I grew up eating New York style bagels. They are chewy and do not resemble anything you buy at national bagel chains or grocery stores. At a small scale bakery the dough is made on a daily basis and not flown in frozen as is with a bagel chain. The dough has time to develop it’s flavor as it ferments in the refrigerator. When Scott was in graduate school I did find local New York style bagels, but at $1.50 each I could not afford to keep buying them for my family… so I began the search for an authentic recipe. I happened to come across a cookbook that is now out of print, “The Best Bread Ever,” by Charles Van Over. His entire book is dedicated to making breads in the food processor. I tried the bagels and was hooked!
The heavy duty motor of a food processor allows the dense dough to be kneaded. I have tried to make the same recipe in my Bosch mixer, Kitchen aid Mixer and even by hand with poor results. Those mixers are not able to handle a stiff bread dough. In order to keep them moving I had to add more water and the bagels had the texture of a hamburger bun, not a New York style bagel. So if you really want to make bagels at home, invest in a heavy duty Cuisinart food processor. All the measurements are in terms of weight to insure accuracy. The original recipe was scaled down based on a 500 gram batch. I started out with a 10-cup capacity food processor and made the 500 gram recipe for several years before I upgraded to a 14 cup food processor. I also add a bit more brown sugar than the original recipe.
Keep reading for the complete recipe.
New York Bagels
- 750 grams unbleached bread flour
- 40 grams brown sugar
- 15 grams fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 440 ml or 14.25 ounces cool water
For the boiling water:
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
cinnamon sugar and raisin, chocolate chips, chopped jalapeno, blueberries
Course salt, poppy seed, sesame seed, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, caraway seed, shredded cheddar cheese with jalapeno, cinnamon sugar, shredded asiago cheese
Day 1: Prepare the Dough and form the Bagels
Place the flour, brown sugar, salt and yeast in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the machine running pour all but 2 Tablespoons water through the feed tube. Process for 20 seconds, adding additional water if the dough seems dry and does not form a ball. At times I need to process more than 20 seconds to get the dough into a ball. Be patient at this step. Feel the dough, it will be stiff, but should be uniform and has come together. If you see clumps of flour or other ingredients process a little longer. When the dough has come together turn the machine off and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. During this time, generously coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and cornmeal. I prefer to use a silicon baking mat, a bit of cooking spray and cornmeal.
After the 5 minute rest period continue to process the dough for 25 seconds longer. The dough should be more relaxed after resting and uniform. The 750 gram recipe may be a little much for a 14-cup Cuisinart processor. After my 5th batch of bagels my machine overheats. If this bothers you, stick with the 500 gram recipe (below) and do multiple batches.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. It will be firm. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. (I make mini bagels for my kids by dividing dough into 16 equal pieces). Form the bagels by taking each piece of dough and rolling it into a ball. Keep dough covered as you work so it does not dry out. Flatten the ball, then fold the dough in half, sealing the edges with your fingertips. Fold the dough again to form a tight cylinder. Roll the dough into a tube, wrap this piece around your hand, overlapping the dough 1 or 2 inches. Pinch the ends tightly together to form a ring. Repeat and transfer the bagels to the prepared baking sheet.
For chocolate chip bagels, carefully press about 10 semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough after you flatten the ball of dough. The same is done for blueberry or jalapeno bagels; be sure to carefully add these mix-ins by hand. If you are making cinnamon raisin bagels add 1-2 Tablespoons cinnamon sugar to the dough when mixing and the raisins by hand when forming the bagels.
Rub just a bit of flour on the top of each bagel then cover the baking sheet with saran wrap. I prefer to use tight fitting lids so I can stack the bagels in my refrigerator. Place the bagels for one or two nights, anywhere from 12 hours to 48 hours for fermentation.
Day 2 : Boil the New York Bagels
The next day, one hour before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a baking stone at the bottom of the oven to help maintain a high oven temperature. Place another rack in the center of the oven for baking the bagels. Take the bagels from the refrigerator and allow them to proof at room temperature for about 30 minutes. While the bagels are proofing and warming bring a 4-quart pot of water to a boil. Add the teaspoon of baking soda and the tablespoon of sugar.
The bagels are ready to boil when the internal temperature has reached 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Test using an instant read thermometer. Place the bagels, 2-3 at a time in the rapidly boiling water and boil for 5-10 seconds on each side, or until small “blisters” appear on the bagels and they turn a yellowish color. Transfer bagels into a colander to drain. Once they are all boiled transfer them to the same baking sheet that was used in the refrigerator. It may be necessary to spray the baking sheet again with cooking spray and to sprinkle additional cornmeal on the pan. Space them about two inches apart. While they are wet, sprinkle them with toppings. If you would like the tops of the bagels to be shiny brush with egg whites then add the toppings.
Note: for cheddar jalapeno add sliced jalapenos first then top with shredded cheddar cheese. For an “everything” bagel sprinkle with coarse sea salt, poppy seed, sesame seed, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic and caraway seed. Just a sprinkling of shredded asiago cheese goes a long way in terms of flavor. Make whatever bagel flavors are your favorite.
Day 2 Continued: Bake the New York Bagels
Place the baking sheet in the oven. Reduce the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 10 minutes. Open the oven and rotate the tray of bagels so that they brown evenly. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes longer until the bagels are uniformly golden brown. For some ovens they may overcook on the bottom so watch them carefully, lifting to make sure the bottom of the bagel is not overly browned. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool completely before storing. Once they are cool, we slice them in half and store the bagels we do not eat that day in the freezer. Simply place those in the toaster when you are ready to eat the frozen bagels.
Tools needed to make the bagels: