Thursday, February 06, 2014

Onion Bagels

Update: I have a newer and better version of these guys here

Bagels. They're delicious. They're doughy. Fluffy. SO GOOD. Buuuut as for most carb-loaded foods, they're not so great for you. Especially if you eat store-bought ones, or the ones you get from your favorite coffee shop loaded with cream cheese. We can make them a little better though...
Deceptively Healthy is all about food that is good for your body and soul. It's health food that doesn't necessarily scream healthy. Bagels CAN be deceptively healthy, when you make your own.

How can they be better?
-First, you are making it yourself. This means you know what is in those bagels, there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
-Second, you can customize it. I've NEVER seen whole wheat onion bagels out there. Although these are not whole wheat I know that when I want to make them, I can. You can also add more or less salt, make whatever crazy topping for them that your big creative brain can think of.
-Third, if you eat these foods only when you make them yourself, it will be harder to overeat. It's so easy to go out and get a bag of french fries, or buy a pizza. But when you make it yourself, it's not so fast and easy to crank them out. You won't have it readily available if a crazy craving hits. This gives you more time to think about your decisions and it also makes you realize that maybe you don't need the supersized bag of french fries.
-It's also way cheaper, which is a big reason behind homemade food. A lot of people make food from scratch not because they're thinking of their health, but because they have a big family and need to cut back. My boyfriend loves onion bagels, they are his go-to breakfast if he's going to be sitting down and eating. Other than the Almond-Honey Power Bars that he can eat on the go. So buying them every week can add up. Thomas' Onion Bagels are about $.78 cents per bagel. If you make these, they'll cost about $.16 OR LESS for a bagel. You can't argue with facts. FACTS.
-Convenience. I know making your own bagels doesn't seem very convenient but they can be just as convenient as store-bought ones. Just slice your bagels once they're done, wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, then throw them in a freezer bag and pull them out whenever you need a bagel! You don't even need to wait for them to thaw, you can thaw them in your toaster or oven. Or toaster oven.

So enough babbling, let's see how they're done.


-2 cups of warm water (100-110F)
-2 packets of active dry yeast or 4 and 1/2 teaspoons
-4 tablespoons of sugar, divided
-1 tablespoon of salt
-1/2 cup of chopped dehydrated onion. I found mine at Stop & Shop and it was labeled "Minced Onion"
-About 5 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour. You might not use it all
-Cornmeal for sprinkling, or you could just use flour
-1 egg yolk
-1 tablespoon of water

-Combine the warm water, yeast and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

I use a thermometer because I like being 100% sure it's the right temperature

-Let it stand in the bowl for about 5 minutes, until foamy.

-Stir in salt and onion.

-Gradually mix in 4 cups of flour, beat on low-medium speed for 5 minutes (if you're using a stand mixer, if not just mix with a wooden spoon).

This is what it looks like once half the flour has been incorporated
-Add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

I added maybe a cup more
-If you are using a wooden spoon and kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, no longer sticky and elastic (about 15 minutes). When you put your finger in the dough, it should spring back at you right away. If you're using a stand mixer, knead for about 2-3 minutes.

-Place in a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat it on all sides. I use canola oil. Cover it and let rise until doubled in a warm place (about 40 minutes). I like to put it in an oven that is turned off, but with the light on. That way you have some warmth from the light and no drafts.

Get your station ready!
-Once risen, knead dough lightly and divide into 12 equal pieces. I like to weigh the dough with a little kitchen scale, divide it by 12 and then weigh all those pieces to make sure I have the same size for all bagels. You don't have to do that, but I like being precise when baking.
-To shape the pieces, place a ball under your hand and roll it around on the counter, kneading it. You want it to become a smooth ball.

-Now, holding that ball with both your hands, poke the ball right in the middle with both thumbs.

-Then work around the perimeter, shaping it like a doughnut. About 3-3 1/2 inches across.
-Place the shaped bagels on a lightly floured board or cookie sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place for about 20 minutes. I just left it on the counter this time, it was warm enough in the apartment.

-While the bagels are rising, bring 3 quarts of water and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar to a gentle boil in a dutch oven, or just a heavy pot. Make sure it's not a rapid boil, which just means that the water is on full on boil and going crazy!
-Turn your oven on to 400F.

This is what I used
-Get your station ready. You'll need a slotted spoon, a towel or paper towel, and 2 baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.

This is after rising for 20 minutes
-Once they've risen and your water is up to a boil, gently lift one bagel at a time and place them in the water. I did 5 at first, then I decided 4 was better for the size of the pot. I boiled for about 5 minutes, turning often. The crust came out a little too crispy, so to fix this I would boil for maybe 3 minutes next time.

Before boiling
After boiling. See how much they puff up?
-Lift them out with a slotted spoon, one by one. Drain briefly on a towel and then place it on the cookie sheet with cornmeal. Do the same with the rest of the bagels.

After boiling all of them
-Combine egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush it on top of the bagels.
-Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden on top. If I'm using 2 baking sheets (which I did this time) I will place one on top and bottom rack, bake for 20 minutes, then switch the cookie sheets. The top one will go on the bottom and the bottom one will go to the top rack. I also turn them 180, meaning the front of the cookie sheet will now be facing the back. This just ensures even baking.

Look at these golden beauties!!!
-Place them on a cooling rack.

-Once they've cooled, you are ready to dig in! You might not be able to wait for them to cool. I didn't...Don't judge.
-This is what they'll look like inside.

-This is how I had my bagel for lunch. I spread some of my homemade hummus, added a few slices of cucumber and halved grape tomatoes. Both organic. Since this isn't a very low-calorie meal, add a piece of fruit as your dessert.

I froze the bagels the way I stated up top. This is what they looked like the next morning.

-I toasted it for about 4 minutes. This is it after toasting.

-To make your morning bagel a little healthier, add some Greek yogurt cream cheese. It tastes the same but gives you a little more protein. Or make your own, recipe here!

12 servings: 1 bagel each
Nutritional Info: 242 calories, 0.4g fat, 0.1g sat fat, 0.1 polyunsaturated fat, 0.2g mono, 0g trans, 15.3mg cholesterol, 600.9mg sodium, 55.5mg potassium, 49g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 8.2g protein, 0.3% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 0.2% calcium, 15.5% iron

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