A few years ago, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to start making most of our own bread. With a little bit of scheduling and some room in the freezer, I could bake up sandwich bread, burger buns, english muffins, and bagels without having to buy very much.
Aside from burger buns, my favorite bread-thing to make is bagels. Partly because 1 batch will allow us to share a bagel for breakfast for nearly 2 weeks. And partly because the bagels from the nearby bakery place that we used to adore have really gone downhill over the last couple of years. Shelling out $12 for a disappointing breakfast for 2 isn’t the ideal start to a weekend.
This batch, we flavored the dough with some vanilla and added chopped semisweet chocolate. The dough isn’t overly sweet so you feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast but there is chocolate. So you’re still kinda eating dessert for breakfast.
Chocolate Chunk Bagels
An overnight rest yields chewy, flavorful bagels studded with your favorite chocolate.
- For the sponge:
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 1/2 cups warm water (divided)
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- For the dough
- 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
- 2 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
- To finish:
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- Cornmeal for dusting pan
- To make the sponge, dissolve sugar into 1/2 cup warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast over top and let proof for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining water and flour and mix on low with the paddle until sponge is smooth and the consistency of pancake batter.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled, approximately 2 hours. (The sponge will be foamy and bubbly and will collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop).
- To make the dough, fit the mixer with the dough hook. Add the additional yeast to the sponge and mix on low until combined.
- Add 2 cups flour, all of the salt, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate, mixing on low until the ingredients form a ball, adding additional flour 1/4 cup at a time to stiffen the dough.
- Knead the dough for 6 minutes. It will be firm but still pliable and smooth and should clean the sides of the mixer bowl. The kneaded dough should feels satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
- Form the bagels: Divide the dough into 4 oz pieces and shape into rolls. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape the bagels by pushing a hole through the center of each roll and working the dough around your thumb, stretching out the hole to ~2.5 inches in diameter.
- Place bagels 2 inches apart on the pan. Cover with a damp towel and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Fill a small bowl with room-temp water. Drop one bagel into the water. If the bagel floats within 10 seconds, remove the bagel, pat it dry, return it to the pan, and place the pans in the refrigerator overnight covered loosely with plastic wrap. If the bagel does not float, pat it dry, return it to the pan, and test again in 10-20 minutes.
- Baking the bagels: Preheat the oven to 500 with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Boil the bagels in batches 1-2 minutes on each side (for chewy bagels, go 2 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula.
- Sprinkle the same parchment-lined baking sheets with cornmeal. Transfer the pans to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then swap the pans in the oven. Lower the oven setting to 450 and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
- To freeze: I slice the completely cooled bagels almost all the way through, enough that they flip open all the way but still are just barely attached so tops and bottoms stay together. A square of wax paper in the middle keeps them from freezing shut. I layer them in a gallon freezer bag and put in the freezer. To reheat, I place the frozen bagel halves in the oven when I turn on the broiler to toast. They thaw, heat, and toast perfectly
Yields: ~12 bagels
Estimated time: 16 hours 30 minutes