How to make authentic New York-style bagels?

Introduction to New York-style bagels

New York-style bagels are characterized by their chewy texture, shiny exterior, and a slightly sweet taste. Unlike other bagels which can be soft and doughy, these bagels have a firm and dense texture that makes them perfect for toasting and slathering with cream cheese. One of the secrets to making authentic New York-style bagels is to use high-gluten flour and to boil the dough before baking it. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to make your own delicious bagels from scratch.

Ingredients needed for authentic bagels

To make 12-16 bagels, you will need 4 cups of high-gluten flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of instant yeast, 1 ½ cups of warm water, and 1 tablespoon of malt syrup or honey. You can also add in any additional flavors such as cinnamon, raisins, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds. It is important to use high-gluten flour as it has a higher protein content which creates the chewy texture that is characteristic of bagels. Malt syrup or honey also adds a touch of sweetness and helps to create the shiny exterior on the bagels.

Mixing and kneading the dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix well before adding in the warm water and malt syrup or honey. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to combine the ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until it has doubled in size.

Proofing the dough properly

After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 12-16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and use your fingers to poke a hole in the center. Place the bagels on a floured surface and cover with a damp cloth. Allow the bagels to proof for an additional 10-15 minutes before boiling.

Shaping the bagels by hand

To shape the bagels by hand, use your fingers to poke a hole in the center of each ball of dough. Gently stretch the hole until it is about 2 inches in diameter. Place the bagels on a floured surface and cover with a damp cloth. Allow the bagels to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Boiling the bagels in water

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add in 2 tablespoons of malt syrup or honey. Carefully place the bagels in the boiling water, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Boil the bagels for 1-2 minutes on each side, then remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Baking the bagels to perfection

Preheat your oven to 450°F. Brush the bagels with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water) and sprinkle with your desired toppings. Bake the bagels for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Tips for achieving a crispy crust

To achieve a crispy crust on your bagels, it is important to boil them before baking. Adding malt syrup or honey to the boiling water also helps to create a shiny exterior. Brushing the bagels with an egg wash before baking will give them a beautiful golden brown color and a crispy finish.

Classic toppings for New York-style bagels

Classic toppings for New York-style bagels include cream cheese, lox, capers, red onion, and tomato. Other popular toppings include smoked salmon, bacon, avocado, and scrambled eggs. Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and everything seasoning are also popular choices.

Serving and storing your bagels

Freshly baked bagels are best enjoyed within a few hours of baking. To store your bagels, keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat frozen bagels, simply pop them in the toaster or oven until they are warm and crispy.

Troubleshooting common problems

If your bagels turn out too soft, try using a higher protein flour or boiling them for a longer period of time. If your bagels turn out too dense, make sure to proof them properly and don’t overwork the dough during kneading. If your bagels don’t have a shiny exterior, try adding more malt syrup or honey to the boiling water.

Conclusion: Enjoy your homemade bagels!

Now that you know how to make authentic New York-style bagels, you can impress your friends and family with your baking skills. With a little bit of practice and patience, you can create delicious homemade bagels that rival those from your favorite bakery. So grab your apron and get baking!

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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