I’ve never been to New York City, but I have a certain fondness for the city for two reasons… BAGELS BEN BAGELS BEN BAGELS BEN BAGELS, in no particular order, ha ha ha. Number one, Ben was born there, on Long Island. He lived there for a year, but hey! It’s his birthplace, and therefore, it is special to me. Number two, bagels. I know bagels probably originally do not hail from NYC, but the American bagel certainly does. So, NYC is the birthplace of two of my loves. Hence my love for the city, even though I’ve never been. 🙂
I have bagels on my 30 Before 30 bucket list, and they have been on my culinary bucket list for quite some time but it wasn’t until a recent episode of Mad Men that REALLY got me in the mood for them. Sure, we eat bagels occasionally–from Panera or another bagel shop, or even [gasp] from the grocery store. But now that I’ve made bagels from scratch I’m not sure I can go back. Since my 29th birthday was yesterday, the clock was a-ticking to get my 30 before 30 list dunzo!
I’ve actually made these bagels twice in the past week–last weekend, and then again yesterday with Ben. Who makes bagels on their birthday? I do apparently, but in my defense, it was a cloudy dreary day. It was sunny before church and then clouded over and rained later in the day… perfect baking weather if you ask me! These bagels are absolutely amazing and are a cinch to put together. They are so chewy and thick that you’d swear they came from a bagel shop instead of your kitchen. I never knew plain bagels could be so flavorful… they’re great toasted with butter, jam, or cream cheese. This is a great recipe to try if you’re new to baking with yeast because it’s SO simple. You don’t need a mixer and there are only five ingredients. Give ’em a try. What do you have to lose?! 🙂
New York Bagels
from Rachel Schultz
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast [1 package]
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon sugar, etc. – for topping, optional
Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup. I don’t have an exact temperature for you, just that it should be like bathwater–warm enough you can comfortably put your fingers in but not too hot. Stir and let rest for 5 minutes. At the end of this time, water should be somewhat bubbly.
In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough is formed. Remove to a flour-dusted countertop and knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn once to coat. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
After an hour, punch dough down and let rest for 10 minutes. Then divide dough into eight pieces [if you are obsessive and weigh them like me, mine were approximately 110 grams each]. Shape into a ball and with a flour-covered finger, punch a hole through the center [there’s a lot of punching in bagel making, obviously]. The hole should be about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat, and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.
During this time, preheat oven to 425 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water is boiling, place bagels in boiling water, two or three at a time. Poach for 2 minutes per side, then remove to baking sheet with a slotted spoon to drain excess water.
If desired, top–while still wet from the poaching process–with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon sugar, or whatever topping your little heart desires. I want to try an everything bagel seasoning blend sometime!
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end if desired for extra texture/chewiness [I skipped this step].
Store in an airtight container or ziptop bag after cooling completely.
Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.