When in New York… bake Bagels

We like to joke that we’ve been moving from cities to cities the wrong way around, being in Germany as a young childless couple and ending up in New York when we’re raising kids. Bottom line, we’re far from living the Carrie Bradshaw way of life and we daydream about German maternity leave system.

This must be a pattern as bagels were on the top of my baking list back in Germany, and no longer now that we are in NYC. I guess that’s the definition of longing for what you don’t have at hand, and I’ll be craving for bagels again when we leave NYC.

The recipe is not complicated in itself, as often when it comes to bread. Still, there is always this “je ne sais quoi” to master before you can proudly exhibit your batch of bagels to people who are not 100% sold to you ! Know it requires time between different stages to let the dough rise, and the part which can be tricky is the poaching.


  • 1/8L water
  • 1/8L milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 30g sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 500g T65 flour
  • 1 packet of yeast

To poach

  • 1L water
  • 50g bicarbonate of soda / baking soda

Recipe – with food processor

  1. Mix flour and yeast in a bowl, then add diced butter, salt, sugar, milk and water. Mix the dough until it forms a ball and knead with the bread hook for 5 to 6 minutes ( speed 2 of your food processor) \
  2. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rise in the bowl for 2 hours. It should double in size.
  3. Shape the bagels. Divide the dough in equal portions ( about 12 ) and roll each of them into a little sausage. Then wrap the sausage around your hand to make both ends meet and slightly overlap. With your palm roll it firmly on the countertop seal ends. Allow them to rest under a dry tea towel for 45 minutes.
  4. Bring the water and baking soda to the boil and poach the bagels for about 30 secondes, until they come back to the surface. It’s easier to handle them one by one at first.
  5. Place them on your oven plate, allowing space between each bagel as they’ll rise again during the baking.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and bake for 15 minutes in oven at 200 C / 400F.

I scribbled this recipe in my own cooking notebook and have to confess I have no idea when it came from in the first place.