I ❤ Ny: A Homemade Bagel Adventure


6 2/3 cups bread flour plus some, or AP flour (which is what I used
1 tablespoon salt
1 package (¼ oz) rapid-rise yeast such as Fleischman's (in the yellow packets)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
2 1/4 cups warm water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons malt syrup or sugar (for poaching the bagels)


Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add sugar and oil with the warm water, mixing together slightly (or, until the sugar melts). Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet, using a wooden spoon to mix into a coarse dough.
Dump this dough onto a clean, floured surface (or into your kitchen-aid mixer). Knead by hand or hook, trying to add more flour if you can. Often bread doughs are sticky and wet, for these bagels dry is good.
After about 10 minutes of hard, full body kneading-I like to stand on a mini step-stool to give me full leverage)-the stiff dough will become smooth and elastic. Even with an easy dough-hook kneading process Nigella says it will take a good ten minutes.
Lightly oil a new bowl, form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning the dough once-over to fully coat with a light film of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it to rise for about 1 hour. The dough, after that time, will be almost twice its size, and when you poke it with your finger a dent should remain.
Again, on a very lightly floured surface (the dough is oiled and not too wet, so it won't be too sticky anyway) dump the ball of dough out onto your counter. Punch the dough down, HARD, and knead a couple of times. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, and roll these 3 segments into even logs. Divide each log again, this time into 5-6 pieces. Roll each piece between your palms into a nice ball (this is where I started having some problems coercing the dough into the smooth shapes I wanted).
Roll these balls into a thick rope, curling it around so the ends meet into a ring. Seal the ends by overlapping slightly and pinching them together. I've also ready that with these balls, you can flatten them into a dish and using any pointy-tip objects (hello, chopsticks) create a hole in the center. That's a method I will try next time...
Take out two large baking pans, and brush with a good amount of oil. Set the bagels onto the sheets, cover with tea towels and let sit for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, set one or two large pots of water onto the stove, and turn to a boil. When the water begins to boil, add the sugar. (2 tbsp for each pot)
At this time the bagels should be plump, and have risen to actually look like pre-cooked bagels (because they are, duh). Start poaching them. Drop the bagels into the boiling water, boiling for about 1 minute. Using two cooking tools- in my case a spatula and a plastic egg flipper spatula- turn over itself, making sure the bagels get coated in the nice sweet boiling bath.
As the bagels are finish poaching, place them back onto the well-oiled baking sheets. Dust with sesame seeds or any other top-garnish, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes until shiny and golden.


Having lived in New York for five years, stopping to snag a bagel before a walk in Central Park was a normal, comforting activity. I am now in China and there's not a bagel to be seen for miles and miles on end. What do they say- you don't know what you've got until it's actually gone? Well, that's my tragic story with bagels.

Flipping through Nigella's "How to be a Domestic Goddess, Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking" many times, this bagel recipe stood out among the rest. It's much easier than you'd think making bagels would be, and is definitely worth the manual labor involved in kneading.

Note: As you shape them the dough into rings, make sure to pinch the ends of the bagels together HARD- much harder than you think. I have to work on my bagel-shaping skills, as about half of the batch came out shaped like croissants..


1 servings


Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 7:28am


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