New York Style Bagels

Ingredients: 8 regular size bagels or 12 small ones

  • active dry yeast, 2 tsps
  • sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsps
  • warm water, 1 1/4 cups (you may need ± ¼ cup more. As in humid Taiwan, I usually only need 1 cup)
  • bread flour, 3 1/2 cups (500g)
  • salt, 1 1/2 tsps
  • optional toppings: coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds.
  • egg wash needed with toppings.


  • In 1/2 cup of the warm water, add the sugar and yeast. Do not stir, and let it sit for five minutes. Then stir the yeast and sugar mixture until it all dissolves in the water.
  • Mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the yeast and sugar mixture, mix the flour and mixture as you pour.
  • Gradually pour half of the remaining warm water into the semi-dough. Knead the dough as you pour the water. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed (depending on the humidity). The result should be a moist and firm dough.
  • On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough
  • Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. (Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.)
  • Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop, moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured below). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds
  • Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  • Cover the dough rounds with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option). Shake the bagels to get rid of extra water when you take them out of water.
  • (with toppings) Beat the egg yolk with the water, then brush this mixture over each of the bagels. Sprinkle the toppings over the bagels.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Recipe modified from Sophisticated Gourmet


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