You guys, I'm obsessed with bagels. My entire family is obsessed with bagels. I can't describe why — we're from the Midwest, it's not exactly bagel country — but we are bagel fiends. And no, I absolutely do not mean that garbage you get in a bag of 6 at the grocery store. I mean fresh, toasted, New York-style bagels, sliced twice with a pound of full-fat cream cheese thrown on top.
So when I moved to Italy and realized that they don't really do bagels here (or any foods with holes in them — where are the donuts, guys?), I kind of panicked. A lot of things I don't mind making myself, but bagels? Bagels are bread. Bread is hard to make. You have to boil them, for crying out loud! It sounded very complicated.
But, guys, it's not. I don't know why I freaked myself out about bagels, but I took a baking leap of faith and just made them. And then I made them again. And they are so good. So easy. They are so everything — maybe my everything. And they are so garlicky, I ward off vampires with my everything bagel-breath and max out my carbs for the day with two bites. My nutritionist said I needed to eat more vegetables, but dried onions and garlic count, right? There's definitely enough of it on there.
So, stop buying those terrible bagels at the grocery store and just make these bagels. Slap some cream cheese on them — maybe some lox if you're fancy — immerse yourself in the amazing saltiness of the everything-ness, and don't talk to anyone until you brush your teeth.
makes 7-8 bagels
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- 3/4 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 3/4 tablespoon sesame seeds
note: I used chopped onions and minced garlic from the seasoning/spice aisle. I would recommend this over making your own, but if you do want to make your own, make sure they're dried, not fresh
- Combine water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and stir until everything is dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes while everything activates.
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Once it's ready, pour the yeast mixture into it and stir until incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop and knead for 6-7 minutes. The dough will be elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and sit, covered, in a warm place for one hour.
- Once dough has risen, turn it out onto the countertop again (you can flour your workspace if needed, but for me, it was unnecessary) and shape the dough into 7-8 balls. Poke your thumb through the middle of the dough and form the bagel with your hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Boil a large pot of water and boil each bagel for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side, removing with a slotted spoon. Let drip-dry very briefly on a wire rack and then place on a sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, mix egg with 1/2 tsp of water. In another bowl, combine onion, garlic, seeds and sea salt. Brush the egg wash on top of each bagel and sprinkle each bagel with the spice mixture (I did this very liberally — you can choose how much you want).
- Place your sheet of bagels in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until slightly browned. Remove, let cool, slice, toast, top and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.