Homemade Poppy Seed Bagels

Give me all the CARBS! Ever since I was a kid I have always been all about the carbs. Not necessarily the sugary carbs but definitely the savory and salty carbs.  Pizza, yes. Dinner rolls, of course. Bagels, hell yes (even Lender's Bagels did the trick and don't even get me started on bagel bites! ) 

Bagels, they were the # 1 carb in my book and still are. I love them, especially when I am in NY - there is nothing like a bagel from NY. But since I live in LA and can't always get to NY for a bagel, I have conquered making my own bagels. They are a whole lot easier than you think and there might not be anything more delicious than a warm bagel straight out of the oven. 


Couple notes about the recipe: 
First I chose poppy seeds because that's my favorite (even though they definitely get stuck in your teeth) but feel free to use your favorite topping - sea salt, sesame seeds or onion granules. 

Also, don't skip the float test. I know is seems silly but by doing the float test, it will show you whether your bagels are done proofing and if they are ready to be poached.  

Lastly, to make this recipe a little less time consuming you can do most of it the day before you want to eat them. In the recipe below I call for making the dough and letting it rise in the fridge overnight. This is my preference but you could also take it further. You can make the dough, let it rise for about 1 hour, then shape into bagels and place on a prepared baking sheet. From there cover the bagels with plastic wrap that you sprayed with non-stick spray then store the bagels in the fridge over night. In the morning all you will have to do is let the bagels come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then poach, bake and eat! 

Homemade Poppy Seed Bagels

Recipe inspired from this Epicurious recipe 

For the Dough

  • 1 Tbs. barley malt syrup or  honey
  • 1 packet/2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. warm water 
  • 3 1/2 cups  bread flour

For the Poaching Liquid

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. barley malt syrup or honey 
  • 1 Tbs. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt

Poppy seeds for topping 

In a small bowl, add 1 cup water, the honey and yeast. Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes or until the yeast mixture begins to bubble.

While the yeast is proofing, combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture and beat on low speed until dough is soft, smooth and slack, about 5 to 7 minutes. If the dough looks dry add the remaining 2 Tbs. water. 

When dough is ready, remove from bowl of stand mixer and place in a medium sized bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to form the bagels  let the dough come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out.   Line a sheet tray with parchment paper then spray with non-stick spray. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 oz. each. Using your hands roll out each piece of dough into a 8" long rope. Shape the bagel (see video for reference) by laying you hand palm facing up in the center of the dough rope. Grabing one end of the rope with your thumb roll your hand connecting both ends of the dough together with a 1 " overlap. Roll the dough on your work surface until the overlap is sealed together. Gently place the bagel dough on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Let dough rise about 30 - 45 minutes or until doubled. 

While the dough is rising make the poaching liquid by filling a large pot with water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat and add in barley malt syrup or honey, baking soda and salt. Reduce the heat to low and keep the poaching liquid at barely a simmer. 

Pre-heat oven to 450°F. 

When the bagels have risen, check that they are ready to be poached with the float test If a bagel floats when places in a bowl of water then it is ready to be poached. If it sinks, give it another 15 minutes to rise. If 1 bagel passes the float test, all of them are ready. 

When the bagels pass the float test, poach them in the prepared pot of poaching liquid for 2 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Gently press the bagels into a plate of poppy seeds then place back on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the bagels for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Makes 8 bagels.