Homemade bagel recipe

Homemade bagels

And a talk about how to procrastinate

eating an homemade bagel with cream cheese and jam
homemade bagel toast with ricotta cheese jam and thyme
homemade bagel with ricotta cheese jam and thyme

Ingredients

For the poolish

  • 100g bread flour*
  • 100g water
  • 5g fresh yeast

For the bagels dough

  • 560g bread flour*
  • 310g water
  • 20g barley malt syrup*
  • 12g salt

For the water bath and topping

  • 1 Tbsp barley malt syrup*
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, for the egg wash
  • Sesame seeds

*Notes

We love Italian type 1 flour for bagels. A strong bread flour mixed with 1/4 whole wheat flour also works well.

 

Barley malt syrup gives bagels their characteristic depth of flavor. If you have a hard time finding it, you can substitute with honey.

Method

How to make the bagels dough

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water, stir in the flour and cover. Leave the poolish on the counter until doubled in size – it should take 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the temperature.
  2. In a bowl combine all the ingredients plus the poolish and knead until smooth and elastic. If you use a stand mixer it will take about 7 minutes on medium speed. If you knead by hand alternate 5 minutes of kneading and 2 minutes of covered rest, for 3 times.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a medium-large bowl and cover. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 20 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

How to shape the bagels

  1. After proofing for 10-12 hours in the fridge your dough should be more than doubled in size. Let it come to room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Flip the dough onto a lightly flowered work surface and divide in 8 pieces. Weight them out for equal-sized bagels. Form into 8 balls, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for 15 minutes.
  3. Poke a finger in the center of each ball, then gently stretch the dough to make the hole 6 cm (2 1/2 inch) wide.
  4. Cut 8 squares of parchment paper, 15cm (6 inch) long sides. Place the bagels on the squares, cover with a towel and proof for 30 minutes or until puffy.

How to boil and bake the bagels

  1. In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil, then add a Tbsp each of barley malt syrup and baking soda. In the meantime preheat the oven at 200° C (400 F).
  2. Transfer one bagel at the time in the boiling water, carrying them by the parchment paper – this way they won’t deflate. Once immersed, you can easily remove the parchment with tongs. Boil the bagels for 30 seconds on each side (if well proofed they should float), then drain with a slotted spoon and place on a lined baking tray.
  3. Brush the bagels with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. For better results, bake one tray of bagels at a time and rotate the tray 200° after 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy your gorgeous homemade bagels while warm, to appreciate the slightly crispy crust and chewy crumb. We batch make them in the weekend and freeze once cooked, to make bagel sandwiches for lunch during the week. Well, that is when we don’t eat them all in one sitting!

Creative talk

Are you a good or bad procrastinator?

 

I recognize two patterns in my procrastination. I push back working on something either because I feel I haven’t found THE creative idea yet or because that task makes me feel uncomfortable.
In the first case, I keep working on the project, prioritizing research and exploration over execution. I don’t feel too guilty or stressed about it, since I know creativity is an entangled path. In the second scenario, I completely avoid even thinking about the task, thus feeding the sense of guilt, shame and pressure that kept me from facing the problem in the first place. But why?

 

According to Tim Urban, the roots of procrastination lie in the character we think we play in our Storyline. And I totally resonate with this – hello, Impostor Syndrome! The good news is that there is a way out of the maze and the first step is the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

 

A to-do list doesn’t serve us unless we categorize our tasks as Important/Not important and Urgent/Not urgent. It goes without saying that the items affected by procrastination are in Q1 (important and urgent), while the tasks we easily handle weeks in advance are in Q2 (still important, but not urgent). While some might say that we should aim for an empty Q1, I actually like to stretch the boundaries of my creative process, allowing the adrenaline rush to kick in. Still, I would love to control when to be in charge and when to let creativity do its magic. This means that my “uncomfortable” tasks should be dealt with while they are still in Q2.

 

I like to picture procrastination as a seesaw, where the ideal place to be is in balance. Adam Grant talks about a sweet spot between precrastination (devouring to-do lists way in advance, not making creativity part of the equation) and chronic procrastination (not reaching your full potential by delaying things until all you can do is the bare minimum).

 

The best advice I found for overcoming the bad procrastination is to tackle the limiting stream of thoughts, of course, and to practice will power/delayed pleasure on a daily basis. I can help you with the latter. Try not to eat a whole batch of these bagels in one go and save some as meal prep for quicker work lunches.

 

— Tea

 

→ An illustrated journey into a procrastinator’s mind:

Urban, T. (October 30, 2013). Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. Wait But Why.

 

→ For those who wander what goes in the Q3 and Q4 quadrants of the matrix:

McKay, B. and K. (October 13, 2013). The Eisenhower Decision Matrix: How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life. Art Of Manliness.

 

→ A thorough explanation of the pre/procrastination spectrum:

Grant, A. (April 26, 2016). The surprising habits of original thinkers. TED.

keep wandering

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