There are many things I’m enjoying about my adopted city of Kansas City since I moved here a few months ago – more space, excellent barbecue, and relearning how to drive again (sorry, fellow drivers!).  However, one thing I definitely miss about NYC are the bagels! Growing up in the tri-state area, I didn’t realize until I moved away how amazingly awesome NYC bagels are, and how different they are elsewhere.  Frozen supermarket bagels aren’t even in the same league.  So, when I happened upon this recipe for homemade bagels on Serious Eats, I knew I had to try it.

My go-to bagel is always everything with low-fat scallion cream cheese. Amaaazing! So, I needed to first put together my own everything bagel spice:

I combined equal parts poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, dried onion, and dried garlic, and added a smaller portion of coarse salt.  The salt is key – an everything bagel isn’t an everything bagel without coarse salt!

Following the Serious East recipe, you will need the following ingredients to make your bagels:

Homemade Bagels, a la Jo Goldenberg (original recipe link here)

  • 3.5 cups bread flour
  • 2.5 tsp or 1 envelope active dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups hot water (120°–130°F)
  • 1. 5 tbsp malt syrup (I didn’t have this so used 1.5 tbsp brown sugar. My grocery store is ordering malt syrup and I’ll be trying that next time!)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for toppings)
  • Toppings of choice

    1. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixed, about 5 seconds. With processor running, slowly add the water; process until dough comes together and rides up over the blade, about 30 seconds. Continue processing until dough becomes satiny and elastic, about 30 seconds more.

    2. Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

    3. After dough has risen but before you divide and shape it, prepare your water bath: Add the malt syrup to 6 quarts of water over high heat and let it come to a boil as you continue with the following steps. Also: Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    4. After dough has doubled in bulk, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and press down with your fingers to expel the gases. Divide dough into 10 equal portions.

    5. Ball a portion of dough, then roll it into a “rope” about 7 inches long and about 1 inch thick. (Tip: I like to taper the ends slightly in preparation for the next step.

    6. Wrap the dough around the back of your hand, overlapping the ends in your palm. Place your hand, along with the dough, palm-down on the work surface and roll dough back and forth until ends crimp and seal together. Place dough ring under a span of plastic wrap while you repeat rope-and-loop process with remaining dough portions.

    7.  Allow bagels to rise again for 10 minutes. At this point, your malt syrup–water should be boiling. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon to carefully add bagels, one at a time, to the water. (Note: no more in the pot than 3 at a time.) Bagels should sink but then rise again after a few seconds. Simmer for 1 minute, flipping bagels at the 30-second mark.

    8. Remove bagels from water with skimmer or slotted spoon to a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry.

    9. For bagel toppings: Place bagels on wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Brush bagel tops with egg-water mixture. Shake on desired toppings.  The baking sheet will collect excess dry toppings (such as sesame or poppy seeds). Simply pour them back into their containers for reuse.

    Bagels, pre-bake, post-topping

    10. Place bagels on prepared baking sheet. Bake until light brown and shiny, 15 to 20 minutes. Flip, and bake until reverse side is golden-brown and shiny, about 10 minutes more.

I must say – these homemade bagels were awesome!  They had an appropriately shiny and slightly hard outer shell, and the consistency inside was perfectly chewy and dense, just as a bagel should be!  And this may be a matter of personal preference, but I added the toppings to both sides of the bagel – as it should be, in my opinion!  To top it off, I toasted the finished everything bagel and mixed in some scallions with low-fat cream cheese:

I’ve had several people asking for this recipe – I’m not going to lie, if you live in or near NYC, you might as well just buy a bagel.  These were super fun to make, but it is just a lot easier to stop by your local shop and pick one up with your schmear of choice.  But if, like me, you have a hankering for the bagels that you can only get in the big apple, definitely try your hand at these!  Let me know how they turn out!