These fluffy New York-Style bagels are simple to prepare, fun to make, and delicious to enjoy with tons of fillings and toppings! With just 6 ingredients, plus a vegan option, you can enjoy homemade bagels every day!
Prepare the yeast mixture by adding the yeast, warm water (between 40-46ºC/105-115ºF), and maple syrup to a bowl and mixing until the yeast has dissolved completely. Then set aside to activate for five minutes - during this time, it should bubble up and become slightly frothy.
Step 2: Mix the dough
Mix the flour, yeast mixture, and salt. Then knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. If you find that the dough is a little dry, you may need to add a tiny bit more*.Once kneaded, form the dough into a large ball by folding over the edges to the underside, creating a smooth round top.
Step 3: Rest the dough
Lightly oil the outside of the dough with your hands and place in an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with some clingfilm (or a kitchen towel), and then set aside for it to rest for 1 hour (or read the recipe notes for a longer cold-rest option) in a warm area (such as inside your switched off oven).
Step 4: Divide the dough
Once rested, the dough should have risen to double its' size. At this point, you need to deflate it with a light kneading just for 30 seconds or so.
Once ready, divide the dough into 13 pieces. For perfectly uniform bagels, you can weigh each piece with a scale, and they should be around 100g each (3.5oz) or whatever the weight of your dough ball is divided by 13.
Roll each piece into a ball. Place any finished ball onto a kitchen towel covered tray. Once they are all ready, set the tray aside for 10-15 minutes to rest once more.
Step 5: Shape the bagels
There are several methods you can use to shape the bagels. Some roll the dough into long ropes and press the ends together. However, I find It easier to shape the bagel shape and then press a finger/thumb into the center to create a hole and spin it lightly.If you want a more pronounced bagel hole, then you can spin the bagel lightly around your finger/s (as the hole will get smaller during the rest of the making process and can close up if you're not careful).Once shaped, set the bagels back below the kitchen towel and leave for a further 10 minutes.
Step 6: Boil the bagels
While the bagels rest, bring a large pot of water and the cane sugar to a boil, mixing well, so the sugar is fully dissolved. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. **
Once the bagels have rested, gently lower them into the simmering water with a skimmer/slotted spoon. Make sure to do just a few simultaneously, not overcrowding the pan (as they increase in size while boiling). Then poach for 20 seconds on each side.***
Place the poached bagels onto a prepared baking tray (lightly oil or cover with parchment paper), leaving at least an inch between them.
Step 7: Add the toppings
Brush the bagels with the egg wash (or plant-based milk or oil for vegan bagels), and sprinkle with your topping of choice. I used a combination of seeds on their own and everything bagel seasoning for my batch.
Step 8: Bake the bagels
Bake in the oven at 240ºC/475ºF bake for 10 minutes. Then spin the tray, so the front bagels are now at the back of the oven, and bake for a further 6-10 minutes until they are uniformly golden brown.Once ready, allow them to cool slightly, and then they are ready to enjoy!
* The humidity/climate, altitude, and even the type and brand of flour can affect how much liquid you need in the dough.** You can omit the sugar. *** You can increase the poaching time to 1 minute for chewier results or even 2 minutes for a denser, chewier bagel. Never do less than 20 seconds per side, though, and I wouldn't recommend more than 2 minutes per side.
You can use an electric mixer with a dough hook or food processor with a dough blade to knead the dough until it’s smooth. This will take around ten minutes.
As well as topping the bagels, you can also season the inside of the bagel. For example, adding little of this Italian seasoning or a garlic and herb mixture created delicious, flavourful homemade New York-style bagels. You could also add some cheese and minced jalapeño or even cinnamon and raisins.
High-protein white flour is best for bagels, though, to give that signature bagel chew. You could also use whole wheat flour, though I'd suggest using a 50/50 combination of wholewheat and white flour.
You can add a tablespoon of barley malt syrup into the dough for a more traditional bagel flavor. Reduce the water content slightly to make up for the extra liquid. You could also add this syrup to the poaching liquid instead of the cane sugar.