Water Bagels

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Water Bagels

star rating (21) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

The bagel is one of those things which seems to have attained a certain level of popularity years ago, and has never slipped. If you don't live near a bakery, or if you just like the challenge of making your own, the following recipe should get you started.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 cups water, warm
1/4 cup instant malted milk powder or non-diastatic malt powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
5 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Water Bath
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons instant malted milk powder or non-diastatic malt powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the malt and sugar, then the salt and flour. Knead the dough till smooth (by hand, mixer or machine). Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Put the water into a large, shallow pan -- the water should be about 3 inches deep -- and add the malt and sugar. Bring the water to a boil while you're shaping the bagels.

Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape it into a ball, poke a hole through the center with your index finger, and twirl; the dough will form a ring. Place the bagels on a parchment-lined baking sheet as they're shaped. Boil them immediately, or let them rise a bit.

Reduce the boiling water bath to a very gentle simmer. Gently transfer the bagels, 3 or 4 at a time, to the water bath; don't crowd them. Simmer them for about 30 seconds on each side, then return them to the baking sheet.

Bake the bagels in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes, or until they're a deep golden brown. Yield: 16 to 20 bagels, depending on size.

Additional Notes: We used non-diastatic malt powder in place of the instant malted milk powder. You can use diastatic malt powder, but given the somewhat volatile nature of this ingredient -- used in too great a quantity, it'll "melt" the structure of your dough -- we prefer the non-diastatic. Malt powder not only gives the bagels a good taste; when used in the water bath it gives them a shiny crust.

You can use a doughnut cutter to make bagels; it's an easy, quick method to shape nice-looking bagels. If you've made the full recipe, divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out to a 9-inch circle, and cut as many bagels as you can. Gather the scraps and cut more bagels; you should end up with about 10. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.

After you've boiled the bagels, and before you bake them, you may sprinkle them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, coarse salt, or whatever you wish. Bagels brushed with a bit of beaten egg white before topping will be shinier, and hold onto their topping better.

To make flavored bagels, add ingredients to the dough before kneading. Bits of cooked spinach or fresh chive or garlic, diced onions, cinnamon and raisins are all popular.

Nutrition information per serving (1 bagel, 1/16 of recipe, 83g): 173 cal, 1g fat, 5g protein, 34g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 1g cholesterol, 423mg sodium, 97mg potassium, 2mg iron, 88mg calcium, 61mg phosphorus. Note: Using diastatic or non-diastatic malt powder, in place of the instant malted milk powder, reduces the fat per serving to .4g and the cholesterol to 0mg.


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  • star rating 04/12/2015
  • Cynthia from Minnesota
  • It's my third time making these bagels in the last two months. That's a lot of carbs for us, but we can't get enough of these delicious, authentic bagels. The crust is crunchy and the inside has a bit of chew in it. That's just the way we like them. The recipe is clear, quick and easy. Do not be intimidated by the water/malt bath. The bagels know what to do - just follow their lead!
  • star rating 01/31/2015
  • from
  • I live in Texas and miss the NY bagel. No such thing as bagel shops down here only grocery store bagels. I have experimented and experimented with different recipes. These recipes used bread flour or barley malt syrup (which I bought from KAF). But this recipe with hi gluten flour and non-diastatic malt powder works perfect. I still don't quite understand the difference between non-diastatic malt powder and the barley malt syrup when supposedly one is dry and one is wet. BUT, it is a FANTASTIC recipe.
    The barley malt syrup is a liquid and can be used interchangeably with the non-diastatic malt powder. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 10/02/2014
  • member-artsey9954 from KAF Community
  • Reminded me of a awesome NY Bagel. Crunchy on the outside, soft and yummy on the inside. I can not get good bagels in the south. These definitely take care of my bagel cravings.
  • star rating 09/16/2014
  • Diane from New Hope PA
  • Good easy recipe. When I made them as instructed I thought they were a little bland. Increasing the salt to 1.5 tablespoons and switching to light brown sugar both in the dough and water bath made them about perfect. Nice chewy crust and tender inside.
  • star rating 08/22/2014
  • pclayton2 from KAF Community
  • Best bagels I ever ate! I've tried the other bagel recipes but this one was perfect. Used my "discard" sour dough starter and cut the water by 1/2 cup and the flour by 1/2 cup. They were New York style bakery bagels for sure. But I only made 8...they were huge and delicious. Wise choice in purchasing the non-diastatic malt powder, I think it made all the difference. Great recipe!
  • star rating 03/25/2014
  • Catherine from Mount Vision, NY
  • Delicious!
  • star rating 01/29/2014
  • Cathy K from Inverness, FL
  • This recipe is so easy and makes wonderful bagels, yummy!!!
  • star rating 12/14/2013
  • member-justines from KAF Community
  • I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out really well! Delicious taste, perfect texture inside and out and quite pretty. I will make a note to not over-handle the dough when you are dividing it up and forming the bagels. Otherwise they can become misshapen. Still delicious, just not as pretty.
  • star rating 02/08/2013
  • Mr_Sea from KAF Community
  • I've tried bagel recipes before, but this one takes the prize. The bagels came out light and fluffy, just the way I like them. The recipe was easy to follow and with all the right ingredients it was a snap from start to finish.
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