NY bagels from scratch
Photo by Doug Sherring
I used to be intimidated by the process of making and resting dough, then boiling each bagel, then baking them. With a bit of patience, this is a fun process. It's so satisfying having a batch of freshly baked bagels on the table, ready to slather in cream cheese and devour with a fresh batch of coffee.
These are New York-style bagels, which makes them chewier and somewhat doughier than the lighter, Montreal-style ones. And remember, according to my flatmate, if it's not boiled, it's just a bun with a hole in it. I've adapted these ones from a baking book and my flatmate's recipe.
- Take ½ cup of the warm water, and add the sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for about five minutes, until it dissolves and foams slightly.
- Mix the remaining flour measure with the salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture, along with half the remaining water. Mix and stir with a large wooden spoon, adding a little more warm water if necessary, to result in a firm dough.
- Sprinkle flour on the bench and knead the dough for 10 minutes. If you have a cake mixer with a dough hook, you can knead it using that. Sprinkle over more flour if necessary to result in a firm dough.
- Line a mixing bowl with a swirl of oil and add dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and place somewhere warm to rise for an hour, in which time the dough should double in size. After an hour, punch the dough down and leave for another 10 minutes.
- Place a large pot of water on to boil. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball by rolling it around on the benchtop using the palm of your hand. Gently press your finger into the centre of each dough ball and work it between your hands to make a ring (there are some great YouTube tutorials on making dough rings for bagels). Place each bagel on to a lightly greased baking tray, cover again with the damp tea towel and rest for a further 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 220C. Reduce the heat of the water and, using a slotted spoon, lower bagels into the water in batches. They will float to the top, at which point allow them to boil on each side for about 1-2 minutes, flipping them over carefully in between.
- Remove each bagel carefully from the water and place on the baking tray. Sprinkle lightly with a little sea salt if you wish. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy while warm or, allow to cool then slice and toast them. They're great with just butter but also cream cheese, jam or avocado.