Yet I learned from several friends who were New York natives that, in all likelihood, I had probably never had a good bagel. They said things packaged from the store didn't count, and Noah's bagels likewise did not count. They would speak poetically about the chewiness and distint flavor of a New York bagel. They said they hadn't found anything like it in California.
Since moving to the East Coast, I've found quite a few more people who are natives of New York/New Jersey. I decided to bring bagels in for one of them to try so they would give constructive pointers. After all, I cannot say I make bagels unless they really are New York or New Jersey approved. I figure no one else will be as picky about these round doughy delights.
For the most part, this bagel was New Jersey approved. They loved the flavor, thought it had a good density, and felt I got the interior right, but they said the exterior needed a long boiling time. It needed to be stickier and to have more of an alkaline flavor (more baking soda). Those are easy things to fix, so I called this recipe approved.
- 1 tsp yeast
- 17 oz bread flour
- 2 ½ cups water
- ½ tsp yeast
- 15.25 oz bread flour
- 2 ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp packed brown sugar or 2 tsp malt
- Proof 1 tsp yeast in water. When it begins to bubble, add 17 oz bread flour. Let sit covered at room temperature for 2 hours.
- After two hours, add salt, sugar/malt, remaining yeast and flour. Mix until incorporated and knead for 10 minutes
- Immediately split dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Let rest 20 minutes
- Shape bagels by punching a thumb through the center. Place dough on oiled parchment paper and let rise 20 minutes (or until bagels float in water). After rising, retard bagels in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next morning, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Boil bagels for 1 minute on each side in water with baking soda (about 2 Tbsp for a pot)
- Place bagels on cornmeal covered baking sheet with desired toppings. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake another 5 minutes.
- Let bagels cool completely before eating.
This post has been submitted to Yeastspotting