East Coast Style Bagels

This recipe delivers delicious, fresh bagels without fail. It involves an overnight rise in the refrigerator, so plan on mixing up the dough the night before you want to eat them! It’s based on The Best Recipe Cookbook with a few adjustments to ingredient proportions and preparation.

Yield: 8 bagels


  • 650g high-protein flour (e.g., bread flour – you want the highest percentage protein you can get your hands on)
  • 365g warm water
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoon barley malt syrup
  • 1 cornmeal for dusting pans


The night before you plan to bake the bagels:

  1. Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Stir barley malt syrup into warm water. When dissolved, add liquid to dry ingredients.
  3. Combine to create dough, and knead for 10 minutes. The dough will be very dry, and it will be difficult to combine all the dry ingredients into the dough. Keep kneading, and after about 5 minutes all of the ingredients will come together. At the end of kneading, the dough will be firm but smooth.
  4. Cover dough with an inverted bowl, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into eight equal sized balls.
  6. Roll each ball into a “rope” long enough to wrap around the palm of your hand. Take care to roll the rope from the center out to ensure that the ends of each rope are no more narrow than the middle.
  7. Wrap the rope around your hand, pinching the ends to make a ring. Roll the place where ends are joined back and forth a couple of times on the counter top to seal the joint.
  8. Place each of the bagels on the cornmeal-dusted rimmed baking sheet.
  9. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator, and let rise overnight.

The next morning:

  1. About 20 minutes before it’s time to make the bagels, remove them from the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 450ºF / 230 ºC.
  3. Fill large pot with water and bring to a boil on the stove.
  4. When the bagels have been out of the refrigerator for 20 minutes, gently place 3 or 4 bagels into the boiling water. (You will cook the bagels in 2-3 batches.) Wait 40 seconds, flip the bagels, and boil them for another 40 seconds.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the water and let them drain on a cooling rack.
  6. If topping the bagels (e.g., with sesames), now is the time to do it. (The toppings will stick better to the slightly wet bagels.)
  7. Finish boiling and draining the remaining bagels.
  8. Place the boiled bagels on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slide the rimmed baking sheet into the hot oven, and cook until golden brown, about 14 minutes.
  9. When bagels are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack. Eat warm or at room temperature.
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