It seems only natural to follow up our posts on Prune Bagels (プルーンベーグル) with the recipe. (This recipe is also available in Japanese, thanks to Sawa!) After all, there’s no sense in keeping it to ourselves, when there are a lot of other pregnant women out there who might want to take their prunes the delicious way! And, as a (non-pregnant) man, I still think these make a wonderful breakfast or snack, even if you’re not specifically chasing iron and fiber.
There’s nothing special necessary for this recipe. A KitchenAid Pro 600 certainly helps save some effort in the kneading process, but all you really need is an oven, a cutting board or two, a couple of bowls, and a wooden spoon. A kotatsu makes a great impromptu fruit box for raising your dough, if your kitchen is subject to drafts.
If you’re in a cold room, prewarm your metal bowl by filling the bottom with warm water and nesting it inside another bowl of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Empty the mixing bowl and refresh the warm water in bottom bowl. Add
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1.5 Cups warm water (42-44 C / 105-110 F)
Let sit for about 5-10 minutes in a warm place, until foamy. Depending on the temperature, and the relative liveliness of your yeast, the time may vary.
While you’re waiting for the yeast, chop 1/2 Cup of prunes into small, raisin-sized pieces. You can add other fruits as well, such as 1/4 Cup of dried cranberries, or the skin and juice of 1/2 of a yuzu.
- Once the yeast is nice and foamy, add:
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Chopped prunes
- 4.5 Cups Bread flour (強力粉) plus an extra heaping Tbsp or two if you’re using a mixer
Some recipes call for all-purpose flour, but since that doesn’t seem to exist in Japan, I use bread flour. Pastry flour should be avoided, as it won’t give as nice a texture.
- Mix together until the dough forms a solid ball. This is where a mixer begins to be handy (low speed, dough hook), although a wooden spoon will work as well.
Kneading, shaping, boiling, baking
- If using a mixer, increase speed to the recommended kneading setting for your mixer (for a KitchenAid Pro, this is “2”) and knead for 10 minutes. The ball of dough should clean the sides of the bowl. If it is not, try adding more flour.
If mixing by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board or other clean surface and knead for 10 minutes. Keep adding flour when the dough starts sticking to the board or your hands. The dough should feel pretty tough by the time you’re done.
- After you’re done kneading, place the dough on a cutting board and cover with a lightly floured towel to prevent drafts. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place (fruit box or kotatsu work well for this) for 10 minutes
- Cut the dough into 10-12 even pieces. Cutting, rather than tearing, the dough helps preserve the gluten. Roll each piece into a “snake” about 10 in / 25 cm long, slightly thinner at the edges. overlap the ends and roll between your fingers to seal the loop. It’s important to get a pretty good seal here, so your bagels don’t come undone when you boil them!
- Space your bagels about 1 inch apart on a lightly floured surface, cover with that towel again, and let rise for 20 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220 C or 425 F, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and start boiling 2 quarts/liters of water. Once the water reaches a boil, add:
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- Boil bagels one at a time for 1.5 minutes each, turning them over halfway through. The bagels should float and should grow significantly during the boiling process! If they sink at first, then they should come up for air within the first 20 seconds or so. If your bagels stay underwater, then your yeast did not have enough time, or was dead. You’re going to end up with a rather tough product this time. Better luck next go around.
- Drain bagels on a towel for about 1-2 minutes on each side, then transfer to your baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, until tops are lightly brown, then flip with a pair of tongs and finish baking for another 3-5 minutes, until browned all over.
Enjoy your Prune Bagels!
Bagels are great fresh out of the over, if you don’t mind toasting your fingertips a little. Nothing beats the fresh from the over taste- undeniably the most delicious way to add iron and fiber to your diet!
If any bagels remain uneaten, let them cool, then slice them, place a piece of parchment paper between the halves (I like to use the same paper I baked them on) and freeze. Frozen bagels can be toasted and retain their fresh taste- and they’re worlds better than those nasty store-bought frozen bagels!