Ben's Bagels

Developed by Ben Schwarz, based on ChefSteps recipe.


  • For preferment
    • 2g instant dry yeast
    • 125g bread flour
    • 185g water
  • For dough
    • 10g white sugar
    • 10g kosher salt
    • 225g bread flour
  • optional
    • 1 tbsp malt syrup
    • 1-2 tsp baking soda


(in the morning of day 1)

  1. Mix preferment ingredients together until incorporated fully.
  2. Cover bowl well to avoid dehydration of the preferment and leave at room temperature for 4-8 hours, until very active and bubbly.

(in the afternoon/evening of day 1)

  1. Combine dough ingredients and the active, bubbly preferment together.
  2. Mix in stand mixer for 15 minutes on lowest setting or knead by hand until the dough is silky and smooth. If kneading by hand, let dough rest for 5 minutes each time it starts feeling tough (5min kneading, 5min resting, and repeat 2x works well in my experience).
  3. Leave dough to rest in a large bowl for 20 minutes with a lid or tea towel over the top.
  4. Divide into approximately 135g portions (4 bagels if using original quantities).
  5. Roll portions into a tight ball, much like a pizza dough ball.
  6. Use thumb and index finger to pinch a hole through the approximate centre of the ball.
  7. Using both index fingers through the hole, make a wheel-turning motion with your fingers to stretch the dough so that the hole is roughly the size of a US quarter coin.
  8. Place shaped bagels on baking paper on a plate or tray, with sufficient space between them so that they will not touch as they expand.
  9. Place in fridge uncovered until the next morning.

(in the morning of day 2)

  1. Take bagel doughs out of the fridge and place on counter to warm towards room temperature.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 220°C. If your oven is fan forced and quite aggressive, lower to 205-210°C.
  3. Bring a large put of water to a rolling boil while the bagels are warming on the counter.
  4. Optionally, add the malt syrup and/or baking soda to the boiling water. These will assist in developing the crust flavour and texture, but are not strictly necessary.
  5. Once the water is well-and-truly boiling, boil the bagels 60 seconds per side.
  6. Remove bagels from water using a slotted spoon or similar, and place on a wire rack.
  7. Add any toppings you might like on your bagel now while they are hot and sticky from the water.
  8. Place bagels back on baking paper on a baking tray, and put in oven.
  9. Bake for 12-18 minutes. Monitor them the first time you bake these to get a feel for your oven. You want to turn the tray around about halfway through the bake.
  10. Allow to cool and continue to set for 20-30 minutes on a wire rack.

Then, enjoy!

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