Enjoy warm cinnamon-raisin bagels straight from your oven. Since most of the work is done the day before, it doesn’t take much time in the morning to poach, bake, and serve homemade bagels.
To make the dough, mix the flour, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Dump onto the counter top and make a well in the center.
Dissolve the yeast and malt powder in the water and pour into the middle of the well. Bring together the wet and dry ingredients, and knead for at least 5 minutes, until the dough is very smooth. Refrain from adding additional flour. This dough will feel quite firm.
Once the dough is very smooth, knead in the raisins until well combined.
Using a scale, divide the dough into 12 equal portions (approximately 130 grams each) and form each piece into a round ball. It is important to make each bagel the same size so they bake evenly.
Shape the bagels and place, seam-side down on a towel-lined a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour.
Make sure to leave spaces in between them so they have room to rise and don’t stick to each other. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night, to develop flavor and relax the gluten.
To begin, first preheat your oven to 500º degrees Fahrenheit and take the bagels out of the fridge.
In a large pot, bring the water and malt to a simmer. Drop 2-3 bagels into in the simmering water. Once they float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and momentarily set on a kitchen towel or paper towel to absorb the excess water. The bagels are less likely to stick to the sheet pan if you remove the excess water from the bottom.
Transfer immediately to a perforated baking sheet to dry. By poaching bagels before baking, the simmering water activates the yeast and gives the baked surface a beautiful sheen. The malt also helps to develop color.
After a couple of minutes, the bagel’s surface will be tacky. Place the baking tray into the oven and splash a couple of tablespoons of water on the side of the oven to create some steam. Close the door immediately and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating for even color after about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer the bagels to a cooling rack. Serve with cream cheese and enjoy!
If you don’t like cinnamon-raisin, replace with any spice, herb, zest, nut, or dried fruit. Try cranberry-walnut with orange zest, blueberry, or make your own “everything” bagel with multiple seeds and seasonings. If you like poppy seeds or sesame seeds on your bagel, sprinkle them on right after poaching, so the seeds stick while they bake.
Make mini-bagels by dividing the dough into smaller portions. Keep in mind that the baking time will need to be adjusted slightly.
Make sure to use high-gluten bread flour to develop a chewy bagel or try substituting 25% of the flour with whole wheat or other flours for a more nutrition.
Storing and reheating: Bagels are best right out of the oven, but you can enjoy them over a few days. Allow them to cool completely. Wrap them in a paper bag and seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate. To reheat, brush the surface lightly with cold water and warm in a moderate oven, or place under the broiler to toast. Alternatively, you can slice them in half, place in a plastic freezer bag and freeze. Remove them from the freezer and let thaw in the bag. Spread on bit of butter and place them under the broiler to toast.