Bagels from Baking with Julia

29th March 2010 was the date I bought this domain. I didn’t work much on it, infact I kinda left it bare for 2-3 months and really started from scratch somewhere between May – July. Lol I know. The domain may be just 1 year, but my blogging years are uncountable already! I think I started blogging during my college years and I’m now like……. going to be 26! In between, there has been many different blog hosts and blog addresses. But I guess this one is here to stay 😉

Not to worry, I did not make anything to celebrate the blogiversary. But maybe a giveaway? Hrm.. We’ll see

Bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese spread with Arugula

Back to the post. I made these a couple of weeks ago, and as usual, I scaled down the recipe. Baking with Julia was one of the rare finds in the book store. Yes there is only ONE place here in KL I buy my cookbooks because their prices are usually much much cheaper. The rest, I get them online from Book Depository, mainly.

So anyways, I’m not trying to scare you but just to make bagels, it takes up to 4 pages already! *phew* I had to read it a few times just so I don’t miss out any steps or temperatures or don’t get mixed up with the proofing time. Incase you haven’t already know, these bagels are boiled, then baked; slightly chewy on and not too crispy on the outside. Bagels are very versatile, it can be savoury or sweet. Think of blueberry cream cheese bagels for tea or breakfast? For me, I’d rather stick to cakes and cookies for desserts, bread? not so much. So I made a few versions of savoury bagels.


The first you saw was with smoked salmon and a cream cheese spread. The second, similar to the first but you can add scrambled eggs for a “bigger breakfast”. I made another dish with bagels but I’m going to save that for another day, as it requires slightly more cooking than these two. For now, we’re just going to focus on how to make them bagels 😉


(adapted from Baking with Julia )

(recipe reduced to make 3 bagels; just double the recipe if you need to make more)

2 tsp / 10g unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp / 4g active dry yeast
180ml tepid water (80-90 F / 26-32 C)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp / 15g solid vegetable shortening ( I used butter since I didn’t have any of this at home)
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper ( optional)
2 cups / 240g high-gluten flour or bread flour


1. Brush the inside of a large bowl with some melted butter. Reserve the remaining.

2. Mix and knead. Whisk yeast into half of the tepid water. Add sugar and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved and is creamy. Pour remaining water into the yeast mixture and add shortening (or butter, whichever u are using). Add along salt, and black pepper and stir with a wooden spoon.

Add flour 1/2 cup at a time while stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Continue till all flour has been stirred in. The dough will be quite sticky and soft. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic. If using machine to knead, just 3 minutes.

3. Rise. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to the buttered mixing bowl. Brush the top with a little melted butter, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and top with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in bulk.

4. Chilling the dough. Punch the dough with your fist lightly to deflate the dough. Cover again and refrigerate for 4 hours or so (Overnight is okay too, for up to 2 days)

5. Preparing to bake. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 500 F / 260 C. Spray baking sheets with baking spray and dust generally with cornmeal. Get ready some ice to create steam in the oven when the bagels are ready to be baked.

6. Shaping the dough. Deflate dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in 3, cover and chill one piece of the dough while u work with the other. To form a bagel and develop the gluten cloak that will give it its structure, draw up the dough from the bottom, stretch it and pinch it at the top. Continue till you have a round, tightly packed ball of dough.

With your index finger or thumb, plunge and make a hole in the center. Wiggle your finger around the hole to stretch it, circling your thumb and finger and elongating the hole to a diameter of 2 to 21/4 inches. Put the bagel on the baking sheet with floured towel and cover with another. Shape the remaining dough.

7. Boiling in water bath. Bring a pot of water large enough to fit 1 bagel to boil. Add in 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp baking soda.

Lower the bagel into the boiling water. The bagels will sink to the bottom when you first put them in, then rise to the top. Boil 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to gently flip them.

Remove bagels, shaking the skimmer over the pot to get rid of excess water, and put them on the baking tray. Keep the smoothest side of the bagel up.

8. Glaze and add toppings. Whisk 1 egg white with 2 tsp of water till the whites are broken up. Strain the glaze and brush each bagel with the glaze.

Don’t worry if the bagels look wrinkled, it will somehow smooth out in the oven (but will still be a little wrinkle after that) Brush bagels with the glaze then sprinkle toppings, such as poppy seed.

9. Baking the bages. Open the oven door and toss in 4 pcs of ice, then immediately put the bagels in to the oven and close the door. The ice with turn into steam, turn the temperature down to 450 F / 230 C and bake the bagels for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the bagels remain in the oven for 5 more minutes. Leave oven door ajar and let bagels cool in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Transfer bagels to rack and cool.



I did warn ya didn’t I? Yes it still wrinkled a little after its cooled down, but what the heck. Bagels are not your regular soft and fluffy bun. It was a little chewy on the inside and toasty on the skin, after toasting it the next few days.

So to make the filling, it;s totally up to you.

For the cream cheese spread, I mixed cream cheese spread with sour cream and freshly ground black pepper. You can of course, do however you wish for the topping. Spread cream cheese, gather some smoked salmon on top, serve with the peppery arugula rocket leaves and a wedge of lemon and et voila! It wasn’t too long, was it? hehe

Ok cheers! It’s weekend soon wheeeee


7 thoughts on “Bagels from Baking with Julia

  1. Heng ah! I thought i was the only strange one out there to get wrinkly bagels! Hahahaaa!

    But wrinkly or not, bagels FTW!

    I heart bagels to bits, especially your version — smoked salmon & cream cheese. Sedap!

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