Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

New York Christmas

New York Christmas

By Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup

Published 2017

  • About

Whether sprinkled with poppy seeds or sesame seeds, whether sweet or savoury – these yeasted bread rings have a long tradition. Bagels are traditional Eastern European breads that were brought to the USA by immigrants. These days, they are as much a fixture of American life as the New York Times. Bagels are briefly boiled before they are baked with steam to give them their typical, shiny crust.


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chopped pistachios for sprinkling


Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and olive oil and knead everything for about 8 minutes to make a smooth, pliable dough. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour.

Dust the dough with flour and remove it from the bowl. Dust your benchtop with flour and knead the dough briefly, then shape it into a thick sausage. Divide the dough into 8 even portions and shape each portion into a round. Dust the handle of a wooden spoon with flour and use it to make a hole in the centre of each dough round. Widen the hole to about 3 cm ( inches). Dust the bagels with a little flour on both sides, cover and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

Make sure to preheat the oven in time to 200°C (400°F/Gas mark 6). Place a small bowl of water on the bottom of the oven and line two baking trays with baking paper. Bring plenty of water to a boil in a large, wide saucepan. Stir in the honey and salt, then reduce the temperature somewhat. Carefully place the bagels into the simmering water, one at a time, using a large skimmer. Simmer for about 30–40 seconds, then flip them over and cook for another 30–40 seconds. Drain the bagels and transfer them to the baking trays. Whisk the egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush the bagels with the mixture, then sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or pistachios.

Slide the trays into the oven and bake the bagels for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the bowl of water after 10 minutes. Set the bagels aside to cool on a rack.