Baker Brown’s Bagels

While my hubby is always an obliging taste tester for my recipes he’d have little interest in making cakes or cookies himself. When pressed into dinner duty he will usually suggest ordering in. This kitchen apathy is ok with me. Most of the time I enjoy cooking, it’s my domain – plus it means hubby does all the washing up muhahaha! The one thing that will lure him into the kitchen is bread. The kneading and rising and the smell of baking bread holds a certain appeal and every so often my kitchen is taken over by Baker Brown for a few hours. This is definitely ok with me! I love to eat fresh bread but can never be bother with the tedious kneading and rising process myself.

This weekend the Baker decided on bagels. A new recipe, something ambitious but with the potential for very tasty results.
The slightly chewy denseness of bagels and the distinctive skin come from being boiled before baking. Yes boiled. It sounds odd I know, but Baker Brown followed the recipe to a T and it worked! Yummy seasame bagels that made a perfect late lunch when filled with some salmon and cream cheese mmmm 🙂

If and when another bagel baking urge comes on I think these would be delicious with different toppings – poppy seeds, cheddar cheese, herbs… or with cinnamon and raisins added to the dough. Yum!

New York Bagels

From, makes 18 bagels


  • 8 cups water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 potato, peeled and quartered
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • Cornmeal, to dust cookie sheet


Boil the potato in a large saucepan with the 8 cups of water for 15 minutes. Discard the potato and allow the water to cool to lukewarm.

Transfer 1/3 of a cup of the potato water to a small bowl, then sprinkle the yeast over top of water. Stir to combine and leave to sit for a few minutes until the yeast froths and bubbles up nicely.

Sift the flour, salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar together into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and stir in another 2/3 cup of the potato water and the vegetable oil. Add the eggs and stir to form a dough ball.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the ball is firm and smooth. It may be quite soft and a little sticky at the start. Just use plenty of flour on your hands and bench surface and keep adding more as needed.

Place into a greased bowl, turning the dough so all sides are greased. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place for about 60 minutes until the dough has risen to about double its original size. Punch the risen dough down to flatten and remove from bowl.

Cut the dough into eighteen equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Use your thumb to poke a hole in the centre of each ball and stretch it out a little. Make sure that hole is big enough that it will survive the rising process! Cover all the rings with the towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes. They might not rise much – don’t worry as they’ll puff up a lot more in the boiling process.

Preheat your oven to 230C. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and dust with cornmeal (or flour if you don’t have cornmeal).
Bring the remaining potato water to a boil and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar to the boiling water

Drop the bagels into the boiling water one at a time, cooking each for 3 minutes, turning once in the middle. As each bagel is removed from the water, place it on the cookie sheet.

Paint the tops of the bagels with the egg white that has been beaten with 1 teaspoon of water. Sprinkle on your toppings – poppy seeds, seasame seeds, cheddar… whatever takes your fancy.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the bagels are a golden brown color.

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