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NYC Bagels

Bagels originated from the polish Jewish community from the 16th century. Earlier reports of a boiled then baked bread refer to "ka'ak" from a 13th century Arabic cookbook. 

Bread / Side

MAKES 8

20 mins Cooking

PLUS 10 min for preparation

180ºC

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (6g)
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1.25 cups warm water (you may need 1/4 cup more)
  • 3.25 cups bread flour or high gluten flour (you may need up to 1/2 cup for kneading)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Optional toppings: (Refer to Notes)

METHOD

  1. In the warm water, mix in the sugar until dissolved and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Do not stir the yeast and ensure the water isn’t too warm for the yeast. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast in.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  3. Pour the yeast and warm water into the well and mix. You may need to add a little more water and you want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  4. 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.
  5. Lightly brush a large bowl with canola or olive 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.
  6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) 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). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  7. 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 1/3 the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220ºC.
  9. 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. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. 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 then 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).
  10. If you want to add toppings to your bagels, do so as you take them out of the water. Alternatively, you can use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before baking the bagels. You may want to use the “Optional Toppings” listed above to top the bagels. Use just one topping, or a combination to make your own Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown (I usually err on the side of 20 minutes) then once cooked cool on a wire rack

Notes

Optional Toppings: Caraway seeds, cinnamon sugar, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, or a mix of your favorite flavors.

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