How to Make Authentic East Coast Bagels Wherever You Live
Nicole Rees, a food scientist, and Lisa Bell, a former pastry chef, demonstrate how to make authentic, East Coast bagels from basic ingredients. One big advantage of making your own bagels at home is the freshness. Bagels are meant to be eaten almost right out of the oven.
Give this recipe a try, and see for yourself the difference in taste!
East Coast Style Bagel Recipe
Yield: 12 (2.5 ounces each) bagels
Oven temperature: 500ºF
courtesy of Nicole Rees and Lisa Bell
- 16 oz. flour*
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 12 oz. very warm water
- 2 tsp. barley malt syrup or dark honey
*The amount of flour stated is given as a weight measurement (in ounces) as opposed to a volume measurement (in cups). As you’ll see in the video Rees and Bell use a digital scale in weighing out the desired amount of flour. They say, if possible, it is always better to weigh for bread recipes because it gives a truer result. Measuring by volume (in cups) may be affected because of the way in which the flour is scooped, compacted, or leveled. Also age of flour and humidity can affect volume measurement a bit. With that said, if you don’t have access to a digital scale, 3 1/3 to 3 1/2 cups as a range should work in place of 16 ounces of flour as stated for the biga. And though they use bread flour in the video demonstration, the recipe was specifically adapted for home use to just use all purpose rather than bread flour or any other speciality flour.
- 4 oz. flour*
- 2 Tbs. very warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. barley malt syrup or dark honey
*If you don’t have access to a digital scale, just under 1 cup should work in place of 4 ounces of flour as stated for the final dough.
Semolina flour for dusting pans
Toppings: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, flavored coarse salt, dehydrated onion flakes
- 10:30am-12:30pm Knead together ingredients for the biga and let rise on counter, covered, in oiled bowl for 2 hours.
- 12:30pm- 7pm Refrigerate the poolish.
- 7:30pm-8pm Make the final dough, kneading in the remaining ingredients into the biga. Dough will be extremely firm and difficult to knead at the first, just keep at, kneading at least 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and stretchy.
- 8:00pm-6am Let dough rise overnight, covered, in an oiled bowl, in the refrigerator.
- 6am-6:30am Let the dough warm up on the counter.
- 6:30am-6:45am Divide the dough into twelve 2 ½ ounce pieces. Form pieces into rounds by rolling with cupped palm against surface in circular motion
- 6:45am-7am Rest the dough rounds for 10 minutes; form round into bagels by poking thumb through the center and then stretching gently with thumbs and fingers into rings. Place the bagels on a semolina-dusted baking sheet ; cover lightly with oiled plastic.
- 7:00am-8am Let the bagels rise in a warm place 1 hour.
- 8am-8:10am Bring a large pot filled with at least 4” of water and ½ tsp. salt to a boil. Add the bagels to pot (in 2 batches). When they rise to the top, cook for 1 minute. Turn the bagels and cook for one more minute. Remove the bagels with the round handle of a wooden spoon inserted into the holes, letting the water drip off. Return bagels to semolina-dusted pan and top with seeds as desired.
- 8:10-8:25 Bake the bagels on a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the top third of oven for 14-15 minutes or until nicely browned on the tops. Repeat for remaining 6 bagels.
- Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes before slicing.
- 9:30am Serve bagels with cream cheese and lox or other toppings as desired.