For many people around the world, bagels have been regarded as a Jewish creation. In the United States many consider the best Bagels to me made in New York City.
They are a great alternative for a nourishing breakfast, and for many a toasted bagel spread with cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon is a great way to start the day.
Since the early 1990’s mini bagels have become a great frozen ready-to-bake snack, with many companies introducing mini bagels topped with assorted toppings or even stuffings. That being said, the history of bagels goes a long way back. In the year 1610, the first records of bagels were written. It was a custom in the Polish city of Krakow for bagels to be given to women after giving birth to a child. The traditional round shape of bagels was believed to give good luck and charm in childbirth and translate to a long life.
In other stories, bagels in Poland, known as an obwarzanek, were popularized when the first female monarch, Queen Jadwiga, gave up other types of bread for their local bagels for lent. This theory shows how bagels were enjoyed by all walks of life in the past.
Whichever origin holds truth, making a bagel has been standardized and are popularly known for being very versatile. Bagels are traditionally hand-shaped into rings using a yeasted dough, which is then boiled and baked after. The boiling part is a unique method of making bagels. The risen dough is submerged in boiling water for at least 60 seconds. This step sets the crust of the dough by gelatinizing the starch from the outer layer of the dough. This prevents too much water from seeping into the dough. In addition, this step also gives the characteristic dense texture of bagels. If you try to omit the boiling part of making a bagel, then this would result in having just a regular risen bread. Boiling gives the bagel a chewy crust and dense and similarly chewy crumb.
But why settle for frozen food ? Commercially prepared frozen foods are unhealthy, and can be high in fat, salt, and sugar. Not to mention expensive and many do not take food allergies or dietary requirements into account.
Bagels are so versatile, you can even make keto versions of them. Substituting your regular bread flour to almond flour can be a bit difficult and can easily get technical. Almond flour does not have a good rise when compared to bread flour. As such, you have to religiously follow the proofing instructions. When using almond flour to get rid of carbohydrates and gluten, use very fine flour to avoid the bagel from being too dense and oily.
These home made bagel bites, are not only fun to make with your family, they are low in fat, salt and sugar, can be made in your Air Fryer easy and fast, stored in your freezer for when guest arrive unexpectedly, and topped with your favorite healthy toppings.
New York Mini Bagel Bites RecipeCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
800g bread flour
1 Tbsp dry yeast
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
400ml warm water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Boiling Water Stage
2L of water
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
- Air Fryer Stage
½ cup of corn flour to dust baking trays
4 tbsp Poppy seeds
Directions – Mini Bagel dough
- Place all dry ingredients in the bowl of a upright mixer set with a dough hook, and blend for 1 minute on low setting.
- On a medium setting add the water and oil to the bowl of dry ingredients and knead until dough in smooth (15 minutes). Scaping the sides with a spatula to ensure even mixing.
- Allow the bagel dough to rest for 25 minutes before removing from the mixing bowl. Remove dough from bowl and place onto a lightly floured bench top and divide into 16 – 18 50g pieces.
- To shape into a bagel, roll each 50g dough pieces into balls on the countertop pressing lightly with the palm of your hand. Once you have 16-18 evenly rolled walnut shaped balls, allow them to rest on the bench for 20 -25 minutes to allow rising.
- Prepare a round baking tray that will fit inside your air fryer ( Ovenproof) with cooking spray, and lightly sprinkle with corn flour and set aside.
- Using the handle of a chopstick or long wooden spoon, poke a hole in center of each of the bagel dough balls. Gently stretch the hole off each bagel to about 1cm in width, creating a donut shape and then place on place on a baking tray .
- Cover bagels with plastic cling wrap and let them rise until double in size 30 – 40 minutes.
- Boiling the Bagels
- Whilst waiting for bagels to double in size, add 2L of water to a large pan with tall sides. Add the sugar and salt to give a nice caramel look to the water. Once boiled, add bagels to the pan without crowding the pan, and boil bagels for 45 seconds, then using a slotted spoon, turn each bagel over and boil for another 45 seconds.
- Remove each bagel with the slotted spoon, and place on a wire rack sprayed with cooking spray, to drain any excess water off the bagels.
- Once drained, place eight bagels onto round preprepared baking tray lightly dusted with corn flour. Sprinkle each bagel with poppy seeds. And let rest 5 minutes before placing in air Fryer. ( You will need to cook in two batches to allow for a single layer and expansion whilst cooking)
- Set Air Fryer to 170 C.
- Place wire rack into the air fryer to lift tray off the bottom and place baking tray on top.
- Cook bagels for 8 – 10 minutes or until they are golden on top and insert a wooden skewer into to test if cooked (skewer will come out clean when cooked).
- Bagels are best enjoyed the same day as baking. Or can be enjoyed the next day if stored in a paper bag. However that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them anytime. To enjoy anytime , slice left over bagels in half, and freeze in an airtight snap lock plastic bag. Bagels can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. When you’re ready to use, thaw them on a wire rack for 20 – 30 minutes, and you’re ready to toast or top the bagels with your favorite healthy toppings.
tips and tricks
- If you are opting for a keto recipe, substitute the bread flour with almond flour. To help your bagels rise well when using yeast, add in a bit of whey protein to give your dough the much-needed structure.
- Although a bit over the top, adding in xanthan gum will add texture and chewiness as well as structure to your keto dough.
- Crispier bagels are a result of more moisture in the dough. If you want your bagels to be chewier, rather than crispy, lower the moisture content.
- The dough of bagels can be a bit sticky and hard to handle. Refrigerate your dough or an hour so handling can become easier.
- If you are using a mixer to knead your dough, mixing it at low speed will produce better results.
- To makes sure that you achieve a shiny golden crust, brush the bagels with egg wash as soon as they come out of the boiling water.
- The truth is, if you are not concerned with consuming gluten, the higher the gluten of your flour, the chewier bagel you will get. The chewiness comes from the network of gluten formed during kneading.
- All-purpose flour has less gluten than bread flour. Although, there are other high-gluten flours that are more appropriate to use for making bagels. You can even substitute a portion of your flour with rye flour to add in more texture and flavor. Alternatively, you can add whole wheat, spelt, or other flours.
- You can substitute yeast with other raising ingredients, but a lot can easily go wrong. Yeast adds the flavors to the dough in addition to forming a tender aerated bagel.
Mini Pizza BagelsCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
- Topping Options
8 mini bagels (16 halves)
1 Jar of pizza sauce (or your favorite homemade pizza sauce)
100g of Pepperoni thinly sliced and cut into quarters
50g Button Mushrooms Finely diced
50g Red Capsicum Finely diced
150g Cheddar Cheese finely grated
25g Dried Italian Herbs
Directions – Mini Pizza Bagels
- Slice each bagel in half (If not already from being frozen) and place on air fryer tray lined with baking paper. ( Should fit 4-8 bagel halves at one time – depending on size of your fryer)
- I like to cook my own pizza sauce, but a store bought one is fine. Spread 2 tsp of the pizza sauce on each bagel half (cut side up)
- Sprinkle 2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese on each bagel.
- Add 5 pieces of precut pepperoni and a sprinkle of finely diced mushroom and red capsicum. Sprinkle Dried Italian herbs on top.
- Preheat air fryer to 180.C
- Add the wire tray of your air fryer into your fryer to lift tray off the bottom. Place baking tray with bagels inside your fryer for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.
- Remove the tray of pizza bagels from the air fryer and repeat with remaining bagels.
- Enjoy as a snack or a quick appetizer for your next party.
Breakfast Mini BagelsCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
- Topping Options
8 mini bagels (16 halves)
3 large eggs
50ml of Cream
1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
100g Button Mushrooms Finely chopped
50g Finely chopped white onion
15g Finely Minced garlic
50g Finely chopped Green Capsicum
50g Finely chopped tomato
50g Finely chopped chives
25g Finely chopped parsley
100g Finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Directions – Breakfast Mini Bagels
- Cut bagels in half if not already.
- Toast bagels in toaster or grill until golden.
- On a medium-low heat, heat a small frying pan and add the butter.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl crack the three eggs and lightly whisk until the eggs are combined. Add a ½ teaspoon of pepper and ½ teaspoon of salt and whisk again.
- Once butter has melted, pour eggs into pan and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add the cream when the eggs are almost finished cooking and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat to prevent over cooking.
- Meanwhile in another small pan over medium heat, add olive oil and wait until oil is hot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, capsicum and stir mixture until combined. Cook until capsicum is soft. Season with salt and pepper, then add chives, stirring until combined. Remove from the heat.
- Place toasted bagels on air fryer tray lined with baking paper. ( Should fit 4-8 bagel halves at one time – depending on size of your fryer)
- Top each bagel half with 1 Tbsp of scrambled eggs, and 1 Tbsp of Mushroom mix. Top with shredded cheese.
- Add the wire tray of your air fryer into your fryer to lift tray off the bottom. Place baking tray with bagels inside your fryer for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.
- Remove the tray of bagels from the air fryer and repeat with remaining bagels.
- Enjoy as a snack or a great way of serving breakfast to a large group.