Even if they’re a little wonky, homemade Sea Salt Bagels will outshine those factory-made grocery store bagels. Full of flavor with that awesome chewy texture, they’re ideal to take on whatever you like to top them with. It’s gonna be awesome.
Remember in the most recent series of Great British Bake Off when Paul asked everyone to make rainbow bagels for the technical? My god, what a horrible idea that was. What an absolutely stupid thing to make. I’m not trying to be a killjoy here, but there is no way that bagels would ever be improved by making them rainbow colored. Look, I’m never going to stop watching it, but most of the things they get asked to make on that show are just stupid.
I’ve always believed that how food tastes is way more important than how food looks. That could be just because I’m not very skilled at making food look good. But I do find this whole phenomenon of marketing foods just for Instagram to be pretty infuriating. And I’m someone who posts my food on Instagram all the time. But if you follow my blog, please know that the recipes you see here will always be about flavor first.
What makes Sea Salt Bagels so awesome?
This Sea Salt Bagel recipe comes from someone who I think would agree that the way food tastes is of paramount importance. I knew this recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson was going to be the one for me because the photo showed wonky bagels that were thin where the dough was pinched together and fat on the other side. That’s pretty much how mine turned out, and they tasted incredible.
Also, funny story, the first time I tried this recipe, I cut it in half, like I do with most things because there are only two of us in the house. Except I forgot to half the salt. I didn’t realize until I was halfway through my second bagel and wondering why they tasted so good. I cut back on the salt in this final version, but if it still seems like a lot to you, just try it first and see what you think.
How to make Sea Salt Bagels
It’s simpler than you might think. We make a pretty straight forward yeasted dough with bread flour, plenty of salt, a little yeast, sugar, vegetable oil, and water. I knead this in my stand mixer, but you could do it by hand as well. Knead it until it’s nice and smooth, then put it in a bowl to rise.
We form our risen dough into bagels by dividing it into six balls, rolling the balls into snakes, then making them into a circle by pressing the two ends together. We don’t stress out too terribly much about making them exactly the same size or the perfect shape. Let them rise again.
This step is what makes these bagels and not just round bread. You have to boil them before you bake them. Nigella says we can just use a bit of sugar in the water, so that’s what I did. I’m cheap and didn’t want to buy malt. No big deal. Boil each bagel for about 30 seconds per side before carefully transferring them to a baking sheet and baking them until golden brown. I use my pancake turner to move them from pot to baking sheet.
Let them cool completely before toasting and spreading with whatever goodness you have in your house.
Make it Magical
Salt is a powerful symbol in most cultures around the world. We need it to live. It brings flavor to our food. It can be used to clean and to heal. It’s already pretty magical all on its own. In witchcraft, salt’s primary use is for protection. There are plenty of pop culture references to creating a circle of salt to keep evil at bay.
Salt also has strong cleansing and purification properties, so whether we’re protecting ourselves from evil spirits or just cleansing our own negative vibes, this common, everyday ingredient can bring more magick to your practice. Keep an open salt cellar on your counter or table at all times to allow this protective energy to permeate your home. (Source: Encyclopedia of Witchcraft by Judika Illes)
Just because something doesn’t look Instagram perfect doesn’t mean it’s not still awesome. This applies just as much to you as it does to Sea Salt Bagels. Get baking, and don’t forget to be awesome.Print
Sea Salt Bagels
Even if they’re a little wonky, homemade Sea Salt Bagels will outshine those factory-made grocery store bagels. Full of flavor with that awesome chewy texture, they’re ideal to take on whatever you like to top them with.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 130
- Yield: 6 bagels 1x
- Category: Baked Goods
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1–1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 3–1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar for poaching
- Add your yeast to a small bowl, then gently stir in the two tablespoons warm water. The water should feel warm to the touch but not scalding. Set this aside for at least five minutes to wake up the yeast. You can just leave it while you get on with measuring out the rest of your ingredients.*
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the flour and salt. Then add the sugar and oil to the one cup warm water and give it a stir to help dissolve the sugar a bit.
- Make a well in your dry mixture, then use a spatula to scrape in the yeast mixture into the center of the well, and add the water mixture after that. Use the spatula to stir this all together until it’s mixed into a shaggy dough.
- Use your dough hook on your stand mixer or knead by hand for about 10 minutes, add more flour a bit at a time if necessary. You’re looking for more of a dry dough here. Knead until smooth.
- Form the dough into a ball and put it in an oiled bowl. Give it a turn in the boil to cover the whole thing with oil, then leave it to rise for about an hour.When you poke it, the impression should stay an not spring back.
- Punch down your dough and turn it out to give it a few seconds kneading. Divide the dough into two pieces, then use your hands to roll each half out like a fat snake. From there, cut each snake into three equal pieces. Keep rolling each individual piece until your snake is 6-8 inches long. Then just attach the ends with a good pinch to make your circle. Don’t stress about it too much. If you want perfect, get the ones made by a machine.
- Put your formed bagels on an oiled baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel to rest and rise for about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat your oven to 500 F (250 C) and put a large pot of water on to boil.
- Once everything’s at the proper temperature, add your two tablespoons sugar to your boiling water. To poach your bagels add one or two to the pot at a time (depending on the size of your pot). Boil each bagel for 1 minute, turning halfway through. I just keep a stopwatch running the whole time to keep track. When the minute is up, carefully remove your poached bagel back to the oiled baking sheet.
- Once all the bagels are poached and puffy, put them in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes. 12 was just right for me. They’ll be puffy, golden brown, and slightly shiny. Allow them to cool completely and store in an air tight container.
* If using instant yeast, you can skip this step. Just add the yeast to the rest of the dry ingredients and add the extra two tablespoons of water with the rest of the water later.