The best bagels in the world…

…are home made!
“the first printed mention of bagels…is to be found in the Community Regulations of Kracow, Poland, for the year 1610 which stated that bagels would be given as a gift to any woman in childbirth.” (‘The Joys of Yiddish’ by Leo Rosten)
Googling to find some nice or funny quotes about bagels, the search turned up this fact that they may have come from Poland. It always associated with the US origin to me personally – there is even a song by Touch&Go that the best bagels and muffins come from New York. Although the bagel first mentioned in American print only in 1932. They do make pretty good ones there, I must admit. But craving for one for a Saturday breakfast inspired to search for THE recipe that would make it worth a couple of hours in the kitchen.
The recipe I tried – courtesy of Emeril Lagasse – a chef well known for the food connoisseurs in the US. 

Makes 12 bagels, total cooking time (including prep time) – 2 hrs 20 minutes. According to the original recipe, it takes Emeril 1 hr 15 min total – space for improvement for me.

* 2 cups warm water
* 1/2 ounce/ 15 grams active dry yeast
* 4 tablespoons sugar
* 4-5 cups all purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* sesame seeds for topping

Combine the yeast, warm water and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a stand up mixer bowl – mixer fitter with the dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy – for 5 minutes. Since I am totally in love with my KitchenAid mixer – of course, needless to say I can’t imagine kneading the dough with hands.
Add the salt and gradually add the flour – 1 cup at a time. If needed, add some more flour to make a stiff dough. Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm and draft free place until nearly doubled.
Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it a bit. Divide the dough in 12 equal pieces and form the bagels by rolling out the dough into logs, joining the ends, placing the fingers through the hole and rolling the ends together. Place the bagels on a lightly greased parchment paper and cover with a cloth for another 20 minutes or so. Let rest in a warm and draft free spot until a bit risen.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (C)/ 400 F.

For the time the bagels are risen, bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Working in batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning for about 1 minutes, 30 seconds per side. With a slotted spoon get the bagels out and place them on a greased pan for baking, sprinkling both sides with the sesame seeds.

Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Toasted with cream cheese and smoked salmon – the best!
Bon appetit!

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