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New York Style Bagels


For the sponge

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached high-gluten flour
  • cups tepid water

For the dough

  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • cups unbleached high-gluten flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt I reduced salt because of personal preference
  • 2 teaspoons malt powder

For Water boiling

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Wide pan filled half way with water

For Topping

  • Black and white Sesame seeds poppy seeds for adding on top


Make the sponge

  1. Take a mixing bowl and Mix the yeast into the flour. Add the water, mix until smooth and all flour is hydrated.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 - 3 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It took my sponge about 4 hours to double in size because it was a particularly cold day. But that is what you are looking for - double the size.

Make the dough

  1. After the sponge has doubled, add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Mix until the ingredients come together and then add the remaining flour a little at a time to make a very stiff dough.
  2. Knead this dough until pliable and the dough passes the window pane test. It helped to take the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The dough temp should read between 77 to 81 *F. Mine was ready when it registered an 81.
  3. Once the dough is ready, divide into 12 equal parts. I went and baked a baker's dozen just because!
  4. Cover the dough balls and allow them to rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting prepare two sheet pans lined with parchment. Spray some oil on top of the sheets. Keep aside .
  6. Take one dough ball and roll it into an 8-inch long rope. Then wrap the dough rope around the palm and back of your hand, overlapping the ends by several inches. Press the overlapping ends on the counter with the palm of your hand, rocking back and forth to seal. Or Watch this video
  7. Place each of the shaped bagels on the pans making sure to leave space between them. Mist the bagels very lightly with an oil spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  8. After the 20 minutes, do a float test to see if the bagels are ready for a rise in the refrigerator.

Float test

  1. Fill a small bowl with cool water. Take one bagel and drop it into the bowl of water. If it floats within 10 seconds, your bagels are ready to be kept in the fridge. Return the tester bagel to the sheet pan, pat it dry, cover the pan once more and place it in the refrigerator overnight. If the test bagel doesn't float, return the bagel to the pan, pat it dry and cover and allow to sit at room temperature for another 20 minutes. Repeat the test until your test bagel floats immediately.

Baking day

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Bring a large wide pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda.
  2. Gently drop the bagels into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit. My pot accommodated about 3 at a time. Boil for a minute on each side. Then remove with a slotted spoon and place them back on the sheet pan after adding the toppings. (Add toppings as soon as you remove the bagel from the boiling water)
  3. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans a 180*. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown.
  4. Allow to cool before eating.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from "The Bread Baker’s Apprentice" posted in "The Plate"