Homemade bagels are easier than you think, and make a wonderful family project. These are delicious on their own, and even better spread with Walnut Butter.
- 1 cup water, wrist-temperature
- 1 teaspoon (about half a packet) active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or roasted walnut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached (1/2 cup of it can be whole-wheat bread flour)–plus a little extra for handling
- 1 cup California walnuts, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (can be raw or turbinado)
- Combine water and yeast in a mixing bowl (ideally the bowl of a stand mixer). Add the sugar or honey, and stir to dissolve.
- Stir in the oil, salt, and 1 cup of the flour, then mix on low speed with a dough-mixing attachment (or by hand) until uniform. Add the remaining flour, and continue at low speed until it's incorporated. Increase the speed to medium, beating the dough for a couple of minutes.
- Spray a second, clean bowl with nonstick spray, and transfer the dough to this bowl. Spray the top of the dough as well, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, for approximately one hour.
- Punch down the dough, using a little extra flour or nonstick spray on your hand to keep things from sticking. Also lightly flour or spray a clean, dry work surface, and turn out the dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, then divide into 6 equal parts. Knead each part into a ball, and let them sit for another 45 minutes to an hour (imprecise).
- In a small bowl, toss together the walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar, keeping it handy.
- Using very small amounts of flour or nonstick spray on all surfaces, as needed, to prevent sticking, roll each ball of rested dough into a thin oval about 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in a strip the length of each oval, slightly off center. Roll into a log, beginning with the side closest to the filling. Pinch the edges tightly, and then attach them to form a ring, squeezing it tightly closed. Continue with all the dough and all the filling, then let the filled bagels sit for about 20 minutes to rest again.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F and fill a wide, deep sauté pan with water, putting it up to boil. Have ready a baking tray, sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Also have ready a colander on a plate by the stove, and a long-handled "spider" utensil.
- When the water boils, add the bagels - as many as will fit without crowding. (They will puff up pretty quickly, and you want them to have room to expand, so you might need to do this in batches.) Boil for 2 minutes on each side, then lift them out with the spider, and place them in the colander for a few minutes to drain.
- Transfer the boiled bagels to the baking tray (okay if close together –they are done expanding now) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly hardened on the outside and hollow-sounding when thumped.
- Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.