Adlen Robinson: Making Actual New York Bagels

If you’ve ever eaten an authentic New York style bagel, you will know what the difference is with “regular” bagels. The New York style bagels are deliciously chewy and not doughy like most bagels. I used to think making homemade bagels was intimidating – but no longer.

I made this recipe by hand and made the dough with my bread machine. As always, the bread machine made better dough – but the handmade ones were delicious too. Once you have the perfect batter, don’t skip the step of boiling the bagels – this is the secret to getting the chewy texture so important to making the perfect New York style bagel. This is a fun project to do with your kids or grandchildren! One more thing: these bagels freeze wonderfully, so you’ll always have fresh New York-style bagels on hand. Enjoy!

New York style bagels

For bread machine

  • 3 cups of water

  • 4 teaspoons of sugar (or honey)

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt

  • 3 ½ cups flour, preferably bread flour

  • 2 teaspoons of yeast

Add ingredients in the order your machine’s instructions suggest – this is the order my machine suggests. Set the machine to the “Dough” setting and let the machine finish mixing, kneading and rising.

Once the machine says the dough is ready, flip the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a few times and add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover with a cloth and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and shape the dough into balls. Slap your finger into the center of the balls and stretch it into a bagel shape. Cover the formed bagels and let rest for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Also bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. After the bagels are rested, carefully add bagels, one at a time, in boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes and then turn the bagels over and cook for another 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bagels and gently drain them on a clean kitchen towel. Then place them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Repeat until all of the bagels are cooked.

Sprinkle bagels with the desired toppings such as “Everything Bagel Seasoning”, sesame, poppy seeds or nothing at all.

Bake bagels for 20-24 minutes. Cool bagels on a rack. Top with your favorite toppings – suggestions to follow.

Handmade bagels

Mix ½ cup of warm water with sugar and yeast. Do not stir – let rest for 5 minutes until the mixture “blooms”. Stir the mixture well. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and add the remaining warm water plus the yeast mixture.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for an hour.

Punch out the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Shape into 10 pieces and shape each into balls. Insert your finger into each ball, then stretch to create a bagel shape. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Also bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Carefully add a few bagels to boiling water. After 2 minutes, turn the bagels over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the bagels from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and gently pat them with a kitchen towel to remove excess water.

Place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle with “Everything Bagel Seasoning”, sesame, poppy seeds or nothing at all. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Cool the bagels on a rack and place the toppings you want on top.

Recommended toppings for bagels

  • Cream cheese. Of course, regular cream cheese is delicious, but there are plenty of flavored ones that can add some pizzaz to your bagel.

  • Smoked salmon. I like to smear cream cheese on my bagel and then top it with smoked salmon, chopped red onion, capers, and fresh dill. Delicious!

  • Egg sandwich. Butter your warm bagel and top with ham or cooked bacon, and add a fried or scrambled egg and maybe a slice of cheddar cheese.

  • Sweet indulgence. Smear your bagel with plain cream cheese and your favorite jam or jelly. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Nutella!

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