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Bagel Recipe: Overnight Egg Bagels with Blueberry Cream Cheese
A Great Addition to Sunday Brunch
A sharp breeze nipped our cheeks as we strolled around Brooklyn and admired autumn foliage. When we happened upon a quaint bakery, our rumbling tummies signaled it was time for breakfast. The fragrance of freshly baked bread flowed over us and a tinkling bell announced our arrival as we slipped in the door.
When my eyes had adjusted to the dim interior I beheld trays of fruit-filled pastries, baskets brimming with bread of every size and shape, and strings of shiny bagels: pumpernickel, sesame, poppy seed and onion. As a Midwestern teenager who had never tasted a bagel, their chewy texture and unforgettable flavor blew me away. And I was thrilled when, years later, a small bagel store opened just around the corner from our home.
The bagel’s reputation for difficulty of preparation is undeserved, and this recipe makes the job even easier. Do most of the work in the evening and the following morning, after just fifteen minutes’ prep time, you can pop the bagels into a hot oven. This makes them a perfect candidate for Sunday brunch. The blueberry cream cheese can also be whipped up ahead of time.
The Origin of Bagels
The bagel was invented in 17th century Kraków, Poland where it was often given to women recovering from childbirth. Soon afterward, it became a main staple of Polish diet. Bagels have been sold in England since the mid 19th century. They were taken to the United States by immigrant Polish-Jews; Harry Lender and Florence Sender began commercial production and distribution of frozen bagels in the 1960s. Sesame seed bagels were launched into space with Canadian-born astronaut Gregory Chamitoff in 2008.
- For a healthier bagel, substitute whole wheat flour for half of the white flour.
- High gluten flour makes the best bagels.
- A stand mixer is invaluable if you don't have a bread maker, as it will knead the dough for you. A hand mixer will work in a pinch, but you will still have to knead the bread for at least a few minutes.
- Don't worry if the dough creeps up the beater bars. This is due to the action of the yeast. Just clean off the bottom of the mixer afterward.
- An overnight rise in the refrigerator or "proofing", as it's called among bakers, adds more flavor and texture to bread.
- Make sure water is at a rolling boil before adding the bagels.
How to Knead Dough:
- Generously sprinkle countertop or Silpat with flour. Flour your hands.
- Push ball of dough away from you, then pull back toward your body, fold in half and rotate a quarter turn. Lastly, push away again with the heels of your hands. (See short video clip below.)
- Reserve the last half cup of flour to sprinkle on the surface as you knead to prevent sticking. You may not need to incorporate all of the flour.
- Continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic, or springs back to your touch.
- You can test if you've kneaded enough by pushing two fingers into the dough. If the indentations remain, the dough is ready for the first rise.
More Great Breakfast Ideas
- Serve Mini Bacon & Spinach Breakfast Souffles to start your day with a boost of protein.
- Heavenly Blueberry-Lemon Scones ,a non-yeasted breakfast bread, are a great alternative for busy mornings.
- Quick & Easy Breakfast Panini is fast but nutritious breakfast idea.
- Try Bircher's Swiss Muesli with a side of bagels for a healthy breakfast.
- Learn How to Make a Smoothie Without Yogurt
What About Bread Makers?
Although bread makers fell out of favor after the rise in popularity of low carbohydrate diets, they are highly recommended to any home cook who enjoys bread products. Just add ingredients to the pan and the machine does all the hard work.
Besides baking a perfect loaf of homemade bread, most models have a "dough" cycle that kneads ingredients and keeps dough warm during the first rise. This feature is very handy for making pizzas, bagels, pretzels and sweet breads such as cinnamon rolls. Most machines also have a special cycle for healthful, whole grain breads.
Two excellent bread makers are pictured in the column to the right. The Hamilton Beach costs around $60 and will turn out beautiful loaves of bread or bread dough. The Panasonic SD-YD250 is highly rated for durability and ease of use. My Panasonic has been dropped off the kitchen countertop and plugged into a 220V outlet, yet it still works like a charm after 5 years of weekly use.
A stand mixer is a great option for those who make bread dough on a regular basis. The KitchenAid comes with a dough hook which takes care of the kneading for you; allow the dough to rise right in the bowl before proceeding. Stand mixers are also indispensable for whipping egg whites and mixing batter. Optional attachments can be purchased for grinding meat, juicing citrus fruits and slicing and shredding. Attachments for making pasta and ice cream option are also available.
Overnight Egg Bagels
"A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed." -- George Rosenbaum
- 1 egg + enough lukewarm water to equal 2 cups
- 5 cups unbleached flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, not rapid rise
- 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
For Bagel Boiling/Baking:
- 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- sesame and/or poppy seeds for sprinkling, optional
- Combine 3 cups of flour, salt, brown sugar and yeast. Reserve the rest of the flour.
- Add water/egg mixture and blend on high speed with a hand mixer for about 5 minutes. Or if using a stand mixer, insert the dough hook. Follow manufacturer's instructions for making bread dough then skip to step #5.
- Add one more cup of flour and stir with a wooden spoon until flour is incorporated.
- Place dough on floured surface and knead as explained above in the "tips" section, incorporating most or all of the remaining cup of flour during the kneading process.
- When dough is smooth and elastic place in an oiled bowl, rubbing a little oil on the dough's top surface so it doesn't dry out. Cover bowl with a towel and set in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Return dough to floured surface. Cut dough into 10 uniformly sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into a rope. Wet both ends of the rope and press them together, forming a circle. Roll over floured surface until the ends have joined seamlessly.
- Place waxed paper on two baking sheets. Oil the waxed paper.
- Place bagels on waxed paper and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Refrigerate overnight, but no longer than 10 hours.
- Remove bagels from refrigerator 20 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fill a dutch oven pot with 3 inches of water. Add 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of baking soda to the water. Bring water to a rolling boil.
- Carefully place bagels in boiling water, two or three at a time. Boil, uncovered, for about one minute on each side.
- Allow bagels to dry for a moment on a kitchen towel. If using, sprinkle bagels with poppy or sesame seeds.
- Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle heavily with cornmeal or polenta.
- Place boiled bagels on baking sheets and bake in hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Blueberry Cream Cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 heaping Tablespoon blueberry jam
- 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy
- Fold in jam and powdered sugar until completely combined.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- If you want enough blueberry cream cheese for all 10 bagels, double this recipe.
Variations: Try raspberry or blackberry jam instead of blueberry