I don't know who invented bagels but they were pretty creative. Think about it... why would create a bread with a hole in the middle? Maybe to make you think you were eating a donut except without all the calories? I'm not sure but when I first heard about how to make bagels I was pretty intrigued and ever since then I've had the urge to try my hand at bagel boiling.
So, here I am in Cusco, Peru where bagels do not really exist. Sure there is a little bagel shop (owned by an Israeli man)downtown on "Gringo Alley" but it's expensive and not conveniently located near to me. There are plenty of different types of fresh breads available at the local bread shops: wheat braided bread, cornmeal bread, cibiatta bread, lengua de suerga (mother-in-law's tongue), french bread, quinoa bread and baguette bread but NO BAGELS.
Thankfully, I'm a brave type who likes baking adventures. The first time I got my recipe online for bagels. They turned out a little flat but made okay bagel pizzas (my original plan for those holey bagels). There is a Wycliffe missionary in town who is a fantastic baker and cooker and I found out that bagels are a regular occurance at her house. Well, I got my next recipe for bagels in an email from her. These turned out much better but I was still confused about how long the had to stay in the boiling water. Well, I think they are getting better everytime. So far I've tried: plain, oatmeal, cinnamon raisin and wheat bagels. I think the plain and raisin have turned out the best. YUMMMM!!!! Here are the step by step pics and instructions.
Step 1: Mix together 1 Tbl. Yeast, 3 Tbl. Sugar, 1 tsp. Salt & 1 cup of warm water. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour to this and knead it for 8-10 min. Leave your ball of dough in warm place to rise for 30-40 min.
Step 2: Form dough into 8 peices and form balls. Stick your thumb in the middle to form holes and let these babies rise for 20 more minutes.
Step 3: Boil water with 1 Tbl. of oil and add 2 or 3 bagels at a time to the water for a few seconds. Next take the sopping wet bagels out carefully and drain them on paper towels (this is the messiest part of the whole process).
Step 4: Bake the bagels on greased and floured cookie sheets at 400 F for 30-35 minutes and the bottoms are nicely browned.
Step 5: Slice and enjoy with some expensive cream cheese or make a delicious egg sandwich!!! yum!!!