Most people on the West Coast don’t realize that they’ve never really eaten a bagel. On this side of the country, when people say “let’s get bagels” what they’re really saying is “let’s get bread shaped like a ring”. There’s a myth that the reason the bagels are better in NY is because of the water, but actually that’s not exactly the case. The difference in the water may have some minimal effect on the taste, but the real issue is that people on the West Coast straight up don’t make bagels correctly! Bagels are meant to be boiled before you bake them — that’s what gives them their chewy, doughy, satisfying texture. One of the biggest bagel chains around here doesn’t even boil their bagels! They put them in an oven that they inject with steam, but this is not the same thing AT ALL. I’ve been craving a good East Coast bagel for a while now so I decided to try my hand at them. For a first attempt, they came out pretty good, but I certainly have not yet perfect the art of bagelry. Overall I was satisfied with the results and look forward to improving them in the future!
2 c. white flour
1.5 c. wheat flour
2 tsp. salt
1 c. warm water
1.5 tbsp. sugar
Toppings of choice (garlic, sea salt, seeds, etc.)
Put 1/2 c. of warm water into a small bowl, pour in the yeast and sugar, and let that sit for 5 minutes so that yeast is activated. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt and then pour in the yeast mixture along with another half cup of water. If the dough is extremely sticky add more flour, or if it’s super dry add a tablespoon of water at a time. Knead the dough for 10 minutes and put it in a bowl covered by a damp paper towel for 1 hour. Punch down the dough and then let it rise for 5-10 more minutes. Pull off pieces of the dough (slightly smaller than a fist) and form them into spheres, trying to have as few cracks as possible. Poke a hole in the sphere with your finger and pull into a ring shape. Allow the bagels to rise for another 10 minutes under a damp towel. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and preheat the oven to 425. Put the bagels into the boiling water, a few at a time, and let them boil for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Then pull them out, place on a greased baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle on toppings of choice. Bake on 425 for about 20 minutes so that the bagels are browned on the outside.