Store-bought bagels that are close to the size of your head can weigh in at 500 calories apiece, even though they are low in fat. Flavour these more appropriately-sized ones any way you like by stirring in some grated cheese, caramelized onions, fresh garlic, cinnamon and raisins, toasted nuts or seeds.
1 tbsp (15 mL) active dry yeast
1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola or olive oil
4-5 cups (1-1.25 L) all-purpose flour, or half all-purpose and half whole wheat
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
Sesame, poppy or caraway seed to sprinkle on top (optional)
In a large bowl, stir yeast and brown sugar into 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water until it dissolves; let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. (If it doesn’t get foamy, the yeast is probably expired – toss it and get some fresh stuff!)
Stir the oil and a cup of flour into the yeast mixture, then add the salt and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough – I usually use about 2 1/2 cups. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gently incorporating more flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should take about 10 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and then shape it into a circle, pinching the ends together to form bagels. Let them rise for about 20 minutes while you boil a big pot (about 6L) of salted water and preheat the oven to 425°F.
When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and gently place a few bagels at a time into the water. Simmer for 1 minute, then flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack to drain. Once they have all been boiled, place them on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and sprinkle with sesame seeds or whatever toppings you like. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Makes 10 bagels.
Per bagel: 222 calories, 1.9 g total fat (0.2 g saturated fat, 0.9 g monounsaturated fat, 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat), 5.8 g protein, 44.3 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.7 g fiber. 8% calories from fat.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:
Add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2-1 cup raisins along with the second batch of flour. Mix and bake as directed.
Onion & Garlic Bagels:
Sauté 1 minced onion and a few cloves of crushed garlic in 1 tsp. oil until tender and golden. Cool and stir into the dough along with the second batch of flour. Mix and bake as directed.
Add 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 cup grated old cheddar or 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese along with the second batch of flour. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra grated cheese if you like.