Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Authentic NY Style Bagels :: A lil' bit of city in the country!

I wish I could share the aroma in my kitchen as I write this. I LOVE living in the country but there are some things I miss about living in the city and one of them is good bagels. One of the things I've learned to do after moving to our little slice of heaven on the mountain is make the stuff I can't find. Bagels are one of those things. Even country gals can whip up a good NY style bagel and I am not talking about those nasty bready things you buy in the grocery store. I'm talking about a nice chewy NY style bagel.

They say the secret to a NY bagel is the water the bagels are boiled in that's only found in NY city. Well, since I'm way far away from NY city, I found a recipe that duplicates the water the bagels are boiled in as close to the water in the city as possible, and after tasting these babies, those of you who have eaten NY style bagels will surely agree!

The secret ingredient is malt syrup. Since I live in the boonies and can't find malt syrup locally I had to order mine online. For those of you who live near well stocked health food stores, you'll probably be able to find it close by.  I get my malt syrup from Barry Farm, but like I said, if you are in a city you can probably find it local.

The other thing about bagel making is rolling or shaping them. Let me tell you, this is an art. My first few batches of bagels came out super ugly. Don't be discouraged if you can't get the rolling and shaping down on your first try. Although the recipe below calls for rolling the dough out like a snake, I have found that rolling the dough in a flat ball and then poking a whole int he middle with my finger while swinging it around and around makes the best shaped bagels, but experiment on your own and do what you like best.

And finally...this recipe is for 8 bagels. I always double it or make 2-double batches. Let me know what you think!


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 if needed)

Dough after sitting 15 min

***Kettle Water***
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons malt syrup or powder
1 teaspoon salt

***Toppings (optional)***
sesame seeds
poppy seeds
minced fresh garlic
minced fresh onion
caraway seeds
coarse salt
corn meal for sprinkling baking sheets (optional)


In a large mixing bowl, stir together water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, stir in oil, malt and one cup of the flour. Add salt, then enough of remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

On a lightly floured surface, knead for 10 to 12 minutes. Cover with a floured dish towel and allow dough to rest on a board for about 15 minutes.

Divide dough into 8 sections and form each section into 10-inch long strips. Roll the ends together to seal and make a ring. Place on a lightly floured surface, cover, and let bagels rest 15 to 20 minutes, rising about halfway and becoming slightly puffy.

Meanwhile, fill a large cooking pot or Dutch oven three quarters full with water. Add the malt syrup and salt.

Bring water to a boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment and, if desired, sprinkle generously with corn meal. Set aside.

Line two other baking sheets with a kitchen towel, set near your stove. Reduce boiling water to a simmer and cook 2 bagels at a time (do not crowd the pot). Simmer bagels for about 45 seconds on one side, then turn and cook other side for another 45 seconds and then drain bagels on the towel-lined baking sheet.

Carefully place bagels on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake bagels plain or sprinkle with a topping of your choice. Place in the hot oven, immediately reduce heat to 425 degrees F, and bake about 17 to 25 minutes. When almost baked, turn bagels over (a pair of tongs do the job easily). If you have a baking stone, finish bagels on the stone directly. Transfer bagels to wire rack to cool.

This is the first batch to come out of the oven...minus the 2 Mike took!