Jennifer Garner’s Take On How to Make Quality Bagels at Home

Jennifer Garner’s Take On How to Make Quality Bagels at Home
Image credit: Jennifer Garner

If you’ve ever tasted a *quality* bagel, you’ll know how disappointing it is to buy a fresh bag of them, only to find the experience of biting into one feels like eating a tire. That’s where our pal Jennifer Garner comes in. On her delightful #PretendCookingShow, she has shared a recipe for homemade bagels that she has found to be a winner.

If you’d like to give her preferred bagel recipe a shot, we’ve shared it for you below.

Jennifer Garner’s favourite bagel recipe

In this video, Garner explained that she prepped a bagel starter the day before (her advice: don’t use a whisk), so keep that in mind before starting this recipe process.

Oh, and she credited the base recipe to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and the water bath to Rose Levy Beranbaum.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • pinch of instant yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cool water
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • water to fill a 10” diameter pan about 1” deep
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions for bagel recipe:

  1. Combine the starter ingredients in a medium bowl, cover, let rest at room temperature overnight.
  2. Next day, combine the puffy starter with all of the dough ingredients and knead – by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine – to form a stiff but not dry dough. Since we’re using a high-protein bread flour here, you might notice it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set aside to rise for an hour. Gently deflate the dough, and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball.
  4. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes. They’ll puff up very slightly.
  5. While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water to a very gentle boil in a wide-diameter pan. Add the molasses and baking soda. Stir.
  6. Use your index finger to poke a hole through the centre of each dough ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it’s about 2 inches in diameter. Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  7. Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gentled simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  8. Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they’re as deep brown as you like. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.

You can find the full video for this bagel recipe below:

Additionally, Garner has also shared a failed bagel recipe attempt on Instagram which is equally entertaining to watch.

If you’ve worked through this bagel recipe and want more projects that will elevate your breakfast game, here are some simple recipes to consider.

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