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My Bagels

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken


Makes 8 of the classic bagel style.  There is a golden crisp crust and an interior which has a definite chew.  It is not a bread dough, it is a bagel dough and it does not taste like a bread roll with a hole in the middle!


Servings 8
SourceAbout a half dozen sources for recipe suggestions and an equal number of uTube videos for technique.
Prep time11 hours, 20 minutes
Cooking time24 minutes
Total time11 hours, 44 minutes


9 1⁄10 oz
spring water (105-degrees)
1 t
barley malt syrup
1 t
instant yeast
16 oz
King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour
1 t
diastatic malt powder from King Arthur
2 1⁄2 t
Morton's Kosher Salt (not the pickling salt)
3 q
tap water (for poaching the bagels)
2 T
barley malt syrup (for the boil, some bagel makers only use this.)
1 T
non-diastatic malt powder (stu adds this to the boil with the syrup)
1 T
baking soda (stu uses this too in the boil)
1 1⁄2 t
Kosher Salt (this too for the boil)


                                                                                                                                 PERFECT BAGEL RECIPE, finally!                        

Makes 8 bagels, ~3.2 ounce raw dough balls, 2.9 ounce baked bagels.

This recipe produces excellent bagels using King Arthur Sir Lancelot Flour which is 14.5% protein.  I use a scale to weigh water, flour and each raw dough segment which will make equal size bagels.  I use a heavy duty stand mixer for the 7 minute knead.  As to the shaping of the bagels;  two techniques may be used; make a ball and push a finger into the center all the way to the other side then twirl it around 2-3 fingers stretching the hole larger.  If you watch uTube videos of bagel making you will learn how to do this and how to make a rope and wrap it around your palm and seal the ends together.  




Wet ingredients;

9.1 ounces spring water brought to 105 degrees

1 tsp barley malt syrup mixed into the warm water

1 teaspoon Instant Yeast from King Arthur dissolved into the warm malt syrup water(any instant yeast will work) 



Dry ingredient:

16 ounces King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour 

1 teaspoon Diastatic Malt Powder from King Arthur

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


Poaching liquid:


3 quarts water

2 tablespoon barley malt syrup is all that Rise Bagel Company uses, the next ingredients are what I had been using prior to their suggestion (1 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)

I recently read that the baking soda is for the purpose of making the solution alkaline like when pretzel makers use lye.  To get the baking soda more alkali I read that you should bake it in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes and keep it in a sealed jar.  I did it and did NOT like the resultant crust at all.






Materials needed:

Medium size metal nesting bowl in which to raise the dough.  Weigh this bowl while it’s empty and record its weight.

Olive oil, 1/2 tbsp to grease the raising bowl AFTER you measure all the dry ingredients in it.

2 cup Pyrex measuring cup used to proof the yeast

Spring water or any natural water NOT from a hot water heater, 9.1 ounces.  No chlorine or fluoride.

Heavy duty stand mixer, paddle attachment, helps to have the rubber edged, bowl-edge-scraping design.

Dough hook attachment for kneading dough after you used the paddle to mix the dry and wet ingredients and wet all the flour grains

Non-stick spray

Rimmed baking sheet, thick bottomed, 17” X 13.5” this holds 8, ~3.2 ounce raw bagels 

Parchment paper cut to fit the baking sheet and lightly sprayed with the non-stick spray

Large pot, enough to hold 3 quarts water and deep enough to hold and flip 2-3 bagels at a time.

Chinese skimmer large size or a cheese curd skimmer or spatula to flip the boiling bagels and to lift and drain them and place them back onto the baking parchment.

Cake cooling rack upon which to let bagels cool 

Tongs to remove baked bagels from baking sheet and place on the cake-cooling-rack

Two whisks, one large to mix dry ingredients, and one smaller one to mix yeast in water.

Kitchen scale, measuring cups do not measure accurately  


KitchenAid Pro 600 series lift bowl stand mixer with rubber-edged-paddle available, but not yet inserted.

Weigh, and note on paper, the weight of a medium size dough rising bowl.

Dump flour into mixing bowl.  Add the salt, diastatic malt powder, mix with the large whisk.

Set up a 17” X 13.5” baking sheet with parchment.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray.



In 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup place the 9.1 ounces of spring water and the 1 tsp of barely malt syrup, then bring to 105-degrees in the microwave oven.

Add yeast to the 105-degree water and stir with small whisk.

Set timer for 5 minutes.  If yeast foams, it’s alive.  If dead, start again with fresh spring water, syrup and proof the yeast.  If alive, mix with the small whisk and then pour it into the bowl of the stand mixer.


In medium bowl on a scale, weigh out 16 ounces of Sir Lancelot flour.  

To the flour, add the diastatic malt powder and the 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Mix well with large whisk.


Pour flour mixture into bowl of stand mixer with the liquid inside…attach the paddle….set the motor to setting #2 and let it mix until ALL the flour is wetted.  Remove the paddle and attach the dough hook.  Again, set the motor to setting #2 and allow it to knead the dough for 7 minutes.  Wash out the flour inside the measuring bowl, dry it well then oil it with any oil.  The dough will be soft and not tacky.  Remove the dough to a board with no flour and knead a few times and form into a ball.  Place the dough top side down into the oiled bowl move it around then flip it over and cover bowl with plastic wrap tight across top of the bowl and not touching the dough.

Place the dough into a warm, raising oven for 1 hour, the dough will rises to double in size.


Weigh the bowl with the dough in it.  Subtract the weight of the bowl which you measured at the start of the recipe.  You now have the correct weight of the dough.  Divide this weight by 8 and you will have the weight of the individual dough pieces with which to make equal size bagels.  The weight of each piece will be about 3.1 to 3.3 ounces.


Have wet paper towels handy to cover the dough so it should not dry out during the weighing and shaping.  


Remove the dough from the bowl to a cutting board (do not knead) and cut into half, then into 4ths then into 8ths.  Keep covered with wet towels.  Place each piece onto the scale to get the correct weight, cutting off some if too heavy or borrowing from another piece if too light.  Do this to get all 8 of equal weight of about 3.3 ounces.  You will have exactly 8 equal weight dough pieces.


Shaping the bagels:  Remember, there are two ways to shape.  

Put one piece at a time onto the bread board with the “skin” side or outside down and the pointy side up just slightly pat it into a crude disk (skin side down) then gather up the 4 sides and pinch together.  Turn over so the skin side is now facing up, and with the sides of your hands pinch the bottom to make a nice ball.  Cup your hand over the ball and move it against the board for about 5 seconds in a circular motion to close the bottom seams.

Using your thumb or finger, press down in the ball center all the way down to the board.  Lift the ball with your thumb still in place and with your other thumb break thru the hole and twirl it to open the hole pretty large.  Place the bagel onto the parchment.  To this for all 8 pieces.  I then pick up each one and spread the hole one more time with twirling 3 fingers.  Spray lightly with nonstick spray and cover with wet/damp paper towel then with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8-24 hours.  

Remove from the refrigerator and let sit in a warm rising oven, still covered for 45-60 minutes.  

(If you forget to use the spray on the raw bagel dough, then the paper towel will stick to the dough and NOT come off which will tear the bagels and deflate them and spoil the dough.  If you happen to have forgotten the spray and you do deflate the cold bagels, you can save them by putting the dough all together again into one mass, and, re-cut and re-weigh and re-shape and let rise for 1/2 hour, then do the boil).

Make your poaching liquid.

Set the oven to 498 degrees..



To Boil:

Bring the poaching solution to a boil.

When the dough has had a chance to warm and rise for 45-60 min then, using two hands, gently lift the bagels (if the dough is tacky then you wet your hands from the tap and then pick up the raw bagels) from the parchment (they should come off easily) gently transfer one at a time, gently into the boiling liquid and let them poach 30 seconds then using the strainer, flip over for 30 seconds then flip back to right side up and remove with strainer to the parchment paper in the baking pan.  Do this for all 8 bagels.  This is the place where you may sprinkle some poppy seeds, sesame seeds or rehydrated chopped dried onions onto the surface of the wet bagels.  I don’t use any, they just make a mess when you try to cut the bagels.


The Baking:

Place bagels into the hot oven, upper rack for 8 minutes.

Pull the pan our and rotate it around 180 degrees, front to back.  Turn oven temp down to 450 degrees for 6 minutes.

Look at them, they may need another 2-3 minutes at 450 or on convection at 425 to get nicely browned and crispy. The bagels should be nicely browned just shy of a char, if they are not browned as yet, let them bake longer.  

Remove with tongs to cake cooling-rack and allow to cool completely.  May enjoy warm, not when hot from the oven.  They need to cool to set up the crumb.


To Serve:

The naked way gives you a great bagel flavor and chew.  Or you may cut in half and toast.  The way I do it, is, I cut the bagel in half, I leave the two halves together, not separated, and toast the bagel in a toaster oven long enough to put a browned crust on the surface.  That way the outside gets real crispy and the center is soft and moist.  Most people like to separate the two halves and toast each half.  Serve with butter, jam, or classically, cream cheese, lox a slice of tomato, capers and chopped or very thinly sliced purple onion etc.  Your first bite will offer you the crisp crust and tender center with just a slight but definite chew.



The poaching liquid is controversail.  Some bagel makers use only the barley malt syrup and some use all the ingredients I mentioned for the boil.  I have used everything and you can see how mine turned out.

Flour.ish.en's picture

From daily bread to a light meal

I made a ricotta and rosemary bread pudding by using some Tartine country loaves I've just made. What I did not expect was how the humble bread can be transformed into an elegant light meal that I thoroughly enjoyed. The dish was large enough to serve a small crowd. The bread that keeps on giving!

Happy Labor Day!

cowichanbread's picture

Bread cookbooks

Brand new to the bread making world. Just yesterday made my 1st successful hamburger buns without using a machine! I have looked online for a great bread cookbook to help me on my new bread making journey. One that is filled with basics about breadmaking and some great artisan recipes; I get so overwhelmed with all of the bread books out there. Can anyone recommend their favorite or there go-to book. Thanks in advance. 

fusan's picture

Somethings wrong with my Bakers Math...

Hi all


I have made bread for a few months now and allways mixed whole Wheat Flour with white Flour.

The other day I tried with white Flour only and found out that the dough was a little to wet, so I changed the hydration from 70% to 65%. This was when I found out that my bakers math has room for improvement.

I allwas calc the ingredients from my total weight of dough and this is how I normally do it...

Total Doughweight1548  
IngredientPercentageCalcsWeight (g)
Flour1001548 / (172/100) =900
Vand70900 * (70/100) =630
Salt2900 * (2/100) =18
Total172 1548

So I changed the hydration to 65%, still the same amount go total dough and it looks like this...

Total Doughweight1548  
IngredientPercentageCalcsWeight (g)
Flour1001548 / (167/100) =926.94
Vand65927 * (65/100) =602.55
Salt2927 * (2/100) =18.54
Total167 1548

I understand that I have to add more flour and less water to get the same amount (1548 gram) of dough, but the thing that worries me is that the Salt has raised from 18.00 grams to 18.54 grams. I mean its the same total amount of dough so the amount of salt should be constant.

What am I doing wrong here?


aroma's picture

A quick question for the experts.....

I usually make my bread using an overnight sponge - 100% hydration (technically a Poolish).  I want to try a Biga to see the difference.  So, assuming the total flour is 1000g, how much of my sourdough starter should I use in an overnight biga.

Thanks in advance


harsha's picture

Coconut Bread

AP flour, 70% hydration with thick coconut milk (first press), coconut oil, salt & sugar, made it a little sweetish with more sugar than salt, autolyse for 30 mins, with Bertinet method for handling the dough, preshape and bench rest for 10 mins, final shape  into a boule, 

dutch oven pre-heated to 230 degrees C, baked at 200 degrees C for 30 mins with lid on, and next 10 mins without....

The coconut flavor is very subtle but definitely observable....a nice experiment overall


dabrownman's picture

Star Wars Sprouted Sourdough

Today is the day that all the Star Wars Stuff goes on sale.  We thought it would never arrive.  Now you can buy a Hans Solo action figure as 70 year old, retired, wannabe Jedi Knight.  Lucy was just besides herself.  I think she has a thing for older Jedi’s, even if they aren’t but you have to admit, Hans has a little bit more going for him than Jar Jar does.


So Lucy thought she would come up with a multigrain, sprouted sourdough that is her new favorite to commemorate the Star Wars Trilogy’s….uuummmmm…… 7th edition.  I’m guessing that there will be at least 10 more Star Wars movies and we should see the 17th one about the same time Gillette comes out with its 17 lade razor and I hope to around to see both.


 We personally can’t wait to see all the dead Jedis coming back as their smoky silhouette selves to once again council the aged Luke Skywalker.  That was my favorite part and Lucy hopes we will be able to come back to each other that way after she is gone but thinks it might be a Harry Potter thing instead. 


After weeks and weeks of making sprouted SD breads Lucy has come to the conclusion that 50% whole grains is too much and 30% not enough so she settled on 40% sprouted whole grains as her favorite – just like she did for the whole rye in Jewish Deli Rye - or Tzitizel.


She decided on a paling bread with no add ins too.  I asked her why a big super duper, celebration bread for Star Wars would be so plain and she said Jedi’s have taken a vow of poverty and can’t eat bread that would be too showy or possibly cause flatulence.


I asked her if we were going to make a Frisbee shape to mimic a flying saucer and she about had a heart attack and said she was thinking about making 2 proud boules and placing them together on the flat side to make a Death Star – so no flat sauces here.


Our rye sour starter had been in the fridge for 18 weeks, 2 past where we would normally use it, but tit seemed to perk up OK over the 3 stag build when fed the 25% extraction hard bits of the sprouted whole grain mix of spelt, rye wheat and oat.  It did take the full 4 hours at each stage though – so it was a bit slower than the usual which seems fitting for the extension of a nearly 40 year old movie.


We are all a bit slower than we used to be – except Lucy of course.   The finished levain was retarded for 24 hours and it came out to be around 10% pre-fermented flour.  We did our 1 hour autolyse of the dough flour and water with the salt sprinkled on top.  We did 1 set of 60 slap and folds to mi in the levain and salt and then 2 more sets of 30 slap and folds on 30 minute intervals.


Grilled shrimp and veggie kabobs,

We then did 2 sets of 4 slap and folds from the compass points on 45 minute intervals.  Once the gluten development was done, we shaped the dough into a ball and placed it in an oiled stainless bowl covered in plastic wrap.  It then went into the fridge for a 21 hour retard.


Smoked pulled pork tamale with salad, green chili and Mexican beans  Today's lunch with this fine bread.

When it came out of the fridge we did a quick pre-shape into a boule and then placed it back into the bowl for a 1 hour warm up before it was shaped and placed into a trash bag covered, rice floured basket for the final proof of about an hour.  We preheated the oven to 450 F and then placed the Mega Steam on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes of additional warm up to steaming speed and to let the stone catch up to the oven temperature.


Once the dough had proofed 50%, it was time for the heat,   We un-molded the dough onto parchment on a peel, slashed it in a square and slid it on the bottom stone for 15 minutes of steam.  Once the Mega Steam came out we turned the oven down to 425 F for 20 more minutes of dry heat.


Once the bread thumped done, we removed it to the cooling rack.  The bread had bloomed and sprang well under steam - it browned and blistered well enough without it too.  We will have to wait to see how the crumb came out when we slice this bread for lunch.  The crumb came out glossy, open, soft,and moist.  It was just plain tasty and perfect for any Jedi Knight of any age,


SD Levain Build

Build 1

Build 2

 Build 3



18 Week Retarded Rye Sour






25 % Extraction Sprouted Multi Grain






75 % Extraction Sprouted 4 Grain
























Levain Totals






Sprouted 4 Grain












Levain Hydration












Dough Flour






LaFama AP & S&F Hi Gluten






75 % Extraction Sprouted 4 Grain






Total Dough Flour






























Dough Hydration






Total Flour w/ Starter & Scald


















Hydration with Starter and Scald






Total Weight






% Whole Sprouted Grain












4 grain sprouted flour is 32g each of rye, spelt and oat with 128 g of wheat



Lucy reminds us to  not forget that salad to go with the  stone fruit and apple galette


Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Blades for slashing dough

Bridge Kitchenware has some blades I've never seen before:,73.html

Any opinions on the ones that don't use replaceable blades?


leslieruf's picture

Forkish Country Blonde revisited


Yesterday decided to have another go at this bread. I followed the instructions properly this time!  Levain was nicely active and after I had mixed dough, did 3 x 30 slap and fold followed by 4 x stretch and fold in an attempt to strengthen the gluten.  Left it on the bench overnight. Temperature dropped from 20°C to around 12°C but the dough had nearly tripled by 8:30 am just as it should have and was nice and gaseous!! :) Rewatched the SFBI shaping video, cleared plenty of space and calmly (for a change) followed their shaping method.  Whilst not perfect, my shaping was much much better so I am encouraged.  Only needed 3 and half hour proof (I refrigerated the dough for the last 30 minutes) before baking in DO one after the other.  Very happy with outcome and all the tips I got last time.

Crumb shot

 Not sure why, but suddenly I even manage "ears" on almost every bake!  the holiday must have done some good :) 

eleutheros's picture

Somewhere down the road a piece from San Joaquin...

Summer has been interesting, bread-baking-wise. I went for a largely disastrous stretch trying to make higher-hydration, relatively slack doughs into bread because moisture seemed to be the key to wonderful artisan loaves. (You will note that none of those have been posted, and for good reason!) And the heat and humidity necessitated several changes to the way I feed and process my doughs, because we only use the air-conditioner as a last resort. It'll be nice when autumn really takes hold!

All that experimentation started with David Snyder's San Joaquin sourdough (SJSD to many of us), and went a lot of wild places in the middle that didn't work so well, but I came out of it with another recipe that works for me—and a lot better at bread than I was beforehand!

What I have now is about 70.5% hydration, 17.5% white whole wheat (I got up to 20% in experimentation and my wife called "too much," so I backed off to here), and builds from a tiny amount of refrigerated starter with no excess, baking on the third day. I find it wonderfully sour, though that's not everyone's thing, and this is the first bread I've made that comes near my wife's wistful recollections of San Francisco.

recipe on legal paper posted on fridge

It makes really nice boules, though I'm learning a finer balance between shaping and proofing to keep them from tearing open quite so hard. I've had several batard bakes before this split open in ways the slashes could barely control! Below are the good examples.

 crust shot

I've started to do the single slash down the middle because it gives us a loaf of reasonably uniform slice size, oblong without having to try to make an oblong loaf (which I definitely haven't mastered yet!). But so far, the angled slash that's supposed to give me nice grigne (post top) is providing half grigne, half blowout; the deep vertical slash (last, above) seems to control expansion better. These boules seem to turn out a bit denser in the middle than at the edges, so I've still got some fiddling to do with my handling and proofing, but it's getting better.