Before developing my recipe and process for making bagels at my bakery, I toured the famous bagel houses of New York and Montreal, each with their own unique style. This recipe is akin to the NY style with a dense chewy crumb.
The keys to getting the bagel right lie in the stiffness of the dough. This is what lends the chewy dense crumb of a great morning bagel. The stiffness is also critical if you’re going to boil them, because it makes them less fragile and prone to deflating while moving into the pot. They may be a bit toothsome, but also yielding, with a subtle sweetness from a dash of sugar or honey in the dough.
You can also skip the boil for a simpler process and similar outcome. The crust is a bit softer and a touch sweet from the malted barley in the boiling liquid and It has the totally round shape from not baking on the a sheet tray at first, buoyed by the water. The taste and texture remain largely the same.
The finished bagels freeze incredibly well in a heavy freezer bag and the dough keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. You better make a double batch if you want extra around though, because these dissappear fast!
Make about a dozen bagels – Whole Wheat or sifted 20 minutes active time Minimum 2 hours start to finish but works best as an overnight dough.
- 1lb 5oz whole wheat flour (or 1lb 6oz sifted)
- 1/2 Tsp instant yeast
- 2 Tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp Sugar (or 3 Tbsp Honey)
- 15oz water at 90 degrees
- Scale dry ingredients and mix together before adding the water.
- Warm the water to 90 degrees and mix with the dry.
- The dough should be a bit stiff and require a little hand kneading to fully incorporate all the flour. Like a soft clay consistency
- Knead for 2-3 minutes in the bowl
- Allow to double in size or place in fridge to use the following day
- Portion dough into 3 oz squares and then roll into 10 inch strands
- After you roll each strand, wrap around your hand with the seam under your palm and roll until even and sealed
- If you just want to bake them and skip the boil, top them now
- If you are going to boil, top them as they come out of the boil
- Place on a baking sheet dusted with flour to proof (rise) until risen 50%
- Boil in a single layer 1 minute per side and then place on baking tray with silpat or parchment
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees
adding malted barley powder (1 Tbs) to the boiling liquid
On the left is the boiled bagel and on the right is the baked one. I would say the difference is small but the boiled one does have a slightly softer crust. They are both incredibly delicious and satisfying.