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Adlen Robinson: Making real New York Bagels
Bagel stock image
Photo by Aneta Voborilova on Unsplash

If you have ever eaten an authentic New York style bagel, you know what the difference from “regular” bagels. The New York-style bagels are deliciously chewy and not doughy like most bagels are. I used to think making homemade bagels was intimidating—but not anymore.  

I have made this recipe by hand and using my bread machine to make the dough. As usual, the bread machine made a better dough—but the hand-made ones were also delicious. Once you have the perfect dough, don’t skip the step of boiling the bagels—that is the secret to getting the chewy texture that is so crucial for the perfect New York-style bagel. This is a fun project to make with your children or grandchildren! One more thing—these bagels freeze beautifully, so you can always have fresh, New York-style bagels on hand. Enjoy! 

 

New York Style Bagels 

For Bread Machine

  • 3 cups water

  • 4 teaspoons sugar (or honey)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 3 ½ cups flour, preferably bread flour

  • 2 teaspoons yeast

 

Add ingredients in the order your machine’s instructions suggest—this is the order my machine suggests. Set the machine to the “dough” setting and let the machine complete the mixing, kneading and rising. 

Once the machine says the dough is done, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a few times, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover with a cloth and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces and form dough into balls. Punch your finger into the center of the balls and stretch into a bagel shape. Cover shaped bagels and let rest 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Also, bring a large pot of water to a boil. After bagels have rested, carefully add bagels, a few at a time to boiling water. Boil 2 minutes and then flip bagels over and boil another 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove bagels and gently drain them on a clean kitchen towel, and then place them on a baking sheet that is lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Repeat until all bagels have been boiled. 

Sprinkle bagels with desired toppings, such as “Everything Bagel Seasoning,” sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or nothing at all. 

Bake bagels 20-24 minutes. Cool bagels on a rack. Top with your favorite toppings—suggestions to follow. 

 

Hand-Made Bagels

  • 2 teaspoons yeast

  • 4 teaspoons sugar (or honey)

  • 1 ¼ cups warm water

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 3 ½ cups flour

 

Mix ½ cup warm water with sugar and yeast. Don’t stir—let sit for 5 minutes until mixture “blooms.” Stir the mixture well. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Make a well and add the remaining warm water plus the yeast mixture. 

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for an hour. 

Punch down dough and rest for 10 minutes. Form into 10 pieces, forming each into balls. Poke your finger into each ball and then stretch to form into a bagel shape.  Cover and rest for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425-degrees. Also, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully add bagels, a few at a time to boiling water. After 2 minutes, flip the bagels and boil for another 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from boiling water and pat gently with a kitchen towel to remove excess water. 

Place bagels on a baking sheet that is lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle with “Everything Bagel Seasoning,” sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or nothing at all. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Cool bagels on a rack and then top with desired toppings. 

 

Suggested Toppings for Bagels

  • Cream cheese. Of course, plain cream cheese is delicious, but there are plenty of flavored ones that will add some pizzazz to your bagel.

  • Smoked salmon. I love to smear cream cheese on my bagel and then top with smoked salmon, minced red onion, capers and fresh dill. Yummy! 

  • Egg sandwich. Butter your warm bagel and top with ham or cooked bacon, and add a fried or scrambled egg and maybe a slice of cheddar cheese.  

  • Sweet treat. Smear your bagel with plain cream cheese and your favorite jam or jelly. Of course, you can never go wrong with Nutella!

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