Make Bagels in Your Dishwasher -- It Really Works!

bagelsToday is National Bagel Day. In honor of one of the most delicious carb creations of all time, I tracked down a bagel professional. Jay Glass is the owner of SPOT Bagel Bakery in Seattle, and he's spent a lifetime learning about bagels.

One of the most intriguing of all his findings, however, is how to make a bagel in your dishwasher. Once I heard he could do this, I had to know how ... and why.

Get your cream cheese and lox ready, here's the scoop:


Can you really make a bagel in your dishwasher?

Yes! If you utilize the dishwasher for one part of the process (proofing or rising). Bagels are a yeast dough and optimally they require a warm, humid environment to optimize the chemical reaction in the dough (think Houston in the summer). The mixing, forming of the bagel (done before proofing), and the boiling and baking (done after proofing) would also be needed to get a real bagel with a crispy crust and a chewy-doughy center. 

Uh, how did you figure this out?

When tasked with developing bagels for my first bagel endeavor (SPOT Bagel in Seattle, which started in 1990), I was using my kitchen as our "Research and Development" facility. The mixing and forming were fairly straightforward to reproduce with a Kitchen-Aid mixer and then I formed the bagel by hand. What was challenging is where in a typical American kitchen do you have a warm, moist environment? The light bulb finally went on: "Run the dishwasher for 10 minutes and create this 'Houston Summer.'" After the bagels were formed, I placed them on a wood cutting board into the dishwasher for 15 minutes and the dough rose perfectly! Note the dishwasher was no longer running when the bagels were placed inside of it.  

Why exactly would you want to, besides the fact that it sounds so incredibly cool?

When you are starting a business with very limited funds, you need to think outside the box and be creative. The dishwasher-proof box was done out of necessity and worked very well. We got a great yeast reaction and delicious bagels. 

Is it sanitary?

Yes as the bagels are never in the dishwasher when the water is running so they don't get wet. In terms of being sanitary, it is probably one of the cleanest places in the kitchen.

How exactly do you do it -- can you provide the step-by-step instructions for anyone who wants to attempt to do it?

  • Mix high-gluten flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast to create dough.
  • Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Form into 4-oz. round rings.
  • Run dishwasher for 10 minutes on high temperature -- turn off dishwasher.
  • Place bagels on cutting board and place in dishwasher for 15 minutes or until risen.
  • Cool dough in refrigerator for 4 hours to slow yeast reaction.
  • Take out of refrigerator and let dough get back to room temperature.
  • Boil a kettle of water (spaghetti pot works fine).
  • Turn oven on 500 degrees.
  • Add bagels to boiling water until they float (then you know they are ready, takes about 90 seconds).
  • Place on baking sheet and put in oven about 5-7 minutes.
  • Turn bagels over and baked 5 more minutes.
  • Take out and cool.
  • Slice and dress with cream cheese, tomato, and onion.
  • Enjoy.

Would you use your dishwasher to make bagels? 

Image via wwworks/Flickr

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