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Guest Blogger – New York Bagels. Don’t be afraid!

March 29, 2010

Amy asked me to guest blog for her because I do a lot of baking. My boyfriend and I started baking our own bread a couple of years ago when I got sick of having to stop at the store every few days for fresh artisan style bread. Baking is easy and fun, it just requires a little bit of time management. Even New York Bagels- which require poaching- are easy! The results you get from home baked breads and pastries are well worth the effort. There’s a kind of Zen to working with your hands to create something so fresh.

I went to college in NYC, where you can get fantastic bagels in every neighborhood. Yeah, I know they have bagels in Chicago but these aren’t the same, even at the “real” bagel places! (Don’t even get me started on Pizza.) It wasn’t until I started making my own bagels that I realized what I had been missing in the 20 years since I left New York.

I hope you give this recipe a shot and amaze your friends by bringing them fresh home made bagels! Because the recipe is kind of long, I’ve made it available for download, so you can download and print for easy reference.


Fresh Batch of New York Bagels

New York Bagels Recipe:
makes 5-8 bagels
make dough in the evening, poach and bake in the morning- this is a great weekend treat!
This is a recipe that I cobbled together from a few different sources and I tweaked the recipe over time.

Bagel Dough:

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Lukewarm Water

1 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (the kind that comes in the jar)

2-1/2 tsp.  Course Kosher Salt

1 Tbsp.  Barley Malt Syrup (you should be able to find this at Whole Foods, health food stores, or specialty grocery stores -they have it at the Treasure Island in Wilmette in the Health Food section)

3-1/2 cups or 455 grams Unbleached Bread Flour

I recommend doing the flour measurement by weight if you have a kitchen scale handy. This is my main tip for baking successfully – always weigh your flour if your recipe offers a weight measurement. You’d be amazed at how much the weight can differ in the same cup measurement based on the density and condition of your flour.

Poaching Liquid:

3 quarts Boiling Water in a pot wide enough to poach at least two bagels side by side at the same time

1 Tbsp. Baking Soda (water will foam up when you add this)

1 tsp. Course Kosher Salt

1-1/2 Tbsp. Barley Malt Syrup

Optional Toppings:

Sesame Seeds

Poppy Seeds

Making the Bagel Dough:

Put Bagel Dough ingredients into the bowl of your dough hook equipped stand mixer. Mix on slowest speed for 3 minutes. Dough should form a stiff, solid ball. (If after 1-1/2 minutes of mixing there is flour that hasn’t been incorporated, add a little water about 1/2 tsp at a time until the flour is incorporated and the sides of the mixer bowl are mostly clean. The dough should be stiff, not wet at all, so add water sparingly and evaluate before adding more.) Let the dough rest for 5 minutes in the mixing bowl. Mix again on slowest speed for 3 minutes. Transfer ball of dough to an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave on the counter for 1 hour to rise. After an hour, it’s time to shape the bagels! Divide the dough into 5 to 8 equal pieces depending on how large you want the bagels to be. If you make 5, they will each be about 5 oz – nice and big! Roll the dough out into a log shape, then loop into a circle and press the ends together. I stretch them a little bit to make the hole bigger because it will tighten up as they proof. Place formed dough onto a baking sheet covered with oiled parchment or oiled silicone baking mat. Once all are on the sheet, mist the top of the bagels with oil, cover with plastic wrap and put the whole pan in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours).

Poaching and Baking:

Take the pan out of the fridge 90 minutes before baking to allow the dough to lose the chill. Preheat the oven to 500°F once the pan has been out for 60 minutes. Also put on the pot of water for poaching to get it up to a boil. Once the water boils, add the Poaching Liquid ingredients. Gently move the bagels into the poaching liquid. Poach as many as you can fit into the pot so that they don’t overlap (they will float). Poach each side for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer back to the baking sheet. If you are using toppings, sprinkle on top while still wet (or put the topping in a bowl and drop the top side of the bagel into the bowl to get the seeds to stick better, then flip over and return to baking sheet). Once all of the bagels have been poached and returned to the baking sheet, reduce the oven temperature to 450°, then place baking sheet in the oven for 8 minutes, rotate and bake for an additional 8-12 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from oven and place bagels on cooling rack for 30 minutes (if you can wait that long), then enjoy! You’ll never go to Einstein’s again.

Some of the Ingredients that you’ll need to find

What the dough should look like when mixed

Divide and roll into log shape

Form into a “bagel shape”

Place on oiled parchment or silicone mat on baking sheet

Poaching the Bagels

Bowl of toppings

Ready to Bake

Enjoy your Bagel!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. AStella permalink
    March 29, 2010 1:51 pm

    Yum! Very inspiring Megan. I had no idea about the bagels you guys make. How come I never have one waiting for me on Monday morning? Thanks for the recipe download. I should try my hand at making bread some day. Need a roommate?

  2. brc permalink
    March 29, 2010 10:19 pm

    These bagels look fantastic. Do you make them often? Can you make this without a mixer?? It seems sort of complicated for a beginner like myself, but I am SUCH a bread girl. I’ve always wanted to make bread. In fact, back when they were popular many years ago, I bought a bread machine, then for some reason never used it 😦

    Good bread and bagels are so hard to find in the store, then when you do find them they are ridiculously expensive.

    Maybe I’ll have to experiment one weekend and try to make these. AMY… CAN I BORROW YOUR MIXER???

    • rilkeanhearts permalink
      March 30, 2010 5:48 am

      We make the bagels about once a month. We usually eat them within the first day because they are so good, so we don’t make them too often or we’ll turn into bagels ourselves!

      I’m sure you can make these without a mixer. I would add about another minute to the mixing time, so knead by hand for four minutes, let rest for 5 minutes and knead for four more minutes.

      We had a bread machine about 15 years ago, but I was always dissatisfied with the rectangular loaves that it put out and our bread always turned out with a metallic taste from the baking pan.

      If you want to get started with easy bread that can be done quickly, I highly recommend this book:
      Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day

      You will be able to make delicious, cheap bread every day!

      • brc permalink
        March 30, 2010 6:40 am

        Thanks Megan! I’m going to look into the book you recommended.

  3. March 30, 2010 7:54 am

    I love having a guest blogger! Thank you Megan

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