Grocery store bagels are sad, I’m sorry. I said it. They lack that crispy outer layer, that beautiful glossy top that cracks and gives way to the pillowy center. It’s just sad. And since I can’t get a real bagel fix in my neighborhood, I just had to figure out how to make them on my own.
I scoured the internet for recipes and some of them scared me. They were including ingredients that I just didn’t think were necessary (malt??). I just want a good old fashioned New York Bagel. And then…I visited Food.com and I found what I thought to be a winner. I was looking through pictures from other folks who had tried this particular NY Bagel recipe and I knew it was the one. Everyone’s bagels were coming out stupendous! So I took a crack…
They are delicious!! Right out of the oven, these were some fantastically satisfying bagels. With a little schmear of cream cheese or buttah … this recipe is a winner!
New York Bagel Recipe (courtesy of Food.com)
4 cups (20 oz) bread flour
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp instant yeast
12/ tsp instant yeast
3 3/4 (18 oz) cups bread flour
2 3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup poppy seeds
In a medium or large bowl, stir the sponge ingredients together with a whisk or wooden spoon. Make sure to get all the dry materials mixed in well.
Cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for at least 2 hours (HINT: don’t rush this step. 2+ hours is essential – and worth it!)
After sponge is bubbly with small holes at the top (check after 2+ hours – DO NOT interrupt this process even if you see bubbling before the 2 hour mark), pour sponge into a mixing bowl.
Add all ingredients for dough (except flour) into the bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, turn on the mixer and then gradually add flour in as the dough hook is mixing.
Knead with dough hook for ~10 minutes or until dough looks smooth and isn’t too sticky. Dough should be fairly stiff – if it’s not, add more flour as needed.
Turn dough out onto the counter and knead by hand for a few minutes. You’ll know when you have reached the right consistency when the dough has both passed the “window-pane” test and is no longer sticking to your fingers.
Divide dough with a knife or bench scraper into 12 equal pieces (about 4.5 oz each) and roll them into spheres. Place on a cookie sheet or piece of parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Allow them to rest (covered) for 20 minutes.
Shape each sphere into a bagel shape by pushing your thumb through the middle. Then you can use your two index fingers to make fast circular motions to stretch out the center hole a little. They don’t need to be perfect!
Place bagels onto sheet pans or cookie sheets that have been covered in parchment or oiled well. Leave an inch or so on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temp again for 20 minutes.
Place covered bagels in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, however, OVERNIGHT is recommended.
Pull pans from fridge and get a large 4 quart+ pot of water on to boil. Move racks to top positions inside the oven and pre-heat to 500 F.
Add 1 tsp baking soda to boiling water (this increases color depth and flavor of the bagel while baking)
When water is at a rolling boil. pull 2-3 bagels at a time and gently place them upside down in the water.
Boil for 30 seconds, then flip over with a large slotted spoon or mesh strainer. (HINT: if you allowed your bagels to warm up to room temp, the boiling time will decrease! If your bagels look flat coming out of this step, decrease time to 15 seconds per side).
Remove each bagel from boiling water and slide onto a large clean, lint free cloth (not terry cloth!!) for draining. Repeat process until all bagels have been boiled.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and spread a light, even layer of corn meal on the paper.
Place most, warm bagels gently on the corn meal – at this point, it’s ok if they touch each other, but I left some space on mine. If you prefer your bagels plain, you can skip the next couple steps and go right to baking.
Make an egg wash with 1 egg mixed with approximately 1/2 cup of water and brush across the tops of the bagels. Sprinkle with desired toppings (toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes, garlic flakes, cinnamon/sugar, etc.)
As you place your bagels into the pre-heated oven, turn the temp down to 450 F.
Bake the bagels for 5-7 minutes, then turn the pan around/switch rack as necessary (HINT: if you have hot spots in your oven and some bagels are browning in spots before oven, this step is crucial for an even bake)
Bake for another 5-10 minutes after turning/switching and repeat until all bagels are a deep golden brown. Total cooking time will be 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
Let’s be honest – I didn’t wait more than 5 minutes before cracking open one of these bad boys and wolfing it down. If you have more self-control, you can let them cool for 10-15 minutes and then serve! I found that these didn’t keep well (the next day, they were pretty rock solid…) so I advise eating them same day! Enjoy!