New York Style Bagel Recipe, The Easy Way
Make New York Bakery Style Bagels at Home
New York Bagel Secrets
No fancy rolling or forming techniques, just a VERY simple bagel roll as pretty and tasty as you would buy at any good bakery! Making good quality bagels has long eluded many a home cook, until now. This Bakery-Style Bagel recipe is very easy and yet brings with it the lovely texture and high quality flavor many miss when poaching and baking at home. The outside is crispy, while inside is soft, yet having that "toothy" quality all really good bagels must offer. You may never want to buy a bagel again! Add a schmear of cream cheese and paper thin slices of smoked salmon and this homemade bagel becomes a perfect traditional snack we all crave. The recipe is as simple as simple can be, with results even my Jewish Grandmother couldn't argue with (but be sure, she would totally find something else to complain about).
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Why is it Called a Bagel Anyway?
It starts as a plump and yeasty dumpling and ends-up as a lovely baked roll. Nothing else has become so wonderfully ingrained in tradition like the trusty bagel. A main-stay in most Jewish homes, yet this hearty bread has reached out and found glory among a variety of cultural menu's worldwide. Like many traditional bakery breads, the Bagel also has a long, romantic history. According to legend, a Viennese baker invented them in 1683 as a tribute to Polish Prince John Soviesky, who had rescued the city from invading Turks. Originally called a "beugal," it was shaped like the prince's stirrup.
Bagel Making Ingredients
About Adding Seasonings To Bagels
*Spice ingredients are optional, this is my own personal favorite bagel recipe that offers a very light caraway seed (rye) flavored bagel. I also usually sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the caraway seed on top of the egg washed bagels before baking them. You can eliminate the caraway and basil, however leave in the garlic and onion powder for a real bakery-style "plain" bagel.
What's in a Bagel
- 2 packages of rapid rise highly active dry yeast (eliminates the need for a second rise, which saves time in the kitchen and the results are still outstanding)
- 2 cups warm water—about 120°F to 130°F for the highly active yeast. (this is higher than what most yeast calls for, but this is the recommended temperature range printed on the packaging, which works very well in this dough making process)
- 3 TBL sugar
- 3 tsp salt (these are teaspoons NOT TBL)
- 5½ to 6 cups All-purpose flour, unsifted
- 3 to 4 quarts of water with 2 TBL sugar and 2TBL honey added
- ¼ cup of cornmeal for sprinkling on baking sheets
- 1 tsp *onion powder
- 1 tsp *garlic powder
- 1 TBL *dried basil
- 1 TBL *whole caraway seeds
- 1 egg YOLK beaten with 1 TBL cool water
Bonus Bagel Flavors!
BONUS TIP: For a very onion flavored bagel, add ¾ cup instant toasted onion—as with any seasoning's, add to the yeast mixture along with the sugar and salt. Or sprinkle ½ teaspoon of poppy seed or sesame seed or ¼ teaspoon course salt on each egg washed glazed bagel before baking them.
Picture-by-Picture Directions: How to Make Bagel DoughClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make Homemade Yeast Bagel Dough
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in sugar and salt; gradually mix in 4 cups of the flour. Beat well until it becomes a smooth batter. Mix in about 1¼ cups more flour to make the dough quite stiff.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (10 to 20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking—this dough should be firmer than with most other yeast breads. Turn the dough over in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Make certain when placing the dough for its rise time, that the location is not only warm as advised above, but that no drafts are going to threaten the dough. Drafts can cause a crusty skin to form on any dough during the rise process, which is just bad for any yeasty dough.
Picture-by-Picture Directions: How to Shape, Boil, and Bake BagelsClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Shape the Dough into a Bagel
Once the Bagel Dough Rises
(None of the fancy rolling or those crazy impossible techniques here, just simply the best and easiest way to get your dough shaped into a lovely bagel for boiling and baking)
- Once the dough is ready, punch it down; knead briefly on a lightly floured surface to release the air, then divide the dough into 18 equal pieces.
- To shape the dough, knead each piece, forming it into a smooth ball. Holding the ball with both hands, poke your thumbs through the center. With one thumb in the hole, work around the perimeter, shaping the bagel like a doughnut, 2½ to 3 inches across. Place the formed bagels on a lightly floured board, cover lightly, and let stand in a warm place until all the dough is shaped accordingly. (There is no need for a second rise when using the highly active rapid rise yeast.)
A New York Bagel Secret Revealed!
How To Boil Bagels
Poaching and Baking Bagels
- Bring water-sugar-honey mixture to a boil in a 5-quart pan; adjust heat to keep it boiling gently.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal -or- place a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the cornmeal.
- Gently lift one bagel at a time and drop it into the poaching water; boil about 4 or 5 at a time. Turn each bagel over every 30 seconds, for a total of 6 minutes boiling time for each bagel.
- Lift the bagels out one at a time with a slotted spatula (I use a rubber fish spatula because of its broad size and long slots), and drain on a clean towel for about 15 seconds (no longer or they will stick to the towel) pat the top dry with the corner of same towel, then place them on the baking sheet.
- Brush each bagel with the egg yolk mixture. Bake in a 400°F oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until well browned and crusty. Cool on a rack. Makes 18 bagels.
Now that your Bagels are boiled, baked and cooled, slather on cream cheese, preserves, peanut butter, or anything else that you have a hankering to try. We place ours in a zip-top bag and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and they stay very tasty the entire time(make sure they have cooled completely before putting them in the plastic bag or they can get a little mushy from the condensation created by the warm bagels). We then freeze a few in a air-tight sealed bag (seal-a-meal deal) and these will last up to 6 months. Just slice them and pop them in the toaster or under the broiler and eat as you would any fresh bagels.
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Homemade New York Style Bagels And A Schmear!
Homemade Bagels Timeline Chart
APPROX. TIME (in minutes)
Making yeast mixture
Mix flour and yeast to batter stage
Mix dough to stiff stage
3 to 4
Turn out and knead dough
15 to 20
Rise dough until doubled in size
40 to 45
Punch down dough after rise & knead lightly
Cut into 18 even pieces
Form 18 pieces into individual balls
Shape 18 pieces into bagels
Boil bagels 3 at a time for 6 minutes
36 (you can increase batch size as long as the pot has room to add the extra bagels)
Drain each bagel for 10 seconds
Brush each with egg wash
Bake two batches of 9
50 to 60
Cool on rack
TOTAL COOK TIME:
About 1.5 to 3 hours including rise, boil, and cook times. (The broad time variance is due to increase in boil and bake batch sizes. Baking all 18 in one batch cuts bake time by half. Also, boiling more than 3 bagels at a time reduces this timeline as well. Just remember to make sure the pot is large enough so the bagels have room to move freely with water touching all sides of each bagel. Bagels should not touch other bagels during boiling process for any length of time; bagel bumping is expected)