Bagels bagels bagels!

IMG_1977When I started this blog my first post was going to be about bagels. A few years later I went to culinary school and lived in New York, and have written about anything but bagels. Now I have moved to the west coast and I am finally going to talk about them…and how much I miss New York. Perhaps it the homesickness but for the past few weeks I have been craving bagels and on the west coast they really are not as good. Is it the water? Maybe…but since I did not use this same recipe in New York and I did not bring water from New York (regretting this) I have no good answer as to why there is a difference.

As far as recipes go, I have tried quite a few and have found so far that my favorite actually comes from The Joy of Cooking. These bagels are chewier and denser–qualities I look for in a bagel. I stuck with plain and sesame for this round but you can easily add any topping of your choice.


Additional tips for bagel making:

  • Bagels require a well developed gluten structure. While the recipe will work with all purpose flour, bread flour has a higher protein content and will provide a better product.
  • Make sure to employ the ‘window pane’ test with your dough to test the gluten development. Take a small piece of the dough and slowly pull apart. There should be a thin membrane of dough. If dough is easy to pull apart or the membrane has holes, continue to knead a few minutes more. A photo example and more information about the window pane test can be found here.
  • Add 2 Tbsp molasses or barley malt syrup to your boiling water for more flavor

Bagels from The Joy of Cooking

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 tsp plus 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 ¾ tsp plus ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 to 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • 4 quarts boiling water
  1. Combine the water, yeast, and 2 1/2 tsp sugar. Let the yeast dissolve, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in butter, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1 cup flour and knead for about 10 minutes. Gradually add in 3 cups flour. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a rope about 10 inches long. Pinch the ends together into a ring and wet to seal. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring water to boil and add in remaining sugar and salt.
  5. Boil each ring, about 4 at a time in the water for 45 seconds.
  6. Sprinkle with choice toppings and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown.

One thought on “Bagels bagels bagels!

  1. I love when you make bagels. I miss sitting in the kitchen early in the morning. Watching you make bagels before work, and enjoying the cast offs that didn’t make the cut. Or the days I would wake up to the smell of fresh baked bagels and find you had already left for work. Your actions evident by the smell but no physical evidence left in the house. Like a bagel fairy just floated through the house leaving behind her scent.

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