This is how the original Jewish deli bagels were made in New York! Here, a worker at Black Seed Bagel pulls a hot fresh dozen out of the oven.
Ask a New Yorker where “green witch” village is and he’ll most likely be polite in his response, but start arguing with a New Yorker about bagels? Now you’re stepping into hot (preferably boiled to achieve that crusty exterior) water. New Yorkers love their bagels, but these days you’re more likely to run into a puffy, machine-made dinner roll-like creation than the authentic article. People further lamented this trend with the closing of the original H&H Bagels, an Upper West Side Jewish bagel haven.
But real bagels are coming back to New York with a vengeance. As lines wind out the door for a taste of the artisan bagels and toppings at the Montreal-style Black Seed Bagel, which just opened this past week on Elizabeth Street, people are also awaiting the highly-anticipated opening of Baz Bagel, an authentic, old-fashioned shop on Grand Street next month.
At Baz Bagel, the owners have said that they are going for simple, classic hand-rolled creations with decidedly-pronounced holes. Cooked in a wood-fire oven, bagels from Black Seed are based on Montreal-style bagels (smaller and denser than New York-style), and come with a variety of unusual toppings. like tofu cream cheese and almond butter.
“In New York, bagels have become very ubiquitous — available at every corner store like a puffy kaiser roll or an egg and cheese,” Black Seed owner Noah Bernamoff told Zagat. “Just because you can get it at a corner bodega doesn’t make it good.”
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi
Trying and Failing to Make a Great New York Bagel Is My Pandemic Hobby
There are all sorts of terrible things happening in this world that get me really angry, but I can still find it in my soul to get upset about how the bagel has been treated.
It&aposs the most American tale: Escape from oppressive conditions in your old country, make your way from the squalor and strife of downtown all the way uptown and eventually to the suburbs. Soon, you&aposve gone from an outsider to an American success story. A hundred or so years later, after decades of assimilation, your ancestors are successful but hardly recognizable to the immigrant who came through Ellis Island with the rock-hard exterior and the soft middle with just a touch of sweetness. They&aposre bigger, they dress differently, they smear something called cream cheese all over themselves.
That&aposs the bagel&aposs story in under a hundred words. Also, my family&aposs story — if you omit the spreading cream cheese all over myself part. You don&apost have to go far on the Internet to read about its origins in Poland or how Harry Lender figured out how to bring them to the masses nor do you have to wait long for the next argument over what part of the country makes them better.
The truth is that I find bagel discourse very silly. I don&apost care where you have to go to get bagels as long as they&aposre good, they can come from Greenberg&aposs in Brooklyn, Yeastie Boys in Los Angeles, St-Viateur in Montreal, Call Your Mother in D.C., Myer&aposs in Burlington, VT. or anywhere else on the map. I just want them treated with the sort of respect you should give any food brought over by immigrants, no matter how long they&aposve been in America. Since I come from a long line of bagel-loving Jews from Poland, I feel like I can ask that much. Yet somewhere along the lines, subpar and even bad bagels became commonplace.
It doesn&apost matter what city you&aposre in, whether it has a style of bagel all its own or not the truth is that you&aposre more likely to get a bad bagel these days than a good one𠅊 softball-sized lump of boiled dough that may not even have a hole in it. And that, more than anything, offends me.
"Old-world bagels were smaller and thinner," Leah Koening, author of The Jewish Cookbook, points out. "The old bagels were more like 3 or 4 oz of dough, and many of today&aposs bagels are often 6 oz+ monsters." The reason: Lender&aposs ending up in freezers all across America. Bagels are supposed to be fresh, not frozen. But that&aposs how Americans outside of a few major cities got to know them, and how they became comfortable with mediocre bagels. I wanted to get away from that. Enough that, during the pandemic, I started trying to make my own. I know it sounds like another person attempting to bake the anxiety away, but please believe me: I only undertook this quest out of spite. I mean, there are all sorts of terrible things happening in this world that get me really angry, but I can still find it in my soul to get upset about how the bagel has been treated.
For my quest, I was looking to the past, to a description of the kinds of bagels you could find in New York City throughout the first-half of the 20th century. If I was going to start making bagels, I wanted to get as old-school as possible without it turning into American Pickle 2: Electric Bageloo. I used Koenig&aposs measurements, and visualized the kinds of bagels made by members of Bagel Bakers Local 338 as described in another 2003 Times article, this one lamenting the size of NYC bagels:
"They were made entirely by hand, of high-gluten flour, water, yeast, salt and malt syrup, mixed together in a hopper. Rollers would then take two-inch strips of dough and shape them. A designated bagel boiler would boil the bagels in an industrial kettle for less than a minute, which gave the bagel its tight skin and eventual shine. Finally, a third bagel man would put the bagels on thick redwood slats covered with burlap and place them in a brick or stone-lined oven."
Ingredients I could get, but the industrial kettle probably wasn&apost going to happen given that I live in an apartment in Brooklyn. A big pot would have to do. As for brick or stone-lined oven, I got very Midwestern dad about it and played around with a smoker. Taking my inspiration from some YouTube videos, I transformed the little smoker into an oven, placing a pizza stone atop a couple of bricks. It wasn&apost perfect, but I assume I was working with more than my ancestors in the shtetl had.
As for the recipe, I had a handful of mid century Jewish cookbooks, but none of them really offered up what I&aposm looking for. The closest I found was from basically ancient Internet group posting from 1994 for "Real, honest, Jewish (Lower East Side) PURIST BAGELS." I found the description interesting enough to try it, but noted the inclusion of honey in the recipe, something that reminded me of Montreal bagels. At the end of the day that didn&apost matter, because regional food superiority is silly, and the bagel doesn&apost come from Delancey Street or Mile End or Silver Lake it comes from Eastern European Jews. That&aposs what my little quest is really about. Trying to make a great bagel for myself that pays some tribute to where my family comes from. I love bagels because they&aposre delicious carb bombs, but I also love them because I can connect back to something when I eat them.
So I baked my first batch, all by hand. Actually, I tried to bake my first batch, but didn&apost get the timing right—proofing the yeast, boiling the water, getting the fire hot enough. The first batch ended up becoming flatbread. My wife would not even try them. They were not in the same stratosphere as a bagel. All carbs are wonderful in my eyes, but I was aiming for bagels, so I took a deep breath and restarted the whole thing.
I wish I could say the second round of bagels were good. The outside didn&apost have the little bit of hardness I wanted, and the dough inside had a tangy flavor I really didn&apost like. I&aposm not a baker, I&aposve never claimed to be. If anything, my bagels have neshama, the Hebrew word for soul. And, if I&aposm being honest, that was enough for me to start with. The makeshift wood-burning oven actually worked nicely. The inside wasn&apost half bad, but the outside just didn&apost have that crunch or shine I was looking for.
Now, several batches in, I still wouldn&apost serve my work to anybody except myself. I&aposm just fine eating my not-so-great bagels with some cream cheese and a slice or two of lox or some melted butter and some tomato slices. But I find that taking inspiration from the past as well as the present, from NYC and Montreal and Los Angeles and anywhere else I might find a great little circle of boiled and then baked dough with a hole in the middle, is what&aposs going to help me achieve my goal of making my perfect bagel.
It is suggested that what makes a NY style bagel so good is the softness of the water. It kind of makes sense, as the minerals in harder water, will affect the gluten in the dough, strengthening it and this would, in theory, result in a tougher bagel.
Or it could just be that New Yorkers have been making bagels for longer? Who knows, but aside from a bagel shop in Brick Lane (UK) the bagels I have eaten in New York have been the BEST ever.
YES. I have spent a long time trying to recreate the chew and dense but soft inside of the perfect bagel. There are so many recipes out there and so many methods, but I have combined everything I have read and created my own New York Style bagels. These are so easy to make at home, and all made with your basic grocery store ingredients.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who favor chewy boiled bagels and those who like the soft steamed versions. I’m in the first camp. A chewy, dense interior and a thick, golden crust are the trademarks of what I consider a “true” bagel, which is to say the bagels I ate as a kid. It’s called a water bagel, or a boiled bagel, because the proofed, shaped dough gets poached in a pot of boiling water before it’s baked.
Steamed bagels, on the other hand, are big, pale, and soft-crusted, almost fluffy by comparison. Made from a softer dough, they’re baked in steam-injected ovens, not poached. Because they’re so much more efficient to make, the steamed variety have taken over the bagel mass market.
But don’t mourn the classic boiled bagel—it’s not extinct yet. As a professional baker, bread instructor, and water bagel guy, I’ve been perfecting my recipe for a number of years. By applying some artisan breadbaking techniques, specifically a sponge starter and a slow, cool overnight rise, I can now claim a bagel that equals, perhaps even betters, those of my childhood memories.
My culinary students at Johnson & Wales University love these bagels (though I must admit their frame of reference is limited—they’re too young to have bagel memories from “the good old days”). Even better testimonials come from my friends who were raised in New York City (the self-declared center of the bagel universe) and from my wife, Susan, who, like me, grew up in the bagel mecca of Philadelphia. We all feel that these bagels are real winners, every bit as good as they used to be.
High-gluten flour gives a good “chew”
Classic bagels require two ingredients that you won’t find in most home bakers’ pantries. One is high-gluten flour, and the other is malt syrup.
A high-protein flour makes bagels with a tight, springy crumb. When mixed with water and kneaded, the protein fragments in the flour form gluten, which is what gives bagel dough its strength, elasticity, and chewiness. High-gluten flour contains the most gluten protein of all flours: up to 14-1/2 percent, compared to 12 percent in bread flour and 10 percent in all-purpose flour.
You can get high-gluten flour through baking catalogs, at natural food markets (it might be called unbleached hard spring wheat flour—don’t confuse it with vital wheat gluten), or by throwing yourself upon the mercy of your local bagel bakery: say you’re on a quest to make a great bagel and would love to buy a few pounds of flour. You’d be surprised how well this works.
If high-gluten flour eludes you, use bread flour, preferably unbleached. The bagels will be softer but still quite good. All-purpose flour, however, doesn’t contain enough gluten to make a proper bagel.
Malt syrup, a sweetener, gives bagels their characteristic flavor. It can often be obtained from the same sources where you’ll find high-gluten flour. At natural food markets, it might be called barley malt syrup. Malt powder is fine too. Some malt products are labeled diastatically active others are nondiastatic. Both types will contribute that familiar bagel-shop flavor and texture. But diastatic malt has a slight edge—it contains active enzymes that help break down carbohydrates and release the flour’s natural sugars, improving flavor even more. If you can’t get malt, substituting honey or brown sugar also gives wonderful results.
For classic bagel flavor, Peter Reinhart adds malt powder or syrup to the dough. Honey or brown sugar are acceptable substitutes.
A sponge starter improves flavor
In all of my bread travels, I’ve never found a bagel shop that uses a sponge starter. I’m convinced, however, that it not only helps the bagels’ flavor and texture but also makes them freeze and thaw better.
Artisan bread bakers know that longer, slower fermentation of their doughs improves the flavor and shelf-life of their products. The bagel sponge starter plays off this principle by getting fermentation started even before you make the dough (that’s why the starter is sometimes called a preferment).
There’s nothing complicated about making the sponge: it’s a mixture of yeast, high-gluten flour, and water that sits at room temperature for about two hours, while the yeast begins converting the natural wheat sugars into carbon dioxide and ethanol. The foamy, fermented mixture is then combined with flour and other ingredients to make the dough.
Starting with a sponge improves flavor and shelf life and makes a bagel that freezes and thaws beautifully.
An overnight rise in the refrigerator also extends fermentation. The overnight rise, called the “retarding” of the dough because it slows the fermentation, allows naturally occurring enzymes (as well as any enzymes provided by the malt) to release their flavors. Making a bagel without this step is like drinking a fine wine immediately after it’s been bottled—the flavors are there in potential but they need time to mature. Actually, letting a fine wine age and giving bread dough a long, slow, cool fermentation both accomplish the same thing: they give the yeast enzymes time to break down big, complex sugar molecules into smaller, more flavorful ones.
A stiff dough needs lots of kneading
Bagel dough is one of the stiffest doughs in the bread kingdom. The firmness makes bagels with a dense, resilient crumb, and it also allows the proofed bagels to withstand the brutality of the boiling stage without losing their shape. Try to boil a bagel using, say, French bread dough, and it will flop around, deflate, and turn out flat and oblong.
How much flour does it take to get a stiff dough? Hard to say exactly, since every brand of flour absorbs liquid differently. I teach my students to feel their way into the dough and to let it tell them what it needs. You’re aiming for a firm but still pliable dough with all ingredients hydrated. It’s easier to add more flour than it is to add water, especially to a stiff dough, so sprinkle in that last cup of flour gradually during mixing and kneading.
A lengthy knead stretches and develops the dough. Kneading helps disperse ingredients in the dough, it hydrates the yeast so fermentation can begin, and it develops the gluten bonds that give bread its strength and structure. Bagel dough takes a lot of kneading. I start the process in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, but after five or six minutes, the machine inevitably starts to struggle. At that point, I take the dough out and continue kneading by hand.
If you’re kneading entirely by hand, be prepared to spend a good 15 minutes or more at the task. Don’t worry about overkneading this dough your muscles will give out before the gluten in the dough does.
A stiff dough takes time to fully knead. Get it started in a stand mixer and finish working it by hand. To knead by hand, push your heel into the dough a few times, rocking slightly with each stroke, before turning the dough, folding it, and pushing into it again.
Kneading is complete when the dough can be stretched into a “windowpane.” Cut off a piece of dough about the size of a dinner roll. Gently stretch, pull, and rotate the piece until the center becomes thin and translucent. If the dough has enough flour and has been well kneaded, it will be firm, stretchy, supple, and satiny, but not tacky, and you’ll be able to poke your finger into it cleanly.
A “windowpane” means kneading is complete. The ragged membrane should stretch without tearing, indicating the gluten has been fully developed.
Baking soda in the poaching water puts a shine on the crust
The boiling, or poaching, step is a controversial technique that runs up against family customs. Some people insist that salt, sugar, honey, or milk, or some combination of all of those, must be added to the boiling water. Many bagel shops use a food-grade lye, and others use nothing but pure water.
I’ve made bagels every which way, and I’ve found that what gets added to the boiling water isn’t as critical as how long the bagels stay in it. Boiling gelatinizes the surface starches, giving the bagels a shiny appearance and a distinctive chewy quality. A minute of boiling on each side is about right.
As for the poaching liquid itself, I spike the water with baking soda to alkalize it. This results in more shine and caramelization of the crust when the bagels bake. It’s a subtle effect, but it may be the final touch that converts those die-hards who insist that nothing can ever match the legendary bagels of their youth.
A Bit Of Research To Get Started
Because I have never made bagels before, I decided I would do a little research and test some recipes. After a tiny bit of research I stumbled onto America’s Test Kitchen recipe for a New York bagel recipe. Their bread master, Andrew Janjigian, created this. I was familiar with Andrew, and I have eaten many breads that he has created while I worked at ATK. I knew that this would be a damn good recipe. Knowing the source, I stopped all research and went to the store to pick up the ingredients.
After reading the NY bagel recipe my first thought about this was how easy it is to make bagels. Who knew? I don’t know why I always thought they would just be a huge time consumption and always wondered if it was worth it. All I can say is pick up the ingredients from your local grocer and make this recipe. It’s super easy.
Once you’re done, let your bagels rise once more on a sheet of parchment paper. If they don’t seem large enough, you can preheat the oven to 150 Fahrenheit, turn it off, and let your bagels rise inside for about 10 minutes. (You can skip this step if you feel that your bagels are big enough.)
Get a large pot of hot water going. Make sure the water is boiling. (I recommend doing this together with another person to ensure that you nail the timing.) I did each bagel one at a time, but if you have a larger pot, two at a time should be fine if they don’t touch.
You’ll need a slotted spoon for this. Let each side of the bagel boil for one minute prior to flipping each bagel to boil for one more minute on the other side. Let each bagel drain as much as possible over the pot prior to placing it on a baking sheet.
You’ll want to mix up one egg with some water (about 1/2 cup) in a small bowl for the egg wash. With a basting brush, you can brush both sides of your bagel with the egg mixture. This will give your bagels a gorgeous brown color. Be sure to get both sides! Decorate with the onion bits last as they make the bagel hard to flip ….
After this, you can sprinkle your everything bagel mixture onto the bagel. I often put my mix onto a plate and then press the bagel onto the plate. This allows my bagels to be better covered in the mixture. You’ll need to flip your bagels at some point to get the bottoms. (Don’t worry if some of the mixture gets on the parchment paper.)
Preheat your oven to 450 F (230 C). Put your bagels in the oven for 17 minutes total. After ten minutes, you’ll need to flip them, which is easiest done with tongs. Take the bagels out, let them cool, and enjoy. 🙂
Modi Declared Victory, Then Covid Struck Back With a Vengeance
Is Narendra Modi to blame for the carnage that Covid has wrought in India? It may be too soon to predict how voters will respond, but it’s not too soon to assess the evidence. Any prime minister would likely have struggled to cope with the pandemic’s brutal second wave, but Mr. Modi’s overweening vanity, overly centralized style of governance, and relentless focus on electoral advantage made him particularly unsuited to the task. His Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hindu nationalist ideology—which makes it loath to alienate “godmen” who are at odds with modern medicine—didn’t help either.
On Wednesday, India recorded nearly 363,000 Covid cases and 4,120 deaths, about 30% of deaths world-wide from Covid that day. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle estimates the true number of cases at more than 20 times the official figure, averaging between seven million and nine million a day since mid-April.
Experts say India is vastly undercounting deaths as well. Earlier this week, Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, estimated that at least 25,000 Indians are dying from Covid each day. Murad Banaji, a mathematician at London’s Middlesex University who tracks the pandemic in India closely, says the real death rate is three to eight times the official figure—or between 12,360 and 32,960 deaths on Wednesday alone.
Anecdotal evidence supports these grim estimates. Every day, journalists report new horrors: corpses floating in the Ganges River, oxygen shortages leading to mass deaths in hospital intensive-care units, funeral pyres taking over parking lots for lack of space in crematoria. Anxious Indians flood social media with pleas for oxygen, lifesaving drugs and hospital beds for their loved ones. In Mumbai and Delhi it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t lost a friend or family member to the disease. The world has launched a massive aid effort to help India, but for many people this won’t make up for their own government’s failures.
With crowded cities, abysmal air quality and a rickety healthcare system, India was always at risk from the pandemic. But Indians also had reason to hope. The country produces more than half the world’s vaccines and 20% of generic medicines. Public-health experts hold up its successful mass vaccination program against polio as a model. As of Wednesday, however, India had managed to vaccinate less than 3% of its population fully. (About 10% of Indians have received at least one shot.) Amid shortages, the vaccination program has slowed from a high of 4.3 million shots a day in early April to 2.2 million shots on Wednesday.
1 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons malt syrup
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (more or less as needed)
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons malt syrup or powder
1 teaspoon salt
minced fresh garlic
minced fresh onion
corn meal for sprinkling baking sheets (optional)
New York Style Everything Bagels
I love living in California, but I will always consider myself a New Yorker at heart.
Why I’m Still A New Yorker.
- I talk fast.
- Relaxing is challenging for me.
- 90% things in my closet (clothing, shoes and handbags) are black.
- Good restaurant service can make-or-break a restaurant experience for me.
- I prefer walking over driving and I absolutely hate running.
- Despite how caloric they are, I still eat bagels.
People often ask me what I miss most about living in New York City. And after 12 years the the answer has remained the same. I miss the diversity, energy, sarcasm and most of, I miss the food.
To clarify, by “food” I don’t mean high-end, we have plenty of that in Northern California. I’m referring to a few different things: (1) amazing inexpensive ethnic foods, (2) a proper pastrami sandwich, (3) thin-crust, brick-oven pizza by the slice and (4) killer bagels. Simply put, California needs to work on bagel making. The places all around us call their bagels “New York style” bagels. But trust me, they’re not.
Some bagel places near me say they have “Kosher-style” or “Brooklyn-style” bagels, but they are also mistaken. To clarify, West Coast bagels have a few significant issues. First, they are way too big size-wise. Second, they are way too airy. And third, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why their version of an everything bagels does not include salt. Seriously, that’s a must.
My family’s favorite bagels in California is not close, they’re a 35 minute car ride to San Francisco, but they’re worth it. Wise Sons, which calls themselves a “Jewish Delicatessen” hits the mark on the closest thing to a New York style bagel that we’ve found. And thank goodness for that, as we needed them to cater my son’s bar mitzvah brunch.
People often say it’s the water that makes the bagel. For a long time I believed that myself. But actually, it’s much simpler than that. It’s the actual bagel making process that matters most. Below is a breakdown of what you need to know (or do) to make great New York style bagels at home:
- Good quality bread flour (I love King Arthur).
- Proper dough kneading (at least 8 minutes in a machine fitted with a dough hook).
- Hand shaping the bagels (do not use a cutter).
- Proofing them properly (they should not double in size).
- Quick boil in flavored water (a good local honey is my preference).
- A very hot oven (at least 425 degrees F).
It took me a while to come up with a bagel recipe I loved and wanted to share, but I finally did it. My bagels have a thin crispy outside, soft, but not too airy or dense inside, with just a subtle touch of sweetness. Like a great challah bread, I don’t make homemade bagels all that often, but trust me, when I do, they don’t disappoint. This is a recipe for everything bagels because that is my favorite bagel flavor.
Trader Joes has made it even easier with their extremely popular product Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. And they even added the salt. If everything topping is not your style, no worries, any topping can be easily substituted. Above all, even if you qualify yourself as a non bread baker, try making my bagels, they are less intimidating than they seem and boy are they worth it!
What&aposs the Difference Between a New York and a Turkish Bagel?
Over the years, the New York-style bagel has come to dominate breakfast buffets and brunch tables, but it is far from the only style of bagel out there. If you look back at the history of the bagel, you&aposll find many ancient bagels that served as predecessors to the modern bagel. One of the oldest bagels, dating back to the Ottoman Empire, is the Turkish bagel, called a simit. But what is a Turkish bagel? "The simit is a traditional Turkish street food and breakfast item that originates in Turkey but is popular throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean," explains Zulfikar Bekar, president of Simit + Smith, a Turkish bakery and cafe that&aposs based in New York City. "Many people grab simits during the morning rush hour on their way to work as it is simple, affordable, flavorful, and nutritious."
So far, so bagel. But the form factor might be where the similarities between the New York-style and Turkish bagels end, because there are some pretty significant differences between a New York and Turkish bagel when it comes to taste and texture. The simit, for example, is sweeter than a classic New York-style bagel, and the texture couldn&apost be more opposite. While a New York-style bagel is known for its thick crust and dense, chewy interior, a simit is lighter and less doughy, though still crisp on the outside.
There&aposs also a signature sweetness to a simit, which comes from the addition of pekmez, which Bekar describes as "a molasses-like syrup." It&aposs made from the boiled down juices of fruits, most commonly grapes but sometimes mulberries, apples, plums, and pears, and it&aposs a standard Turkish breakfast ingredient. The dough, once rolled out into rings, is dipped into the pekmez, which gives the pastry its signature crispiness once baked.
After the excess molasses drips off the bagel, the whole thing is rolled in sesame seeds and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. There&aposs no boiling, as with either New York- or Montreal-style bagels, which makes the whole process a little simpler.
Even though it&aposs a little bit different from the New York-style bagel you know and love, the simit is still a perfect choice for breakfast, either savory or sweet. "It is often consumed with tea or coffee and with a spread like feta, cream cheese, or jam," says Bekar. Simit + Smith even makes so-called Simitwiches, or sandwiches on simits, so don&apost be scared to try a bacon, egg, and cheese on it, either. Because even though these simits have been served for breakfast for centuries, and are very different from their North American predecessors, there&aposs no reason Turkish bagels can&apost get the New York treatment, too.
What is a true New York Style Bagel?
A good New York Style Bagel (really, is there any other kind?) must have a nicely dense and chewy texture with a toothsome crust. To get that characteristic chewiness we&rsquove got to develop some really strong gluten in the dough.
First of all we use bread flour for maximum protein content. More protein means more gluten development. Kneading also helps develop the gluten.
But we can also employ a few &ldquolazy&rdquo steps to help develop the dough. First we make a &ldquosponge&rdquo and let it set for 30 minutes. During that rest the water has time to hydrate the flour and give us a head start on gluten develop. This little bit of hands off time also improves the flavor of the final product.
Once the bagels are shaped we give them a quick 15 minutes at room temperature to rise just a bit, then they go into the refrigerator overnight.
You can skip the 15 minutes at room temp if you want your bagels even a little more dense.
The cool, slow rise enhances the flavor and texture of the dough. I&rsquove left the formed bagels in the refrigerator as long as 16 hours and got great results.
An added benefit of overnight bagels &ndash they are ready to finish first thing in the morning. Once your oven is preheated, it only takes about 30 minutes to boil and bake the bagels.
Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make New York Style Bagels:Use a cupped hand to form the 12 pieces of dough into smooth balls Poke your finger all the way through the center of the ball to make the hole. You can twirl the dough around your finger to widen the center hole For the best texture and flavor, allow the bagels to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The set up for boiling the bagels
Tips for making perfectly chewy New York Style Bagels overnight:
- Allowing the sponge to rest for 30 minutes before mixing the dough gives the gluten a head start in forming a strong network.
- Use unbleached bread flour for maximum gluten development.
- You can substitute molasses for the Malt syrup, but the malt syrup does give the bagels an authentic taste and color. If you can&rsquot find it in your local market, you can buy it on-line.
- You could skip the overnight rise in the refrigerator and go straight ahead and boil and bake the bagels, but that long, cool rise is what gives these bagels their chewy texture and deep flavor.
- Boiling the bagels in sugar/baking soda water is what gives them a super chewy yet crisp crust. If you skip this step your bagels will have a crust similar to a roll or bread.
- Bagels should be baked in a very hot oven for a quick oven spring and good crust development.
- Bagels are best the day they are baked. For longer term storage slice the bagels about 3/4 the way through and pack them into freezer bags.
- Previously frozen bagels are best if toasted before serving.
Fresh, hot delicious bagels for breakfast or brunch. They also freeze beautifully for future enjoyment. Now all you need is a schmear of cream cheese!
If you&rsquove got a sourdough starter, I highly recommend my Homemade Sourdough Bagels for a real treat.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I&rsquod really appreciate a 5-star review.