Let’s talk bagels. Back for my husband’s and my fifth anniversary, I convinced him to take me to New York City. I had dreamed of going there every since being a little girl. Every Thanksgiving I have to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and every New Year’s Eve I have to watch the ball drop, even if it is the wrong time zone now. The Big Apple was calling me, and it did not disappoint.
This was years ago before Yelp was even a thing, or maybe it was, but it wasn’t a BIG thing. I wanted the full New York experience and that included a Broadway Show on Broadway, Central Park, and that darn New York bagel. I researched the heck out of finding an awesome bagel shop. I finally landed on Brooklyn Bagels. I don’t know why decided on this particular bagel shop, but it was the correct choice.There wasn’t one close to where we were staying or where we were going, but my husband being the awesome husband that he is, obliged, and we took the subway there.
As we were in a fairly long line, always a good sign, we couldn’t decide on what to get. There were so many choices. We kept hearing everyone in front of use order the “mini” size. Tim and I looked at each other and both agreed that we didn’t come all this way to get a mini bagel. We scoffed at the idea. So we ordered the regular size because that’s what we thought would be what everyone typically ordered. Wrong. Our first lesson we learned was to listen to the locals ordering in front of you. This bagel was GIGANTIC! I’m not lying when I said it was as large as my head. Tim and I aren’t ones to back down from delicious food though, so finished off both of our bagels. We have since learned that we need to pace ourselves and share when we are traveling because we always hunt out the best local restaurants and basically eat our way through every vacation.
Although this bagel was huge, it had everything you could ever want in a bagel. A little crispness on the outside, dense on the inside, super chewy, and smothered in cream cheese. I’m salivating just thinking of it.
Once we had kids, we discovered they each had a love of bagels as well. However, they were introduced to the store-bought mini bagels. Gross. This was their par for bagels. Seriously, if you love store-bought bagels, these will taste like a delicacy when you make them. Whenever I make bagels from scratch for my kids, gobble them up in no time. I will say, these are best eaten the day they are made. However, if you can’t eat them all in one day, refrigerate them and then make sure to toast them before eating to bring back that crispness to the outside.
Don’t let homemade breads scare you. These bagels are probably one of the easier homemade breads to make and are a great place to start. So go get out your ingredients and let’s get going.
New York Style Bagels
- 2 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 TBS instant yeast
- 3 TBS brown sugar
- 1 TBS salt
- 5 1/2 – 6 cups of bread flour
- Water Bath
- 2 quarts of water (or enough to fill your large pot)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
- Cinnamon Crunch Topping
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- melted butter
- In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a dough hook, combine water, yeast, and brown sugar. Give it a quick mix and then let it rest for 5-10 minutes to give the yeast time to bloom. This step isn’t necessary with instant yeast, but I always find my breads turn out better when I don’t skip this step.
- Add in salt and 5 1/2 cups of flour. Mix on medium speed until all of the flour is incorporated. You don’t want your dough to be sticky at all. It should form a ball and not stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands. If it is, gradually add in more flour. This can differ for everyone depending on where you live or how your weather is that day. You shouldn’t need more than 6 cups. Once you reach the right consistency, let it knead for 5 minutes.
- Dump your dough out on to a very lightly floured surface. I’m talking a sprinkle of flour here. Weigh the dough on a food scale and divide the dough into twelve even portions. Form each portion into a ball by pulling all the sides together to the bottom and pinching it shut. If you are lost at this, please check my Instagram bagel highlight for a full step-by-step tutorial. Cover the dough balls with a light weight dish cloth and rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Once they have rested, you are going to put the hole into the middle of your dough ball. You are going to do this by pushing your thumb through the top center to meet the pointer finger coming through the bottom. Gently stretch from the center of the dough being careful not to deflate the sides of the dough. Place bagels onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I very lightly sprinkle mine with cornmeal to prevent any sticking. Not to much because it will cover your bagel bottom. Cover and let them rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your brown sugar. Boil each bagel for 1 minute on each side. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the water and place it back on the baking sheet. Don’t skip this step. This is what gives our bagels that wonderful chewiness.
- Now you can add your toppings. If you are staying plain, that is also delicious! For the cinnamon crunch topping, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush the tops of the bagels with melted butter and generously cover with the brown sugar mixture. You can also add your favorite cheese, poppy seeds, or whatever you desire. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are golden.
- These are best eaten the day they are made. However, if you can’t eat them on it one day, refrigerate them, and then make sure to toast them up to bring back that crispness to the outside.
Recipe adapted from thecookstreat.com