Yummy Breakfast Bagels – New York Style!

Last night, S, his family and I were just sitting on the dinner table talking about all sorts of yummy food, after dinner, which made me feel hungry again.. Somehow we got talking about donuts. I loooved donuts! There was this absolutely fabulous donut shop in downtown Monterey, California called Red’s Donuts, that made the most amazing, fresh ones. They were pretty much sold out by 10 AM and shut shop at 1 PM.. Ohhh the days before calories really mattered! We would head straight to the donut store after a short gym workout and I would get the custard filled ones! And the chocolate cakes ones! And the plain chocolate ones! And the cinnamon sugar ones! If you saw me, you could tell I’ve definitely enjoyed a donut or two! 😀 Donuts are definitely my favorite kind of breakfast!

S preferred to have bagels with sundried tomato cream cheese, as a rare breakfast treat – just proving how opposite we really are! I thought bagels are the healthier breakfast option, perfect for a daily breakfast. But then again, I am comparing one bagel to 3 donuts..

S’s parents couldn’t help but remember the time they would take their twin granddaughters down the street to get some bagel and cream cheese, one of the twins’ favorite snacks! It seemed like there were many memories attached to bagels and since we don’t get them in Baroda, I decided to look into making some.

The first few recipes I researched were all traditional bagel recipes which needed a lot of proving time, a very specific starter yeast etc. Then I found this fabulous recipe which assured me I would have hot bagels on the table in under 2 hours! I cheated and even used instant yeast to get them faster and it worked! These bagels turned out chewy, yeasty and fresh! I even used all whole wheat flour to make them a tad bit healthier. Without any oil or butter, I could feel guilt free about eating these with some cream cheese and of course, butter!

New York Style Whole Wheat Bagels

Adapted slightly from here

Ingredients

2 teaspoons Instant Rise Yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 Cup warm water (you may need more)

3 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

2 tablespoons vital gluten

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Toppings

Kalonji, Crushed Pepper, Sesame Seeds, Chilli Flakes, Shahi Jeera (Caraway Seeds)

Method

  • Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  • Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  • On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
  • Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms. Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  • Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.

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  •  After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).
  • If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water, you may use the “optional toppings” (listed above) to top the bagels.

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  • Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

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We enjoyed these straight hot from the oven and they were so good! I definitely recommend spreading some delicious cream cheese (either plain or flavored like we did). I do hope S felt like he was back in New York and his parents back in Toronto. I wonder how I can improvise these. I am quite sure if I use only all purpose flour or if I add some gluten the texture will change, hopefully fluffier and lighter compared to the denseness of these bagels.

In either case, we really enjoyed eating these for breakfast the next day as well!

Happy Baking!