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New York Cult Recipes

New York Cult Recipes

By Marc Grossman

Published 2013

  • About

This iconic wheel-shaped bread was first brought to New York by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Authentic, fresh, bagels are still quite rare outside of New York, which is why some of us like to make our own.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes


Dry Ingredients

  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz/5 cups) strong flour
  • teaspoons dried yeast
  • 3 teaspoons salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/ cups) lukewarm water (or 400 ml/14 fl oz if you add the wheat gluten, see note)
  • 2 tablespoons malt syrup or sugar syrup
  • tablespoons olive oil

Poaching Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons potato starch
  • 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups) water
  • 3 teaspoons malt syrup or sugar syrup
  • teaspoons salt

Topping (Optional)

  • sesame seeds and poppy seeds are the most traditional, but you can experiment with other things


The Dough

Combine the dry ingredients and beat together the wet ingredients. Combine the two mixtures and knead vigorously for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and form into small balls.

Shaping the Dough

Using the palms of your hands, flatten and stretch the balls of dough to make sausages 20-25 cm (8-10 inches) long. Flatten one of the ends into a hook shape. Wrap it around the other end and pinch to seal. Place each bagel on an individual square of baking paper to make it easier to move them later. Scatter over some flour, then cover with plastic wrap and allow them to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F/Gas 8). If it is an electric oven, place a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven 15 minutes before baking. Blend the potato starch into 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of the cold water, then dissolve it with the rest of the poaching ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and then lower the heat so the water is just simmering. Drop the bagels into the water, in batches if necessary. After about 1 minute, turn them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Take them out using a slotted spoon and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Finally, sprinkle the topping over the damp bagels. Place the tray of bagels in the oven, lower the temperature to 210°C (415°F/Gas 6-7) and bake for 20-25 minutes until the bagels start to brown.