I bet most people agree that there’s nothing like a classic water bagel for breakfast. The chewy crust is addictive, the schmear is the cream you’re searching for, and it can be accompanied with all the best breakfast fixings. But oddly, good classic water bagels are hard to find.
When I was in New York a few years ago, I had what has to be the best bagel I’ve ever had. Simple as that, the best. No other bagel has compared to this super chewy simple classic bagel at Sadelle’s. The bagels themselves are light and fluffy with the right amount of chew on the crust. And although I stayed in New York just a few days that trip, a bagel for breakfast became my usual.
I kinda resided to not having that kind of bagel until I head back to New York. That was until quarantine. I have been craving all of my favorite travel foods. And well, all the carbs. Especially an everything bagel.
Due to my craving, I decided I needed to try to make my own water bagels. I had never made bagels before, but after reading several recipes, I decided to dive right in. The ingredients are simple and although different than anything I’ve made before, the water bath was quite simple. The hardest part was deciding how many everything bagels I would make compared to other bagel toppings.
My biggest tip of advice is to shape the bagels gently. I lost one while shaping it, spinning the bagel around my finger too fast in which it flung off and shot across the floor. Shaping the bagels this way makes each bagel unique in shape. Some may have larger holes than others or be a little misshapen, but that’s fine. They’ll still bake up well and taste just as delicious!
Classic Water BaglesPrint This
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups warmed water (105-110 degrees)
- 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- For the water bath: additional water and 1 tbsp sugar
- Toppings: coarse kosher salt, poppy seed, everything seasoning, sesame seeds, or any of your favorite bagel toppings
Using a standing mixer and dough hook, mix the first five ingredients on low for five minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl (with avocado oil). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in size, roughly 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Gentle punch down the dough. Divide the dough evenly into 16 portions using a scale.
Begin the water bath in a large pot, making sure the water’s at least 3-4 inches deep. Add the tablespoon of sugar. Bring the water to a boil.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
One at a time, shape each portion of dough into a ball. Using your index finger, poke a hole in the middle of the ball. With your index finger still in the middle, spin the dough around until a larger hole forms and the dough looks like a ring.
Place each bagel-shaped dough piece on the parchment-lined baking sheets, eight per sheet.
Once all the bagels are shaped, reduce the boiling water to a simmer. Starting with the bagels you shaped first, place 3-4 bagels in the water bath. Allow the bagels to sit for 30 seconds. Flip each bagel over and allow the bagel to sit for another 30 seconds. Remove the bagels from the water bath and place them back on the parchment-lined sheets. Repeat until all the bagels have been boiled in the water bath.
Beat the egg white of one egg. Gently brush the egg white on the top of each bagel. Sprinkle generously with desired bagel topping.
Place the bagels in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the bagels to cool on a cooling rack.
Bagels can be stored in an air-tight container for a few days or in the freezer for longer.