, but a blog I was reading the other day talked about making bagels at home. (Maybe it was Pink Stripes?) Then I remembered an old book with a bagel recipe I’d once tried. The book is Bernard Clayton’s The Breads of France, and it was published in 1978. My edition is from 1986, and the good news is that Ten Speed republished it in 2002, so you can actually still get a copy.

The recipe is called Ka’ Achei Sumsum, or Salted Sesame Bagels. Like all breads, this takes a little time, but we’re talking hours, not days. The ingredients are really straightforward — yeast, sugar, water, salt, flour, butter, an egg, and sesame seeds. And as Bernard points out, this recipe is untraditional because the bagels are never boiled. They go straight into the oven.

They are deliberately rustic. Bagel/doughnut cutters are a no-no. You roll out a piece of dough in your hands and casually loop it into a ring. The overlapped ends are part of the charm. Then you brush them with egg and top with sesame seeds (poppy seeds are okay too).

This next tip comes from me. Eat these immediately. They are amazing while still hot from the oven. And I suppose the real test of goodness is the texture. They bake up light, the crust is nice and firm, and the inside is soft and flakey. Maybe you can get a sense of it from this shot. No NYC-style chewy bagels here. These are something else entirely, and a real treat. And they’re small, so you can eat a few at a time.

26 thoughts on “bagels @ home

  1. That’s really neat. I love how it’s not the perfect circle shape. Making homemade bagels is actually on my agenda of things to try. Just need to figured out when I’ll try it.

  2. You’re killin’ me with all this tempting bread talk! These look awesome…always been intimidated by the thought of making bagels at home. I may just try them now. Thanks for this!

  3. Jenn: thanks. besides the waiting time, these are pretty easy, definitely worth going for it.Girlchef: same to you — find a recipe like this that doesn’t require boiling, and it’s a lot easier.Pearl: thanks for stopping by again.

  4. Where do you want me to send my address so you can send me some of those bagels or any food you want to cook just for me? (wink wink)….Seriously, that looks delish!! Where is the cream cheese?Truly,Jenifer

  5. Bagels are one of those things I’ve never made, I keep telling myself I’ll wait till vacation to make them, but seeing this recipe…I need to make them SOON! Look at the texture of these!! Your right, this is no ordinary bagel!!! Thank you for the recipe!!

  6. bunny, yeah, bagels are one of those things I figure I can buy so cheaply, why bother making them at home, and then I do make them and I think wow, they’re really so much better this way.

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