Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Easy to Make New York City Bagels at Home

I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta.  To me, Aunt Jemima was syrup (not fake maple syrup), there was nothing weird about mashed potatoes from a box, and salad dressing came in packet.  Oh, and I thought Lender's Bagels were bagels. 

When I moved to New York in 1996, my eyes were opened to real bagels.  Over the years, my taste for what goes in my bagels has evolved.  I used to get an everything bagel with cream cheese, then I got into bacon and egg bagel sandwiches, then scooped out and buttered whole wheat bagels, and nowadays I enjoy bagels with cream cheese, tomato, salt and pepper.  The one thing that hasn't changed is my love of bagels!

So, imagine my surprise when I saw this post about making bagels at home on Serious Eats, one of my favorite food websites.  I read the headline a couple of times with my head tilted like a confused puppy...homemade bagels?  What do you mean?  I thought you needed fancy equipment and unusual ingredients.  If you could make them at home, why wouldn't I have heard about it before?

Well, I tried the recipe about six weeks ago ago and I've been making and freezing a big batch of bagels ever since.   I highly recommend this recipe because it's easy and foolproof.  It also produces delicious and chewy bagels for pennies each.  The only thing that takes some figuring out is getting the bagel shape after you roll out the "rope" of dough.  The first couple of times I made the bagels, I couldn't get the connecting dough not to taper, but it just takes practice.

Check out our video where I talk about the bagel-making process below.  Photos and detailed instructions are after the jump, so click on "read more."

And here are the pictures of each step of the recipe:

You need flour, sugar, salt, water and malt barley syrup (or honey)
The dough has risen!
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions

Make a 7" "rope" from each ball of dough and connect the ends

Put the dough into boiling bath of water and malt barley syrup (or honey).
If you want to add toppings, you do it after the bagels come out of this bath and before they go in the oven.

They get one flip after 15 minutes in the oven

Let them cool on a wire rack
Legitimate bagels made at home!

Eating a bagel with cream cheese fresh out of my oven.  Delicioso!

I like these bagels a lot!  They're a little on the heavy side, but that's not a big deal to me.  If you try this recipe or have found an even better one, let me know in the comments!

Here's the Le Creuset pot that I use almost daily.  It is one of those things that lasts forever.  When I got mine about six years ago, it was the most expensive thing I had ever bought in terms of kitchenware.  But when you think about how long it will last, it's actually really inexpensive...a great value.


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