New York-Style Bagels

Did you know that homemade bagels are AMAZE-BALLS?!!!!! Well, they are! OMG they are so good.  I don't know how anyone could ever give up carbs.  I mean, these bagels are so good.  They are totally worth the 2 days it took to make them.  Yea, it took two days to make them, but all of it wasn't hands on.  Most of the wait was waiting for them to rise for 24 hrs (and I didn't have time after work one night, so I actually let them rise for 48 hours).  I'd always been kind of nervous about making bagels because one super traditional recipe I read used lye to boil the bagels.  Lye? Like the caustic basic solution stuff? The recipe even had a note about how it's hard to purchase/illegal maybe to sell lye in the grocery store so you had to order it online.  Can't remember where I saw that recipe, Food & Wine or epicurious.  But yea, that put me off making bagels.  But then my friend Laura told me she made bagels with her mom and they were awesome.  And she did not boil them in lye.  Well, after that, I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest at
Love and Olive Oil and it has amazing pictures and even a video! How awesome is that?  Made making bagels seem a lot less scary.

I picked up the toppings (dried onions, poppy seeds) at the new HEB Plus that opened up near our house and got to check the new place out.  It's pretty nice.  My only complaint is the parking lot is horrible.  But everything is new and shiny!  I had toasted sesame seeds already, from making Korean BBQ My Korean Short Ribs Recipe.

Some notes about the recipe: I used honey because that's what I had and I thought it might not turn out as well as with malt syrup, but it was very tasty.  Make sure you use instant yeast.  This is different from dry active yeast.  When I made the bagel shape, they did not come out perfect and had a few seems.  I kind of fixated on that, but don't do that.  One side looked fine and that's kind of all that matters.  I made a few 'everything bagels' with all the toppings I used.  The toppings list is unlimited and you could use whatever you want.  Reid requested a few plain bagels, so I also made 2 plain bagels.

The original recipe is from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day via Epicurious.  

New York-Style Bagels

Makes 8 bagels Cook Time: 1 hr Total time:24 hours

  • 1 tbs barley malt syrup, honey, or rice syrup or 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 1 tsp (3g)  instant yeast.
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or 2 1/2 tsp course kosher salt
  • 1 c plus 2 tbs lukewarm water (about 95*F)
  • 3 1/2 c unbleached bread flour

Poaching Liquid:

  • 2 to 3 quarts (64 to 96 oz / 181 to 272 g) water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 oz / 28.5 g) barley malt syrup or honey (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz / 14 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (0.25 oz / 7 g) salt, or 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt


  • toasted sesame seeds
  • dried onion, rehydrated in warm water
  • poppy seeds


Day 1:

  1. To make the dough, stir the honey, yeast, and salt into the lukewarm water until dissolved.
  2. Place the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the liquid and mix for about 3 minutes or until dough comes together. If the dough is too dry add another tablespoon or two of water as needed. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes (with the dough hook or by hand) or until dough is stiff yet supple and just barely tacky. If the dough seems too soft or overly tacky, knead in a little more flour as needed.
  4. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap,and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, then form each into a ball by rolling it on a clean, dry work surface with a cupped hand.
  7. Poke a hole through the center of the ball to create a donut shape. Holding the dough with both thumbs in the hole, rotate the dough with your hands, gradually stretching it to create a hole about 2 inches in diameter.
  8. Arrange shaped bagels on prepared baking sheet. Mist with cooking spray or brush with a light coating of oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.

Day 2:

  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. If you plan to top your bagels with dried onion or garlic, rehydrate by soaking in water to cover for at least 1 hour before applying.
  2. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and immediately check whether they are ready for baking using the “float test”: drop one bagel in a small bowl of cold water. If it sinks, fish it out, shake it off, return it to the pan. Let your bagels proof for another 15 to 20 minutes, then test them again. When the bagels float to the surface, they’re ready.
  3. Fill a large pot with 2 to 3 quarts of water, making sure the water is at least 4 inches deep. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain at a simmer. Stir in the malt syrup, baking soda, and salt until dissolved.
  4. Gently lower each bagel into the poaching liquid, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Boil for 1 minute, then flip each bagel over using tongs or a slotted spoon. Boil for another minute, then transfer back to the sheet pan, domed side up. (If you need to oil the parchment again, definitely do so, otherwise the paper will stick to the dough as the bagels bake.)
  5. Sprinkle on a generous amount of seeds or other toppings on to the still-damp bagels.
  6. Lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through baking, until golden brown. If the bottoms are getting too dark before the bagels are done, place another pan under the baking sheet to insulate and prevent the bagels from burning.
  7. Transfer bagels to a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

No lye here!

Putting the toppings on can get a little messy.  Jake had a great time licking the kitchen floor.


So chewy/crunchy/fluffy/tasty



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