Lately I’ve been on a bread kick and have loved exploring everything from pretzels to jalapeno cheddar breads and now bagels! Believe it or not, I gravitated away from all things yeast for a while, because I just had a bad experience with it. However, with all cooking it takes practice, and you have to keep an open mind. There are many variables that can go wrong with working with yeast.
So if you end up with a recipe flop, try again, or try a new recipe. In retrospect, I feel sad for all the bread I could have been making over the past few years lol. Needless to say, don’t get overwhelmed, you don’t want to miss out on learning how to bake bread.
Back in undergrad at NYU they had a bagel workshop, but I missed it, and they just looked so involved and not practical. However, they are fairly easy to throw together. Once I mastered the soft baked pretzel, which requires more ingredients and steps, I knew I was ready.
What’s great about these homemade bagels is that, they are easy, features staple ingredients, no dairy or eggs, easy to follow instructions, are buttery soft, can be frozen, you can use the base to make a variety of flavors, they are packed with blueberries, perfect for spring, you can modify the size to make mini ones, and are great for brunch entertaining!
If you’re looking to explore vegan bagels or love all things blueberries, you have to give these vegan Blueberry Bagels a try!
Make the dough: Whisk the warm water and yeast together in the bowl. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate.
Add the flour, sugar, and salt and combine with your hands. The dough is very stiff and will look somewhat dry, but won’t be once you knead it.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes. I don’t recommend a mixer as the dough is too heavy.
Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. If the dough doesn’t double, give it more time to rise. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Lightly fold in 3/4 of the blueberries saving the rest to place on the tops of the bagels. If the dough seems too wet, add a lil flour 1/2 tbsp at a time on your hands while working the blueberries in. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, doesn’t have to be exact.
Shape each piece into a ball. Press a finger through the center of each ball to make a hole about 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with kitchen towel and rest for a few minutes as you prepare the water bath. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
Water bath: Fill a large, wide pot with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the maple syrup. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. If the bagels don’t puff up a lil before boiling, give them some more time. Drop bagels in, 1 or 2 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side. Press additional blueberries into the tops of the boiled bagels if desired. Using a pastry brush, brush the vegan butter on top and around the sides of each bagel. Place 4 bagels onto each lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You want the bagels to be a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow bagels to cool on the baking sheets for 15-20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice, toast, and top with whatever you like! Keep bagels in a sealed container at room temperature to maintain freshness. * To freeze them for later use, do so immediately after baking.
Make Overnight: To make the dough overnight, on the first rise I cover and place in the fridge. In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature. Then proceed with the remaining steps!