(the chewie wonder)

New Yorkers have a bit of a fixation when it comes to bagels: they say that you can only eat a good bagel in New York and everything else is crap. I once met a guy who invented some kind of machinery that was able to replicate the exact chemical structure of New York water, to be able to do NY-style bagels in California… It really sounds like with me and pizza actually, so I can understand them perfectly. But to be honest I can’t see much of a difference between my bagels and the ones you would buy, say, at Absolute Bagels on the Upper East Side. But hey, I’m a profane here! I tried a few different recipes from the web and ended up with one that I think works very well despite being a lot simpler than most.

The bagel-making process is quite fascinating, as it calls for boiling the dough before baking it. Yes, boiling. I donno of any other kind of bread or baking product that contemplate such a thing. I can almost imagine, sometimes in sixteenth century Poland, an old jewish baker dropping some dough in boiling water by mistake and than thinking ‘what the hell, let’s bake it anyway and see what happens”. Et voilà!

Yes, bagels are a traditional bread originated in the Jewish community of Poland and later exported to the US. They have a characteristic chewie texture, a crispy and shiny crust, and the delicious smell of freshly baked bread. And they’re my favored bread of choice when it comes to breakfast or brunch. Egg, bacon and cheese are a good topping, but my favourite is of course cream cheese, salmon, tomato and avocado!

Created with Sketch. 2 hours Created with Sketch. 8 bagels


  • 500 gbread flour
  • 2 tsactive dry yeast
  • 300 gwater
  • 1 tbssugar
  • 1.5 tssalt
  • 1 egg
  • your favourite choice of seeds


  1. Mix the dry yeast together with 1/3 of the water at about 37°C and the sugar, and let it sit there for about 10 minutes: the water will start to bubble a bit.
  2. Add the flour, the salt and the rest of the water and mix the dough with a stand mixer for 10 minutes at a slow speed. the dough should be quite firm and shiny. Shape it into a ball and let it rise in a big oiled bowl for 1 hour covered with plastic foil at room temperature: the dough will double in size.
  3. Once the dough has risen, knead it shortly by hand again and divide it in 8 balls of about 100 grams each. With your thumb make a hole in the center of the dough ball, and stretch it out a bit until you have the characteristic round shape with a hole in it. Let the 8 bagels rest for 10 more minutes on a oven plate or other flat surface, covered with a kitchen towel.
  4. Set the oven at 220°C.
  5. Put a big pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Prepare an oven plate lined with baking paper and start boiling the bagels. Boil 2 or 3 at a time, depending on how big your pot is; the bagels will float and grow in size while boiling, so be careful not to cram the pot. Let the bagels boil for 2 minutes on each side, flipping them halfway using a skimmer. You can boil them a bit less or a bit more, but the more you boil them the more chewie they will become.
  6. Arrange the boiled bagels on the oven plate, mix the egg with a tablespoon of water, brush the top of each bagel, and sprinkle your choice of seeds on each one of them (here I’m using a mix of poppy, line and sesame); the eggwash will give the final shiny color, plus will keep the seeds “glued” to the surface.
  7. Throw the plate in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until they become golden/brown.
  8. Bagels are best freshly baked, but they can also be refrigerated, frozen, re-heated and toasted.