The first step is to make a Sponge, if you’ve never made one before its pretty easy and is the same principal as making a yeast starter (which is what it is really, just for bread).
In a bowl mix the following,
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2½ cups water (at room temperature)
To make the dough mix the rest of the yeast in with the sponge, then add in the first 3 cups of flour, malt, sugar, cinnamon, and salt and continue stirring or mixing with a dough hook. Eventually the dough will thicken and form a ball, at this point add in the last ¾ of a cup of flour to thicken further.
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 3¾ cups bread flour
- 2¾ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons malt powder aka extract (or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey or brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 5 table spoons of raw sugar
- 2 cups packed raisins, rinsed in warm water
As soon as you are finished mixing the ingredients divide the dough into roughly 12 pieces and roll them into balls. Cover the balls with a damp towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes. While the dough is rising prepare a two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with oil. When the second rest has finished take a single roll and press your thumb in the center and start to spread the dough until a hole is formed. Try to keep the rings as even as possible so they bake evenly. The hold should be about 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter. When finished with all of the bagels place them on the pans, spray with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an additional 20 minutes. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by placing one in a bowl of cool water. If the bagel floats within 10 seconds remove it and dry the bagel and they’re ready to be placed in the refrigerator overnight. If the bagels do not float quickly keep them resting for another 20 minutes.
The next day:
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling add in the baking soda,
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Cornmeal for dusting
When all of the bagels have been boiled place them in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pans 180 degrees while switching shelves and bake for an additional 5 minutes at 450 degrees. If you prefer them a little darker continue baking.
Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Finally you’re ready to have some delicious bagels. They should keep for about two days but do not store them in a closed container or they will get soggy.