New York Bagels

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Everything BagelI have been craving New York bagels for weeks. And I’ll just say that being in Austin there is no chance of getting them here. And a flight to NY just to get bagels makes this a pretty expensive craving.

I have never made bagels before so I thought I would do a little research and test some recipes. After a tiny bit of research I stumbled onto America’s Test Kitchen recipe for New York bagels. Their bread master, Andrew Janjigian, created this. I was familiar with Andrew, and I have eaten many breads that he has created while I worked at ATK, and I knew that this would be a damn good recipe. So I stopped all research and went to the store to pick up the ingredients.

After reading the recipe my first thought about this was how easy it is to make bagels. Who knew? I don’t know why I always thought they would just be a huge time consumption and always wondered if it was worth it. All I can say is pick up the ingredients from your local grocer and make this recipe. It’s super easy.

The recipe requires refrigerating the shaped bagels for 16 to 24 hours before baking them. Make sure to plan accordingly. I like to start the bagels on Friday, and cook them on Saturday so I can have warm bagels for a weekend breakfast. These bagels are best eaten within a day of baking them. You can also freeze them for up to one month. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Now I know next time I get a New York bagel craving, I can just cook up a few of these and save my money on the airfare!

New York Bagels


Cooks Illustrated New York Bagels

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water (9 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons malt syrup
  • 2 2/3 cups 14 2/3 ounces bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup 1 1/4 ounces cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup 1 3/4 ounces sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Everything topping:

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic flakes
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


  • Stir ice water and malt syrup together until malt syrup has fully dissolved. (We used 8 ounces here instead of 9 because of weather in TX. I'd recommend starting with 8 ounces and if dough appears dry in the food processor add the other ounce) In a food processor, process flour, wheat gluten and yeast until combined. With processor running, slowly add ice water mixture and continue to process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains. Let dough stand for 10 minutes once complete.
  • Add salt to dough and process until dough forms shaggy mass that clears the sides of work bowl, about 60-90 seconds. Transfer dough to unfloured counter and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Working with one piece of dough at a time and keeping remaining pieces covered, form dough pieces into smooth round balls. Let dough balls rest on counter, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Working with one dough ball at a time, coat dough balls lightly with flour, and then, using your hands and rolling pin, pat and roll dough balls into 5 inch rounds. Starting with edge of dough farthest from you, roll into tight cylinder. Starting at center of cylinder and working towards ends, gently and evenly roll and stretch dough into 8-9 inch long ropes. Rolling end of dough under your hands in opposite directions, twist rope to form tight spiral. Without unrolling spiral, wrap rope around your fingers, overlapping ends of dough by about 2 inches under your palm to create ring shape. Pinch ends of dough gently together. With overlap under your palm, press and roll seam using circular motion on counter to fully seal. Transfer rings to prepared sheet and cover loosely with plastic leaving at least one inch between bagels. Let bagels stand at room temperature for one hour. Cover sheet tightly with plastic and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.
  • One hour before baking, place baking stone on oven rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bring 4 quarts water, sugar and baking soda to boil in large Dutch oven. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and spray rack with vegetable oil spray.
  • Transfer 4 bagels to boiling water and cook for 20 seconds. Using wire skimmer, flip bagels over and cook 20 seconds longer. Using wire skimmer, transfer bagels to prepared wire rack, with cornmeal side facing down. At this time, dip your bagels into the toppings of your choice. Repeat with remaining four bagels.
  • Place sheet with bagels on preheated baking stone and pour 1/2 cup boiling water into bottom of sheet. Bake until tops of bagels are beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Using metal spatula, flip bagels and continue to bake until golden brown, 10-12 more minutes. Remove sheet from oven and let bagels cool on wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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      16 comments… add one

      • Tracy January 16, 2016, 12:26 pm

        Just watched this episode bagel segment on ATK. Found your recipe posting and can’t wait to try! Now on the hunt for vital whey gluten and malt syrup. Thanks so much!!

        • serena January 19, 2016, 5:07 pm

          I got the whey gluten and malt syrup at Central Market in Austin. I would guess you could also get these at Whole Foods and even
          These were a little bit time consuming, but so darn delicious.

      • meg January 20, 2016, 3:37 pm

        Just ordered the vital wheat gluten and barley malt syrup on Had a difficult time finding the syrup. Also, the vwg in the stores was in a larger bag than I wanted. Arrived in 2 days and very competitively priced!

        • serena January 21, 2016, 8:52 am

          Awesome! Best of luck with the bagels 🙂

      • Meghan January 21, 2016, 8:30 pm

        I made these today after seeing the ATK episode over the weekend! Midwest bagels are pretty awful. I actually forgot to pick to the gluten but used the King Arthur Flour high gluten and they turned out super chewy and amazing. Maybe that helps anyone who doesn’t want to buy another ingredient. I actually found the barley syrup with pancake toppings, not with sweeteners or baking items.

        • serena January 23, 2016, 10:29 am

          This is definitely my go to recipe for bagels now. Andrew Janjigian was the bread maker at ATK when I worked there. All recipes I see developed by him I know are going to be darn good. If you are adventurous and looking for another winning bread recipe, try the baguettes. Soooo good!

      • Michelle January 24, 2016, 1:12 pm

        Hi! I am making these now. I was just wondering why you reduced the amount of water in the recipe. ATK used 1 1/4 cup vs your 1 cup. I’m using your recipe right now. I may try with more water next time just to see the difference.

        • serena January 27, 2016, 8:32 am

          I adjusted to deal with the humidity and heat in TX during that time period.

        • Roselane February 8, 2016, 8:49 am

          Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I just made two batches of these. I made one in the food processor exactly following this recipe and the second with my kitchen aid using the dough hook. I decided to add a little extra water to the ones using my Kitchen Aid, based on this comment. Otherwise, I did everything the same, even baked them all together. They all were good, but the ones with a little extra water definitely had a much better texture. It might be helpful to make a note on the recipe about adjusting the water based on where you live. Thanks again for a FANTASTIC post!

          • serena February 8, 2016, 10:00 am

            Thanks so much for the feedback. I updated the recipe to show ATK used 9 ounces and we used 8 ounces with a recommendation that if it is dry to add the other ounce of water.

      • Eve March 12, 2016, 1:02 pm

        Thank you so much for posting recipe. I taped the show and realized they didn’t give the amount of the bread flour. I couldn’t find the Malt either and saw a substitute would be Brown Rice Syrup. They are in the fridge now to be baked off tomorrow. Hope that works.

        • serena March 12, 2016, 8:59 pm

          Good luck! Let us know how it goes 🙂

      • Mal April 19, 2016, 3:01 pm

        Any tips for adding dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries, etc) to this recipe? Just add them to the recipe as written or do you have to account for them by changing the ratio of other ingredients? Thanks.

        • serena April 24, 2016, 11:34 am

          Since it’s a yeast bread, there is no need to soak the fruits or add extra liquid, unless the fruit is very dry.

      • Samantha Mix June 10, 2016, 3:53 am

        The syrup is available at brew shops. I use Breiss CBW sparkling amber, same as our local pretzel makers.

      • Denali July 29, 2016, 3:12 pm

        Any recommendations on brands for bread flour?


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