This recipe uses easy-to-find ingredients for the best copy of genuine, New York City Everything Bagels. Authentic taste with a much shorter wait time!
Stir together flour, cold water and yeast in a bowl using your hand or a wooden spoon.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave it on countertop to proof overnight (8 hours).
After proofing, the poolish should be bubbly and smell a bit sour. If you tap it on the counter, it SHOULD NOT COLLAPSE. If it does, it means that it is overripe. You will need to start over and keep it out for less time.
Combine all ingredients and set aside.
Transfer the sponge to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer).
Add the water and yeast to the bowl and gently stir it together.
Add the flour, brown sugar and salt.
Start mixing on low to combine the ingredients, then shift to low-medium speed for five minutes. The dough should be smooth, firm and elastic.
Put the dough in a container that is lightly coated with oil and cover with plastic wrap for two hours. After the first hour, preheat your oven to 246°C or 475°F, if you have a pizza stone, make sure it’s in there. Otherwise, put a baking tray in the oven to preheat.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces (don't worry, you don't have to be precise).
Shape the dough by forming a round ball, flattening it slightly, then pushing your index and middle finger through the middle. Stretch the opening slightly, then even out the shape to form a classic donut/bagel shape. (Alternatively, you can hand roll them, which is the original technique. However, it takes a bit of time to learn and also produces a less photgenic bagel. If you're still interested, check out the YouTube video I've linked in the notes below.)
Place finished bagels on a tray sprinkled with semolina or flour. Make sure there is plenty of room between the bagels, to prevent them from sticking together as they rise. Slide the loaded tray into a large, plastic bag and gently tie it closed. Allow bagels to rise for about 20-30 minutes.
While bagels are rising, add 1 tbsp honey to a large pot of water and bring it to a rolling boil. In a separate large bowl or pot, prepare an ice bath.
Place bagels one by one in the boiling water, as many as can comfortably be boiled in a single layer at one time (usually, no more than three). They should float IMMEDIATELY upon being placed in the water. If they do not, dry them off, and let them proof a bit longer. Boil each side for about 30 seconds, but you can increase this time to about a minute or two each side if you want a chewier bagel.
As each bagel is finished boiling, remove and immediately place in ice water bath.
When all are done, remove bagels from ice water bath and place on two sheets of parchment paper, six bagels each.
In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp water to 1 egg white and beat well. Brush the egg wash on the bagels, and sprinkle the Everything Bagel Topping on each one.
Remove Preheated baking sheet from oven and slide parchment paper with prepared bagels onto the hot sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes at 246°C or 475°F. If you are using a Pakistani oven and the tops of the bagels are not brown, turn off the oven, and grill bagels for 4 minutes. Check on it frequently to make sure that the garlic/onions don't burn.
When the first batch is complete, slide the bagels along with the parchment paper off of the tray and onto a cooling rack. Quickly slide the second batch along with the parchment paper onto the hot tray and place in oven. Again, bake for 20 minutes at 246°C or 475°F, and grill for 4 minutes if you need to.
Wait for the bagels to cool a bit before eating.
Working with a poolish does require you to tack on an extra 8 or so passive hours but it is SO WORTH it in the end. Do not skip this and DO NOT skip the ice water bath. Your taste buds will thank you later, I promise!
If you have a large enough oven, you can cut your baking time in half by preheating TWO baking sheets in the oven and baking both sheets of bagels at the same time.
These yield a soft, spongey bagel, very reminiscent of the kind I used to get at my local bagel place in Brooklyn. They taste great hot out of the oven, and toast well.