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You don’t have to go all the way to New York City to get a fresh bagel. Thus you decide making bagels at home, however you face some difficults in this progress. Here are top tips for the next time you’re at home and looking for the perfect vehicle for delicious bagels.

What Are Bagels?

A bagel is a round bread made of simple, elegant ingredients: high-gluten flour, salt, water, yeast and malt. Its dough is boiled, then baked, and the result should be a rich caramel color; it should not be pale and blond. A bagel should weigh four ounces or less and should make a slight cracking sound when you bite into it instead of a whoosh. A bagel should be eaten warm and, ideally, should be no more than four or five hours old when consumed, according to Ed Levine of The New York Times.

The name bagel comes from the Yiddish word beygel, which in turn comes from the Middle High German böugel, meaning ring or bracelet. The exact origins of the bagel are unknown, but it first appeared in central Europe (some say Poland in the late seventeenth century) and was brought to the US by European Jewish immigrants in the late nineteenth century.

Tips for perfect bagels

1. Kind of Flour

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First, you need to get flour with a high protein content to make sure your bagels have a chewy consistency. Professional bakers use special high-protein flour to make bagels, but you can use unbleached bread flour—which is higher in gluten than all-purpose flour—to make bagels at home. If you can find high-gluten flour (King Arthur Flour makes it under the name Sir Lancelot), use that.

2. Weigh

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Whether you use high-protein flour or all-purpose flour, you should weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale if you can. Weighing the ingredients is more accurate than measuring cups and it will help ensure a consistent finished product.

3. Fat and sugars

If you’d prefer your bagels to not be so chewy, adding an egg or some oil to the dough will make the bread lighter, softer, and less chewy.

Sugars, however, have a vital role to play in the perfect bagel. Sugar helps to give the bagel its shiny brown crust in addition to a pleasant flavour.

4. Water temperature

The cold water should be better. If you have a couple hours to let your dough rest and rise, use cold water. And if later in the process, your dough is misbehaving (i.e., you’re having trouble kneading or shaping it) refrigerate it briefly and try again.

5. Mixing

Low and slow’s the way to go. To achieve that smooth, stretchy texture necessary for your bagel shaping, mix your dough using an electric mixer with a hook attachment at low speed. Think: 3 and 3. Three minutes of mixing on the lowest speed then three minutes on the second-to-lowest speed.

6. Knead, Divide and Shape

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You can knead your dough by hand, or in a stand mixer, to develop the gluten. After you let the kneaded dough rest a few minutes, you should roll the dough into a snake shape and divide it up into 3.5 to 3.8 ounce pieces.

Once you’ve rolled your bagel dough into a loose ball, there are two main methods for shaping bagels: Punch a hole in a ball of dough, or more traditionally, roll the dough into a sausage and stick the two ends together, leaving a disproportionately large hole in the centre.

7. Boiling then baking

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Boiling is essential! Boiling is important to form the shape of the bagel, preventing it from rising too high and closing the hole in the center, but you don’t need to boil for very long—about 60 seconds should be enough. Once boiled, they are drained, dipped in toppings, and baked in a very hot oven. Turning once gives them a nice glow all-round. Cool before tearing them open and enjoy within a few hours of baking.

I hope you enjoy making these bagels with our useful tips mentioned above. Become a better home cook with several cooking topics at KnowInsider:

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