NY style bagels
ny style bagels

I don’t know where you live, but have you ever lived if you haven’t had real NY style bagels? I think the answer may be no. You might have a fantastic bagel shop in your town. But how do you know how they rank unless you have eaten the gold standard? Maybe ignorance (in the kindest sense of the word) is bliss. I present you the only bagel recipe you’ll need, NY style bagels.

I’m not a New Yorker, but I do live next door in Connecticut. I also have family members who live in the city. I grew up being sent H&H bagels for Christmas morning and honestly I may have looked forward to the salt bagels more than the presents. Maybe not but today? 100%. New Yorkers will tell you their bagels and pizza are superior because of their water. I don’t know if that’s the case but they are delicious, the perfect amount of chew. You don’t want a bagel that’s too soft, or too bready. It needs to have that crust and a dense interior.

NY Style bagels get that signature chew, shine and flavor by a few things but one is the use of barley malt (or non-diastatic malt powder). Boiling the bagels gelatinizes the starches and kills the yeast preventing much additional rise in the oven. The barley malt adds a tiny bit of sweetness, and helps with the Maillard reaction which is when your baked goods get that beautiful browning on the exterior. Without boiling the bagels, you essentially just have bread shaped like a bagel. It might have a crust immediately leaving the oven but will end up quite soft. No good for a bagel.

Baking Tips

Boil in small batches and set a timer. I like to boil the bagels in batches of 3 or 4. You don’t want to crowd them but this also makes it easier to know which bagels went in first, middle and last and flip them right when they need to be. How long you boil bagels for will have an effect on their crust. Personally I find about 30-45 seconds on each side is the sweet spot.

I would recommend cutting your parchment into squares and placing each bagel on it’s own square. The dough tends to stick to the parchment after the long cold proof, so you can easily transfer these to the water with the paper on them, and peel it off once it’s wet without deflating the bagel.

My recipe calls for an overnight cold proof. Do you have to do this? No. I have made (and have recipes on this site, see Spicy Garlic & Onion Bagels, Pretzel Bagels) that don’t require this step. However, after comparing a batch that has been cold proofed to one that hasn’t.. if you want that real Ny style bagels appearance, and texture I recommend it. Another benefit of the cold proof is that you can have bagels first thing in the morning. The kneading, first proof, and shaping is done the day before, just boil and bake!

This recipe makes 8 large bakery size bagels, but if you want smaller bagels you could divide the dough into 10-12 portions instead of 8.

NY Style Bagels Key Ingredients

  • High Gluten Flour – Bread flour is great but there are even higher protein flours like this High Gluten Flour from King Arthur which has 14% protein vs their bread flour which has 12.7%. Regular bread flour will work perfectly if you don’t want to spring for such a specialized flour though. While AP flour will work, it will not give you the best chew, which is important in bagels.
  • Non Diastatic Malt Powder – You want to make sure you get NON diastatic malt powder, and not diastatic malt powder which has a different function. I personally get mine from King Arthur but you can find it on Amazon and specialty food stores.

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NY Style Bagels

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Prep: 45 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Proofing Time: 18 hours
Servings: 8 Bagels

Ingredients

  • 600 g High gluten or bread flour 5 cups
  • 11 g Sea salt 2 tsp
  • 4 g Instant yeast 1 tsp
  • 12 g Non diastatic malt powder 1 tbsp
  • 360 g Water warm, 1½ cups

Water Bath

  • 1920 g Water 8 cups
  • 25 g Non Diastatic malt powder 2 tbsp
  • 12 g Dark brown sugar 1 tbsp

Instructions

  • Add flour, salt, yeast, non-diastatic malt and water to bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attached. Mix on low until dough is elastic and strong, no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. 10-20 minutes.
  • Remove dough, shape into a ball. Lightly grease bowl, replace dough into it and cover. Leave dough in a warm spot to proof for 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
  • Punch down the dough and remove from bowl to work space. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions for good size bagels or 10-12 for smaller bagels. Weighing your dough will help create perfectly equally sized bagels but is not required.
  • Take one piece of dough, covering the rest while you work, and shape into a ball. Fold the edges in towards the center of the dough, pinching them together. Flip the dough over and poke your finger through the dough to create a hole in the center. Stretch the dough in the center outwards. I find this easiest by placing my two pointer fingers in the hole in opposite directions and making a circular rolling motion with them to expand the dough. The hole will be much larger than a finished bagel hole, don't worry!
  • Place the bagel on a small, individual square of parchment than onto the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the portions of dough.
  • Cover your baking sheet, and place the bagels in the refrigerator to proof overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Fill a wide, deep pot with 8 cups of water. Sprinkle the non-diastatic malt and brown sugar into the pot and whisk. Bring the water to a low boil.
  • Remove your dough from the refrigerator, and place 2-4 bagels into the water. Don't worry about peeling the parchment squares off. After about 10-15 seconds they will lift off easily without deflating your bagels. Boil the bagels for 30-45 seconds on each side. Remove using a spider or slotted spoon or spatula back onto the baking sheet.
    If you would like plain bagels, leave as is. If you want toppings such as everything, sesame or poppyseed, add toppings after you have added the next batch of bagels to the water. Because the bagels are still tacky from the water, it will adhere without having to use anything additionally.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining bagels.
  • Once all bagels have been boiled, move the pan into the oven on the center rack and bake for about 16-18 minutes or until the bagels are a rich golden brown color.
  • Remove from oven and onto a wire cooling rack to cool. Allow bagels to rest for at least 20 minutes before consuming. Store them in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Enjoy!

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