I have been meaning to try this recipe for over a year now. Why this necessitates having a kid, I’m not sure. Now I have less time. Thank goodness for mother-in-law’s!

Total time: 2 days, or 2 hours + 1 hour + overnight to 2 days in ‘fridge


  • 1 t instant yeast (0.11 oz) or 0.33 oz cake yeast or 0.22 oz active yeast
  • 4 C bread flour (18 oz)
  • 2.5 C water (20 oz), room temp
  • plastic wrap
  • 4 qt mixing bowl


  • 0.5 t instant yeast (.055 oz) or 0.15 oz cake yeast or 0.11 oz active dry
  • 3 3/4 C bread flour or high-gluten flour* (17 oz)
  • 2 3/4 t (0.7 oz) salt
  • 2t malt powder or 1 T malt syrup, honey or brown sugar
  • 2 sheet pans lined with parchment and lightly misted with spray oil
  • bowl of cool or room-temp water for testing


  • 1 T baking soda
  • large wide pot, filled at least 3 inches of water
  • cornmeal or semolina flour
  • sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, dried minced garlic or onions
  1. Make sponge by mixing yeast and water in bowl. Let it sit and foam (10 min)  if you are not using cake flour. Add flour, mix until a smooth, sticky batter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest about 2 hours. You want it to double in size.
  2. Add extra yeast, then add 3 C of flour and all the salt and malt. Keep stiring or mixing until it forms a ball. Use the remaining 3/4 C to stiffen the dough.
  3. Knead at least 10 min (or 6 min by machine) The dough should be firm, but still smooth. Windowpane test and register 77-81° F. If dry and rips, add a few drips of water.
  4. Put into 4.5 oz pieces or 2.25 oz for smaller.
  5. Form either with poking a hole and rotate thumb inside until desired shape. Or make into a rope and then press overlapping pieces.
  6. Place on pans, 2 inches apart. Sit at room temp 20 min.
  7. Test at this point to see if it floats in the water in 10 sec. If not, then let sit another 10-20 min and test again.
  8. Retard in refrigerator overnight to 2 days.

    {8 hours – 2 days later}

  9. Heat oven to 500 F.
  10. Heat water to rolling boil. Add baking soda.
  11. Boil bagels 1 min on one side, 1 min on the other. To make them more chewy, let boil 2 min per side. If you want to top the bagels, do so after boiling.
  12. Line the pans with the semolina / cornmeal.
  13. Bake about 5 minutes at 500 F, then rotate pans 180 and switch shelves and reduce to 450. Want golden brown bagels.
  14. Cool at least 15 min before serving.

Makes 12 large or 24 small bagels

Adapted from Bread Baker’s Apprentice


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