TwD Baking with Julia: Bagels

October 16, 2012

Another yeast recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group; this time it’s Lauren Groveman’s bagels. Here is my first batch: three sesame and two plain.

Thanks to good timing, the bagel episode of Baking with Julia was shown on my PBS station a few days before I planned to make them. It helped a lot to see her technique for forming the bagels, as well as to see what they should look like at different stages.

There are some steps involved in making bagels, but it didn’t end up being as involved as I feared. The process for making the dough is much like other bread doughs. After a rest in the refrigerator, the dough is formed into a ring with a large center (it will puff up and the hole will close if you don’t make it big enough). The bagels are then boiled in a water bath with sugar and baking soda before being baked. I bought a skimmer and I’m glad I did, because it worked great for fishing the bagels out of the water.

I made the dough one day, baked 5 bagels the next day, and then baked 5 more bagels the day after. The bagels had a chewy crust and tender center, which is exactly how I like a bagel to be. The second batch was darker, which made the crust chewier.

Recipe notes:

  • On the TV show, she used 1 tablespoon of barley malt syrup and 1 tablespoon of sugar, but the recipe in the book calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar and no malt syrup (on the show, she said that if you don’t have the malt syrup, you can use 2 tablespoons of sugar). Since I have malt syrup, that’s what I used.
  • Another good tip from the show was to put some toppings on the peel or baking sheet before you put the bagels on it — that way there are toppings on the top and the bottom of the bagel.

There’s nothing like a bagel warm out of the oven, especially if it’s your own oven!  You can find the recipe on page 87 of Baking with Julia. The book also includes a method for making bagel chips, as well as the recipes for the spreads that Groveman made on the show. Thank you to Heather’s Bytes for hosting this week. She has the bagel recipe posted here.


  1. They seem lovely 🙂

  2. These look great Jill. And I was surprised at how easy they were to make.

  3. There’s nothing like homemade bagels, yours look great! My spider strainer is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. It’s great here, and if you ever fry anything you’ll be glad you have it too 🙂

  4. Your bagels look wonderful, and I’m impressed with anyone who would try. Love your skimmer – what a great idea! I’m just eating fresh-baked bread right now, and you just can’t beat it.

  5. Your bagels are beautiful! Thank you for baking along! 🙂

  6. Looks like they turned out beautifully!

  7. Your bagels look fabulous and your tips are really helpful. I like the idea of toppings on the bottom and top.

  8. Your bagels are quite stunning!!!!!

  9. The video were so helpful. I was so glad I could see them before preparing the bagels…
    Yours turned out beautiful.

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