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  • Mary Kay

Mom says Homemade Bagels are Tasty with "Everything"

You've probably had plain bagels, cinnamon breakfast bagels, New York bagels, blueberry bagels, sesame seed bagels, chocolate bagels, pretzel bagels and more. This all leads up to the savory idea of "Everything" bagels. This flavor is probably my most favorite, with its light salty flavor along with black and white sesame seeds.

This homemade “Everything” bagel recipe is dedicated to Mom for Mother’s Day and Everyday. She learned to love bagels when she “discovered” them in Madison where she cheered for her Badger football team back in the 1970’s into the 2000's at Camp Randall. Her weekly habit for years was to hit the Forever Bagels bakery on University Ave, pick up a couple of dozen with cream cheese and head over to my brother’s place for lunch. (One of her favs was toasted with butter.)

The next day, dressed totally in her red Badger gear, she’d cheer on Bucky and the Badgers with kids and grandkids in her four season ticket seats with another 60,000 of her closest friends at Camp Randall Stadium. After the game she would meet all the rest of the kids and grandkids somewhere in Madtown for supper. (She even has a “Brick” at the Stadium. If you're a Badger Fanatic, you know exactly what that is.)

Mom always made sure she had at least a dozen or so extra bagels to take home to last her until the next home game at Camp Randall. She had that routine for every single Badger home game from about 1971 through 2007, just a few months before she passed away. She was probably the most “rabid” Badger fan you could ever know. AND, she loved her bagels, toasted with butter.

“Everything” is a savory flavoring that's been added to many foods, even offering the black and white sesame seeds and salt in a shaker to add to your own savory treats, dips and bagels. That's where this recipe comes in.

I actually begin with my “Starter” the night before I want to mix, boil and bake the bagels. The next day I give myself a couple of hours to make, boil and bake these deliciously savory bagels. And, yes, they are boiled before they are baked in order to give them that crusty exterior.

This recipe makes 8 full sized bagels or 16 mini bagels.

Preheat your oven to 425F degrees about 10 minutes before the bake begins.

Prepare your pan:

- Line one large baking sheet with parchment paper (for 8 bagels).

- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (for 16 mini bagels).

Gather your Ingredients:

Starter Ingredients:

1 C Flour

1/8 t Salt

1/16 t Yeast, instant

1/3 C Water

Dough Ingredients:

All the Starter

¾ C Water

2 T Brown sugar

¾ t Yeast, instant

1 t Salt

2 ½ Flour

Water Bath Ingredients:

Large sauce pan or deep fry pan with boiling water about 2” deep

Seasoned Topping Ingredients:

1 Egg, beaten

1 T Water

½ C “Everything” Bagel seasoning

Begin the Starter:

- Mix all ingredients together and knead for a few minutes.

- Cover with plastic wrap and let rest and expand for 4-14 hours, or overnight

- It seems strange to make a starter and then use it right away...but, that's the way it's done. Take your time and get it right. Be patient.

Mix, Boil and Bake the Bagels:

- Place the Starter in your electric stand mixer bowl, with the dough hooked attached.

- Add all the ingredients for the dough and mix with the Starter about 10 minutes, kneading it on low to medium speed. In the beginning, scrape the sides frequently so everything gets well incorporated.

- If you knead the dough by hand, knead it for about 15-20 minutes.

- The dough should be soft and elastic like.

- Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl and let rest, covered with plastic wrap until 2 ½ times larger. That could take 2-3 hours.

- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.

- Punch it to deflate it and cut into 8 portions.

- Roll each portion in the palm of your hand to in a small ball.

- Lay on the floured surface, covered with plastic and let rise 10-15 minutes.

- Shape each round portion into a bagel shape. First poke a hole in the middle and rotate the bagel in one hand, pulling it the sides with the other hand to create a circle with the hole in the center, expanding the hole to about 3” so they have the bagel shape.

- Place the bagels on the baking sheet(s) and cover with plastic wrap, resting them for 30 minutes until puffy.

- In the meantime, get the water bath ready by bringing the water to a rolling boil.

- Whisk the egg and water together for brushing on top of the bagels. Set aside.

- Place a few bagels in the boiling water and let boil 1 minute.

- Flip with a wooden spoon handle and boil for another 1 minute.

- Carefully move the bagels to the baking sheet, first letting the water drip off into the pan.

- Brush the bagels on the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with “Everything” seeds, or your choice of seasoning, seeds, or nothing at all.

- Bake the bagels at 425F degrees for 18-24 minutes. I check them at the 18-minute mark to see if they are ready. They should be a nice golden brown.

- Let them cool a little before cutting.

Serve them warm with butter or cream cheese.

- Mom loved them toasted with butter. Sometimes she would spread egg salad or tuna salad on them. I also love them all of those ways. Sometimes I have one, open faced with salami or sliced chicken with local cheddar or gouda cheese and sliced cucumbers and tomato. Yum!

- How about a hot panini type sandwich? I love them with a slice of bacon, Gouda cheese, dill pickles, sauteed mushrooms and brown mustard. Then press and fry in a cast iron pan. Lay another cast iron pan on top of the sandwich in order to press it down, like a panini.

- Or, make bagel chips. Start by slicing them very thinly. Brush both sides with melted butter and olive oil. Lay on a foil lined pan and slow bake them on 250F degrees. Flip after 15 minutes or until golden brown. Then bake them on the other side for another 5-15 minutes until golden brown on the other side. They come out nice and crispy and are great slathered with your favorite flavored cream cheese. Or, serve a delicious bruschetta on top. YUM!


- Bagels keep for a week or so at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag.

- To freeze, I double wrap them in sealed plastic bags for about a month. I like to double seal them in plastic bags, with parchment paper slipped in between each bagel. Or wrap every other bagel in parchment paper. Then when I want one quick from the freezer they are easy to pull out one at a time. I usually slice them before freezing. They break apart easier as they thaw, especially if I want to toast them.

Honor your Mom on Mother's Day, holidays and EVERY day. Whichever way you love bagels - butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, as a cold or hot sandwich - enjoy them with your Mother or think about her, and have a wonderful day, “Baking your own Memories!”

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