Wohoo, I didn’t work this weekend! This recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhardt’s excellent book, “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.”



  • 1/2 t instant yeast
  • 2 C unbleached flour
  • 1 1/4 C water at room temperature


  • 1/2 t instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 C unbleached flouir
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 T honey


  • Semolina (to dust the parchment)
  • Kosher salt
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cinnamon + sugar
  • Cheddar or asiago cheese

  1. Make the sponge: stir the yeast into the flour. Add the water and stir until it forms a sticky batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for two hours.
  2. Make the dough: to the sponge, add the other ingredients. Mix at low speed until it forms a stiff ball. Everything should be hydrated and the ball should be minimally sticky. You can control.
  3. Spray a thin layer of oil on parchment paper. I regretted neglecting this step later on.
  4. Divide into four-ounce pieces. It’s easiest to make a “bagel shape” by rolling it into a ball, then squishing the center out with your thumb. Rotate it around until you have a relatively even thickness. Mist the tops with oil, cover with plastic rap, and let it sit about an hour.

  5. Put in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. The next day, add 2T of baking soda (because I cannot tell a lye) to a dutch oven full of water and bring to a boil. The alkalininity of the baking soda will help the texture.

  7. Preheat the oven to 500°F. This would be a good time to dust the parchment paper with semolina and pull out your selection of toppings.

  8. Remove the sheet of bagels from the fridge. Add two or three to the rapidly boiling water – you want plenty of space between them. Cook 1 1/2 minutes then flip it over. Cook another 1 1/2 minutes.

  9. They’ll “fluff up” a bit when you finally pull them out.

  10. Set on the semolina-lined parchment (you did do this, right?).

  11. Cover with toppings of your choice. I went with poppies and salt, sesames and salt, and cinnamon and sugar. Afterwards, I wished I tried an asiago bagel. Or cheddar.

  12. When you have a whole panful, put in the oven. Cook five minutes.

  13. Rotate the pan, reduce heat to 450°F, and cook another five minutes.

  14. Let cool 15 minutes on a rack before serving.

I also roasted coffee beans last night and will be documenting that this week.

2 thoughts on “Bagels”

  1. That’s funny, ’cause I’m a pastry chef, and on my days off, I sit in front of the computer!

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