Breakfast: Best Homemade Bagels

You know good bagels especially if you’re from Montreal or New York.

Making homemade bagels takes a little bit of patience, but is so worth it when your kitchen smells like heaven—and you get to eat them.bagels1


5 cups flour (preferably bread flour)

1 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey or *barley malt syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 cups of water


  1. In a standup mixer fitted with the dough-hook, combine the yeast, and 2 cups water. Give it a quick stir to get the yeast excited. Add the sugar, salt, and honey and stir.
  2. Slowly add the 5 cups flour and mix for 5 minutes (stopping to scrape down the sides if need be). After 5 minutes, the dough should be tacky but not sticky. Drop the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with lightly oiled cellophane and set it in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, the dough should have doubled in size. At this point, you dump your dough onto the counter and either pinch or cut the dough into 12 approximately equal-sized pieces. Roll them into balls and leave on 2 Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets, topped with a lightly damped towel, for 20 minutes.
  4. They will have puffed a bit and now it’s time to poke the hole in the middle. Poke your finger through and stretch a 2-inch hole.bagels4 Throw ‘em back down on the cookie sheets and let ’em rise for 20 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile…..pre-heat your oven to 500° degrees F and get your ‘everything’ toppings together in a bowl, as well as a large (preferably wide) stockpot 3/4 full of boiling water with 2 tablespoons of honey mixed in. Turn it down to a simmer, and when the bagels have finished their second 20-minute proof, plop 3 or 4 in, making sure not to crowd them. bagels5Simmer them in the water for 30 seconds on each side, then place them back on the cookie sheets. Immediately sprinkle liberally with toppings.
  6. Pop the trays in the oven for 5 minutes then turn the heat down to 350° F degrees. Rotate the pans and let them cook for 10-12 more minutes. They should be golden brown and they should smell like heaven.

Everything Topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • egg wash:1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water (brushed overtop to prevent toppings from burning)

If you want to get really creative you can create your own cream cheese spreads – eg: sundried tomatoes mixed into softened cream cheese, etc.

*Malt syrup, a sweetener, gives bagels their characteristic flavour. Barley malt syrup is available at most supermarkets, but if you can’t find it, use brown rice syrup, honey, or agave. Though these are not traditionally used in bagel making, they are completely acceptable substitutions. Some people even prefer the flavour of honey or agave to barley malt, especially fans of Montreal-style bagels, which are boiled in honey-sweetened water.

And remember; you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them!

Time: takes about 2 hours.  Serves: 12

Source: The Dinner Bell: part of a brunch for the cast and crew of “High Maintenance”



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