*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
                           Here’s a Bagel recipe
 
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Bread
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    6      cups          (to 8c) bread (high-gluten) -- flour
    4      tablespoons   Dry baking yeast
    6      tablespoons   Granulated white sugar or -- light honey (clover
                         good)
    2      teaspoons     Salt
    3      cups          Hot water
                         A bit of vegetable oil
    1                    Gallon water
    5      tablespoons   Malt syrup or sugar
                         A few handfuls of cornmeal
                         Large mixing bowl
                         Wire whisk
                         Measuring cups and spoons
                         Wooden mixing spoon
                         Butter knife or baker’s -- dough blade
                         Clean -- dry surface for
 
    3                    clean -- dry kitchen towels
                         Warm, but not hot -- place to
                         dough to rise
                         Large stockpot
                         Slotted spoon
    2                    baking sheets
 
 First, pour three cups of hot water into the mixing bowl.  The water should be
hot, but not so hot that you can't bear to put your fingers in it for several
seconds at a time.  Add the sugar or honey and stir it with your fingers (a
good way to make sure the water is not too hot) or with a wire whisk to
dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water, and stir to
dissolve.
 
  Wait about ten minutes for the yeast to begin to revive and grow.
 This is known as “proofing” the yeast, which simply means that you're checking
to make sure your yeast is viable.  Skipping this step could result in your
trying to make bagels with dead yeast, which results in bagels so hard and
potentially dangerous that they are banned under the terms of the Geneva
Convention.  You will know that the yeast is okay if it begins to foam and
exude a sweetish, slightly beery smell.
 
   At this point, add about three cups of flour as well as the 2 tsp of salt to
 the water and yeast and begin mixing it in.  Some people subscribe to the
 theory that it is easier to tell what’s going on with the dough if you use
 your hands rather than a spoon to mix things into the dough, but others prefer
 the less physically direct spoon.  As an advocate of the bare-knuckles school
 of baking, I proffer the following advice: clip your fingernails, take off
 your rings and wristwatch, and wash your hands thoroughly to the elbows, like
 a surgeon.  Then you may dive into the dough with impunity.  I generally use
 my right hand to mix, so that my left is free to add flour and other
 ingredients and to hold the bowl steady. Left-handed people might find that
 the reverse works better for them. Having one hand clean and free to perform
 various tasks works best.
 
   When you have incorporated the first three cups of flour, the dough should
 begin to become thick-ish.  Add more flour, a half-cup or so at a time, and
 mix each addition thoroughly before adding more flour.
 As the dough gets thicker, add less and less flour at a time.  Soon you will
begin to knead it by hand (if you're using your hands to mix the dough in the
first place, this segue is hardly noticeable).	If you have a big enough and
shallow enough bowl, use it as the kneading bowl, otherwise use that clean,
dry, flat countertop or tabletop mentioned in the “Equipment” list above.
Sprinkle your work surface or bowl with a handful of flour, put your dough on
top, and start kneading. Add bits of flour if necessary to keep the dough from
sticking (to your hands, to the bowl or countertop, etc....). Soon you should
have a nice stiff dough. It will be quite elastic, but heavy and stiffer than a
normal bread dough. Do not make it too dry, however... it should still give
easily and stretch easily without tearing.
 
   Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with one of your clean
 kitchen towels, dampened somewhat by getting it wet and then wringing it out
 thoroughly.  If you swish the dough around in the bowl, you can get the whole
 ball of dough covered with a very thin fil of oil, which will keep it from
 drying out.
 
   Place the bowl with the dough in it in a dry, warm (but not hot)pace, free
 from drafts.  Allow it to rise until doubled in volume.  Some people try to
 accelerate rising by putting the dough in the oven, where the pilot lights
 keep the temperature slightly elevated.  If it’s cold in your kitchen, you can
 try this, but remember to leave the oven door open or it may become too hot
 and begin to kill the yeast and cook the dough. An ambient temperature of
 about 80 degrees Farenheit (25 centigrades) is ideal for rising dough.
 
   While the dough is rising, fill your stockpot with about a gallon of water
 and set it on the fire to boil.  When it reaches a boil, add the malt syrup or
 sugar and reduce the heat so that the water just barely simmers; the surface
 of the water should hardly move.
 
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