The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

T's Sriracha Bagels

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

T's Sriracha Bagels

  Hello all at and thank you for allowing my participation on this extraordinary site.  The following article is one I wrote on another site, using their format and must admit that I'm taking a shortcut to copy and paste it here in the interest of saving time.  Though it is my first here, it is a continuance of several articles entitled Food Porn:_____ (fill in the blank with object of culinary desire).  I am eager to share this recipe I developed for Sriracha Bagels, due to the lack of them on the market and my love for the spice (explained within).  Enjoy!

  The saga of Sriracha continues into this episode of Food Porn, as I take on spicy Sriracha bagels.  And it's not about putting Sriracha on something as it is about putting the flavorful hot condiment in something.  Bagels - Just the thought for New Yorkers conjures a morning ritual from the Bronx to Staten Island.  According to Wikipedia, the bagel was born in Poland.  Comprised of a traditional wheat dough formed by hand and first boiled before baking.  This process lends a chewy-crisp exterior and a chewy decadent inside, begging for butter, cream cheese, lox, jam, nutella, or any one of a million toppings.  

   One special item you need for this recipe is non-diastatic malt powder.  This ingredient is available at King Arthur Flour and Amazon. It may be substituted by sugar, but that will not give you that genuine New York delicatessen / bakery flavor that non-diastatic malt will.  What is non-diastatic malt you ask?  Good question.  The better question is; what is the difference between diastatic malt and non-diastatic malt?  The short answer:  Enzymes.  Where does that answer inevitably lead us?  What do enzymes do to bread dough?  More good questions.  Enzymes help convert glutens into sugars, giving yeasts more to eat and resulting in a higher rise... to a point.  Using diastatic malt in small amounts can improve the height of your bread.  Doubling that small amount can help even further, but using too much will result in a collapse of the reaction and also your bread.  Since we aren't looking for a New York high rise and solely a New York flavor profile, using non-diastatic malt fits the recipe.  No enzymes to mess up the Food Porn in process.  Now that we are armed (and dangerous?) with this knowledge, it's time to start the process.


  • 250 mL warm water (about 100°)
  • 90 mL room temperature Sriracha
  • 5 grams yeast
  • 10 grams kosher salt
  • 15 grams non-diastatic malt flour
  • 455 grams bread flour
Article Photo

Color me red. All's quiet on the yeastern front.

For the boil:

  • 6 L boiling water
  • 55 grams non-diastatic malt powder
  • 5 grams baking soda
  • a kitchen towel with some flour on it (to absorb excess water)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pizza peel dusted with cornmeal, polenta or flour
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Article Photo

Whisking in process...



   In a medium sized bowl (about 2.5 L), combine water, Sriracha, Yeast, Salt and non-diastatic malt powder until dissolved.  Sift the flour into a separate bowl and pour the whole mass into the liquid.  Using a dough whisk or wooden spoon, stir until combined.  You may have to wet your fingers and work by hand to incorporate the last bit of flour. Do not knead this dough.  Cover, yet not airtight, and let rise until the dough crests and flattens, about 2 hours.  You can use the dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  (I like to make bagels with cold dough, as it is easier to work with and the flavor profile gets a bit more complex after a day or so in the refrigerator).

  On baking (and boiling day), Preheat your oven and baking stone in the center to 500°F.  have a broiler tray placed on the lowest rack for the addition of steam water later.  Dust the top of the dough with flour and pull some from the bowl, weigh into 150 gram pieces.  "Cloche" the dough into balls by pushing your fingers into the bottom while rolling your thumbs down the sides, then seal the base of it by moving the base of the ball in a circle loosely in your fingers on your board.  Similar to the technique shown here (FFW to about 1:08 for instant gratification):

Traditional method for making Vera Pizza Napoletana dough balls, including technique for shaping pizza dough.

 Nice watch dude, and thanks.  Welcome to my Food Porn article...

   Cover balls loosely with plastic wrap and rest for 15-20 minutes at room temp.   If you want to make more than five bagels, repeat with the rest of the dough, or store it back in the refrigerator.  While the dough balls are resting, prep a large boil pot with water, malt and baking soda.  Place on high heat until it boils and reduce to a simmer.  Push your thumb through a dough ball to form a hole, then ease it open until the diameter is twice to three times the size of the original dough ball.  Gently lay the formed bagel into the simmering water.  After 1 minute, flip with a slotted spoon or skimmer and simmer (skimmer and simmer, that's fun to say...) for 30 to 40 more seconds.  Remove to the towel coated with some flour and repeat with remaining dough balls, one at a time. 

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Pre-boil bagels, 150 grams each

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Post-boil and on a floured pizza peel, ready for the oven

   Sprinkle with sesame seeds (or omit. Or use something else, like poppy seeds or dried garlic and onion flakes, it's your world...) and place on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal, polenta or flour.  Slide directly onto the 500° pizza stone.  Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a broiler tray beneath the stone and quickly close the oven.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes until deeply browned and firm.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack.

   These bagels are so good, you don't need to wait for them to cool all the way.  Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut in half and either top immediately with whatever suits you, or toast and top.  These Sriracha bagels have a sweet heat and pair well with savory flavors.  Perfect as a sandwich with egg and sausage or open faced with lox and cream cheese, boiled egg slices and capers; pickled onions with liverwurst; sliced roast beef and horseradish... I'm rambling... and not sorry for it.  Just let your Food Porn imagination run wild and enjoy these spicy variations of a classic breakfast staple, and if you don't mind, share your experience here.  I'd love to know if you made them and what you think of the recipe.  Is New York ready for a Sriracha bagel?  Hell yes.  And if you don't mind, so am I.

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Sriracha bagels, fresh from the oven


T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  Since I wrote this article I have made bagels several more times and have made adjustments to the process:

  1. I don't dry them on a floured towel after the boil, the wire rack works best.
  2. No flour on the pizza peel, cornmeal or polenta works best and adds serious crunch too.
  3. I weight the entire batch in grams and divide by six.  For my wife and I, six bagels is enough for a week.
DeKay's picture

These look good.  If you like Sriracha, you might want to check out my Sriracha bread.  I add crushed red pepper flakes for extra heat.  Come to think of it, those flakes could make for a great topping on these bagels...

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  That's what inspired me to make these bagels!  A friend of mine on another site made (and took pictures of) sriracha bread.  I made it according to their recipe and fell in love with it.  It makes a great egg sandwich.  Great idea for topping with more pepper, especially for those whom like it hot!  Thank you for you kind compliments and I'll go check out your link.

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

I take pictures of my food... Here's a sample of my Sriracha egg sandwich.

Breadandwine's picture

What a wonderful, mouth-watering article. Had to search for Sriracha - sounds right up my street. I'm definitely making these this week - just need to get the malt.

I'm a great fan of spicy-flavoured breads - I make 'red pizza' with hot smoked paprika in the dough and topped with tomato sauce, beetroot, sliced tomato and sun-dried tomatoes. Since I've been a vegan, I've discovered you don't need cheese on a pizza, as long as you include lots of flavours - and make sure your base is spicy, of course! :)

I'll come back and report how I get on with the bagels. Thanks again for the recipe!

Now I'm off to look at your link, De-Kay. Thank you.

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  Now that is the kind of ingenuity that prompted me to become a member here - what a fantastic idea!  I just replaced a can of Chiquilin I ran out of, with a locally made oak smoked paprika... the smell is heavenly.  I'm not a vegan, and certainly respect your choice to be - I love food.  All kinds of food, and agree that not all pizza needs cheese.  One of the best pizzas I ever had was simply garlic oil, peppers, onions, basil and oregano pesto made by a Greek friend of mine.  The dough his family makes (for a local pizza restaurant at the time) contained eggs, so not vegan.  Nonetheless, any good dough for pizza should be tried with this sublime combination, and of course enjoyed with a sturdy wine!  Thank you for stopping by and let me know how those bagels turn out, okay?

 I just remembered... add the non-diastatic malt to the flour before sifting into the liquid.  The malt tends to glom together the second it touches anything remotely moist.  My recipe above calls for it to be mixed into the water- it's a pain in the ass that way, so don't do it!

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  The original article had the boil at 7.1 L of water.  I don't know how I did that in a 6.6 L boiling pot and don't want the fine people here on TFL clamoring around for a ginormous pot, so I adjusted to a 6 L boil.  Arbitration... let's just call it arbitration, yeah. 

dabrownman's picture

but haven't really tried to spice it up with hot stuff for some reason - and we love hot stuff.  I got some Chinese Numbing Powder some time ago and forgot to put it bread until your hot bagel reminder.  Those bagels have to be tasty!

One note.  Enzymes in the flour or malt do not break gluten down into sugars.  There are 30 different proteins in flour and just as many enzymes too  Two of these proteins when they get wet form bonds that bind them together into gluten strands.  Protease is the enzyme that acts as a catalyst to break gluten bonds  into amino acids.  Two other amylase enzymes break the starch in flour down into the sugars that wee beasties eat.

Welcome and Happy bagel baking 

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

  Do you mean Sichuan Peppercorns?  I have eaten these is authentic Chinese food and all I can say is - Whew!  We have a place near us that make the best Ma-Po Tofu, but ask for it mild.  The pepper is citrusy and numbing and too much will blow up your bowels - YIKES!  Thanks for the salutation, it is appreciated!