I jumped on the easy fake bagel bandwagon, or as I’m calling them, “Fakels”. (Yes, I should have made the holes bigger. Next time.)
I was intrigued (but skeptical) when the recipe for “Easy Bagels” popped up on Skinnytaste, one of my favorite recipe blogs. It kept getting rave reviews, so I figured it was worth trying. But I ended up using the 2 Ingredient Dough Bagels recipe on BellaGetsWWaisted instead, which calls for boiling them before baking.
The result of my first attempt was poor. I probably didn’t add enough flour, since I just used initial amount specified (1 cup flour to 1 cup yogurt), and added only a little more during kneading. The boiling was a mess, and made my too-soft dough even softer. The bagels didn’t rise as much as I expected, and looked more like Old Fashioned donuts than bagels. The texture inside was a bit wet and gummy. I also thought the taste was overly yogurty (I used non-fat Fage yogurt). They were NOTHING like real bagels.
Then my sister tried them and raved about how good they were. I know she knows a good bagel, so I was excited to try them again. She said to use full-fat yogurt instead of non-fat to keep the flavor from being too tangy.
So I tried again, making some changes based on user comments for various recipes, plus the original recipe for 2-ingredient pizza dough that the bagel recipes were based on.
They came out great! I think just by themselves they taste a little like sourdough biscuits, but if you toast them and spread on a little cream cheese, they’re amazingly bagel-like – just a bit softer on the inside. I made sesame bagels, but if you use an Everything Bagel type topping, you might not even notice the slight tang.
The changes I made:
- Made my own self-rising flour. I don’t use it enough to keep it on hand, and even when I’ve bought it fresh at the grocery store, it doesn’t rise well (probably because it doesn’t sell well in Utah, and it sits on the shelf too long).
- Full-fat yogurt instead of non-fat (I used Fage Total)
- More flour. The original 2-ingredient pizza crust recipe said to start with 1 cup flour and add up to an additional 1/2 cup, and the author said she needed all of it.
- Kneaded the dough longer, following the pizza crust instructions. I thought this might make for a chewier, more bagel-like dough, rather than a more biscuit-like dough.
- More baking powder. The amount in the Skinnytaste recipe is the amount you would use when substituting flour/baking powder/salt for 1 cup of self-rising flour, but doesn’t take into consideration that you may need up to an extra half cup of flour.
- Higher baking temperature. This was just a guess based on some comments that the bagels were underdone. The pizza crust is baked at 450, so 350 seemed low. That seems more like a temperature you’d use in a convection oven, which unfortunately I don’t have. Nor do I have an air fryer.
For the self-rising flour, I mixed 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt. I scooped out about 1/3 cup before adding the yogurt, then added the reserved flour mixture back in during the kneading process, using all but about a tablespoon.
The only change I’ll make for future batches is to start with 1 1/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt. Then I’ll add plain flour as needed during kneading.
Oh, and a note on baking powder: First of all, it needs to be fresh, of course. But the brand can make a difference, too. I stopped using Rumford years ago when I discovered that it is not a true double-acting baking powder, and wondered why I didn’t get a good rise with it. There’s a great post on The Fresh Loaf about various brands and how they work, and when you might choose one over another.
So finally, here’s my revised version of the Easy Bagels:
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus another 1/4 cup for kneading
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
- 1 cup whole fat plain Greek yogurt, with any excess liquid drained
- 1 egg white, beaten in a small bowl (like a cereal bowl)
- cooking spray
- Toppings as desired: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic flakes, dried onion flakes, etc.
Preheat oven to 375F. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl combine about 1 1/4 cups of the flour with the baking powder and salt and whisk well. Add the yogurt and mix with a fork or spatula until well combined.
Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough about 5 minutes. If dough is too sticky, add more of the reserved flour a little at a time. If dough is too crumbly, add more yogurt, a teaspoon at a time. The dough should not stick to your hands, but should not have dry spots. I used all of my reserved 1/4 cup flour except for about a tablespoon, and I probably could have added that in without it being too dry.
Divide into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball into ropes about 3/4 to 1-inch thick, and join the ends to form bagels.
Dip each bagel into egg the wash, turning to coat both sides. Sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice.
Bake for 22 minutes in 375F degree oven then increase the temperature to 550F degrees for 4 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Resist the temptation to cut into them while they’re still hot, or they might be gummy inside. Letting bread cool first allows the steam inside to dissipate.