Basic Bagels – Bake from Scratch

Plain and perfect, these bagels are the ideal chewy canvases for your choice of toppings, a customizable bagel experience for those who want an assorted spread. But any way you top them, these ringed beauties are primed for lox, schemers, and plenty of butter. 

Basic Bagels

  • 7 cups (889 grams) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¾ teaspoons (5.25 grams) instant yeast
  • 2⅓ cups (560 grams) warm water (120°F/49°C to 130°F/54°C)
  • ½ cup (170 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (42 grams) barley malt syrup, divided
  • 8 cups (1,920 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • Toppings: everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, freshly grated Asiago cheese
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast by hand. Add 2⅓ cups (560 grams) warm water and 2 tablespoons (42 grams) barley malt syrup, and beat at low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough pulls away from sides and bottom of bowl, about 8 minutes. (Dough will be elastic but may not look completely smooth.)
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Place a large sheet of parchment paper in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C); dust parchment with flour.
  4. Divide dough into 12 portions (about 107 grams each). Shape each portion into a ball. Place 1 ball in your hand. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch a hole in center of ball, and stretch hole to about 3 inches wide. Place on prepared parchment. Repeat with remaining dough. (Once dough contracts, the hole should be 1 to 1½ inches wide.) Cover and let rise until puffed, 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  6. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups (1,920 grams) water and remaining ½ cup (170 grams) barley malt syrup to a very low simmer over medium-low heat. (Do not boil.) Carefully drop bagels, 1 to 2 at a time, into water. Cook for 10 seconds per side; immediately transfer to prepared pans.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with desired toppings.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.



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