Chewy New York-style bagels to fulfill those ex-pat bagel cravings!
There was a time when I did not like bagels. This coincided with the time I had braces on my teeth. I blame the braces, because I honestly can’t think of any other reason why I didn’t like bagels. Bagels are essentially chewy bread, and bread is great, and chewy is good too (in certain situations, but not when you have braces). Anyway, I’ve been braces-free since 2006 (!) and when I’m back home I enjoy bagel-dates with friends, or just by myself when I’m craving a bagel.
Unfortunately, bagels are hard to find in Germany and Austria. There are a few places in Berlin where you can get them, but I’ve yet to find any place in Linz with bagels. If other bread options weren’t plentiful, this would be a serious problem. However, the German-speaking peoples do know how to make a good loaf of bread or roll, even if they haven’t caught on to the bagel yet. As I was literally finishing eating one of these fresh from the oven I got a Facebook message from a high school acquaintance who is also currently living in Europe and she happened to mention that she really misses bagels, too. What a coincidence…
Despite the other bread options, sometimes I still yearn for a good bagel. I always knew it was possible to make them but after my friend who is living in a dorm in Japan said she had made bagels several times, I decided I finally had to try it. I have a whole proper kitchen at my disposal so I have no excuses.
When I bit into this bagel I will not lie, my first thought was “Oh my god, this tastes like a bagel!” I think I somehow doubted that it would actually taste like a bagel and would instead just be a bagel-shaped mini bread loaf. Nope. Golden brown, chewy, and topped with crispy nutty sesame seeds. 100% bagel.
Knowing how to make bagels may prove in the long run to be a bad thing. Bagels are, sadly, not very good for you. But they are really easy to make. If you can make bread, you can make these. The only extra skill you need beyond that is the ability to boil water, and everyone can do that. Shaping them is definitely a little difficult, but nothing some YouTube videos can’t solve.
So, fellow (temporary or permanent) American ex-pats, I encourage all of you who are feeling the loss of bagels to go forth and make your own.
P.S. After writing the word “bagels” so many times, it’s starting to look extremely weird.
Makes 6-7 regular-sized bagels
Adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water, plus extra if needed
- heaping 1 tsp honey (just measure over the bowl and let the honey run over a little)
- 2 2/3 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- egg wash
- small handful cornmeal
- optional: sesame seeds (or poppy seeds, or whatever else you desire) for topping
In a large bowl, mix yeast and 1/2 cup of the warm water. Let sit for five minutes to allow the yeast to become active.
Add in flour, honey, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup water. If necessary, add more water to create a workable dough. Turn onto a clean floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Add as much flour as necessary to create a firm, stiff dough.
Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
When the dough is finished its rise, set a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, punch the dough down, remove from bowl, and divide into 6-7 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and then stick your thumb through the ball to create a hole. Gently stretch the hole. Let rest for about 10 minutes. The bagels will expand while boiling, so don’t be concerned if they look a little on the small side.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Boil each bagel for 1 minute on each side, working in batches of 2-3 as feels comfortable to you. Place the boiled bagels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush each bagel with egg wash, then sprinkle with seeds or press into seeds.
Bake for about 20-22 minutes. Serve hot or cold or toasted or however you prefer to eat bagels!
Posted to Brooklyn Farm Girl’s Saturday Night Fever, Sweet and Savoury Sunday, Mostly Homemade Mom’s Share & Share Wednesday, Buns in My Oven’s What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage’s Full Plate Thursday, the Let’s Get Real Blog Hop, and A Peek Into My Paradise’s Happiness is Homemade!