Authentic Jewish Bagels

Oh yes. There are Bagel purists out there. I know…because my dad is one of them. I stumbled across this recipe through a Project Food Blog entry and just couldn’t stop thinking about making them. Now that I’ve done so, I have to make them specially for my dad so he can give them his stamp of approval. Miss Leighdles, the Boy, and I all HIGHLY approve. And the recipe’s pretty hilarious to read too…I’ll give a link to it here, and write it in my own style below = ). As for the secret ingredients?

1) New York water (preferably NYC water, but I think upstate’s water did a great job)

2) Malt syrup (I ordered mine online through Eden Foods – Barley Malt Syrup. It gives the bagels a sweet sheen.)

Read on for my version of the recipe and photos…

Ingredients

makes about 15 bagels

6 – 8 cups bread flour (it’s high-gluten)

4 tbsp instant yeast

6 tbsp granulated white sugar or light honey (clover honey works – I used sugar though)

2 tsp salt

3 cups hot water (this is where your NY water would come in)

a big of vegetable oil

1 gallon water (don’t need to worry about this water, really)

3 – 5 tbsp malt syrup (if you really can’t wait for it to ship or can’t find it, you can substitute sugar)

a few handfuls of cornmeal

Directions

  • Pour the hot water into a mixing bowl. It should be hot, but not so hot you can’t stand to keep your fingers in it for several seconds at a time.
  • Add the sugar or honey and stir with your fingers to dissolve (another good way to determine if your water is warm enough).
  • Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve.
  • Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes and make sure it foams (proofing yeast – we’ve done this before.  don’t skip this or you might end up with heavy bagel cracker things…).

  • Add about three cups of flour and 2 tsp of salt and begin mixing.
  • Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time. As the dough gets thicker, add less flour at a time.
  • You’ll soon be able to knead it on a lightly floured surface. Don’t add too much flour, or knead too much. It should be heavy but still elastic.

  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough to coat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise, in a warm dry place, to double its current size (only takes about an hour to an hour and a half).

  • While the dough is rising, fill a stockpot with about a gallon of water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the malt syrup or sugar and reduce the heat to a low simmer – the surface of the water should hardly move.

  • Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and punch down.

  • Divide into about 15 equal sized hunks.

  • Shape your bagels – there are two ways. Form balls and poke holes through (“hole-centric” and what I did for the most part). Form snakes and mash together ends (“dough-centric”). Apparently, however, if you use a doughnut hole or cookie cutter, you’re making the bagels Protestant. (?)
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Sprinkle baking sheets with a generous amount of cornmeal.
  • Let the formed bagels sit for about 10 minutes. They should rise about a quarter of their size in that time.

  • Drop the bagels 2 or 3 at a time into the simmering malt water.
  • After 3 minutes, use a skimmer to flip them and cook another 3 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to sit on a kitchen towel until all bagels have been cooked in the water. Notice the pretty shine from the malt syrup!

  • Arrange the bagels on the cornmeal covered baking sheets and bake for about 25 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and flip over. Bake another 10 minutes (this avoids flat-bottom bagels).

  • Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
  • Make sure to wait until their cool to cut them. I know it’s hard. But it’s worth it.

TO CUSTOMIZE: After boiling/before baking, brush the bagels with an egg wash (1 egg white, 3 tbsp ice water). Sprinkle with the topping of your choice, then bake as normal.

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Comments
One Response to “Authentic Jewish Bagels”
  1. Great, just done reading this article. Very nice information you wrote. Absolutely following your site! Thank you a lot.

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