La Buona Cucina Americana: Bagels

This week I turned to a tried and true recipe for this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana entry –one I can now make without referring to the recipe since I’ve made it so often.

For those of you who have been around a while, you’ve already seen this recipe here, but now I’m reposting the ricetta in italiano so our amici italiani can try it too.

The original recipe comes from our resident Bagel Queen in Italy (La Regina dei Bagel), New Yorker Michelle of Michellanea, although I did slightly adjust the salt and sugar measurements for my taste.

(makes eight large bagels)

Bagels cooling off

Bagels cooling

  • 250 ml warm water
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 500 g flour

1. Dissolve yeast in 250 ml of warm water and add oil.

2. In large bowl, mix together salt, sugar, and flour. Make a well in the center and add in yeast mixture.

3. Mix together all ingredients, working in flour on the sides of the bowl in order to get an even mixture. Work dough into a ball.

4. Cover bowl with a damp towel for about 40 minutes and let dough rise in a warm place; it should double in size.

5. Put a piece of wax paper on the baking sheet you’ll be using for the bagels.

6. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Divide into 8 little balls. Make a hole in the center of each ball and widen the opening until it begins to take the shape of a bagel.

7. Let the bagels sit on the warm towel for another 15 minutes while you heat the oven up to 390°F/200°C.

8. In the meantime, bring a large pan of water to a light boil and add honey. Let each bagel boil lightly for about two minutes on each side and then remove and put them back on the damp towel.

9. If you are adding sesame or poppy seeds, at this point, sprinkle them on a plate and press each bagel down lightly over them.

10. After about five minutes, put the bagels on the wax paper-covered baking sheet and place in oven for about 20 or 25 minutes until they are golden (but not too brown as they will get a bit browner after they’ve cooled), flipping them after about 10 minutes to ensure even baking.

I Bagel
(ingredienti per 8 bagel grandi)

  • Acqua tepida 250 ml
  • Lievito fresco 30 g
  • Olio 2 cucchiai
  • Sale 2 cucchiaini
  • Zucchero 3 cucchiaini
  • Miele 1 cucchiaino
  • Farina 500 g

1. Sciogliete il lievito in 250 ml d’acqua tiepida, quindi aggiungete l’olio.

2. In una ciotola unite il sale, lo zucchero e la farina. Fate una fontana nel centro e versatevi il lievito.

3. Lavorate gli ingredienti incorporando anche la farina rimasta sui lati della ciotola fino ad ottenere un impasto omogeneo. Formate la palla e lasciatela riposare nella ciotola.
4. Copritela con un straccio da cucina umido e fatela lievitare in un luogo caldo per 40 minuti finché raddoppierà di volume.

5. Preparate una piastra con della carta da forno.

6. Lavorate la pasta per 10 minuti, dividetelo in otto porzioni e con queste formate delle palline. Forate il centro di ogni pallina con il dito, quindi allargate l’apertura finché diventerà simile ad una ciambella.

7. Disponete i bagel su un straccio da cucina umido e lasciateli lievitare per 15 minuti. Preriscaldate il forno a 200°.

8. Nel frattempo, portate a leggera ebollizione una pentola d’acqua con 1 cucchiaino di miele e immergetevi i bagel, 2 minuti per lato, quindi adagiateli sul straccio da cucina umido.

9. Se volete aggiungere i semi di papavero o i semi di sesamo, dispone i semi in una teglia e poi premere i bagel leggermente sopra per attaccare i semi.

10. Lasciateli raffreddare per 5 minuti, e infornateli per 20/25 minuti fino a dorarli.

Grazie di nuovo a Michelle di Michellanea per la ricetta e per la maggiore parte della traduzione. Grazie mille anche a Sara di Ms Adventures in Italy per il suo aiuto!

24 Beans of Wisdom to “La Buona Cucina Americana: Bagels”
  1. Gil

    Sounds good.

    For us in Italy with nothing around resembling bagels, they’re *extra* good 🙂

  2. Bagels!!!

    Sorry, I got excited. I haven’t had a decent one in years (L.A. bagels are lame…ha)

    These look delicious.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Special Request – Bay City Rollers

    They’re pretty easy to make too, especially after you do them once or twice 🙂

  3. Yum! I’ll take one, please … ok, ok. I’ll take TWO!

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..Sila Fridays: Driving through the Mountains


  4. 11.21.2008

    I wanted to mention that there is a quick-fix bagel trick for lazy bagel lovers. We bought pasta per pane (bread dough) in the bakery, formed bagels, boiled them in water with honey (or you can use sugar or brewer’s yeast) and then baked them in the oven. OK, they weren’t as good as the ones we’ve made making our own dough but they really weren’t bad. Actually, I have to say they were pretty good. Now that we have a 10-month-old to chase after, we have less time for bagel making. And having the oven on draws him like a magnet and we have to keep him from touching it, so we are making more and more things stove top these days!

    As she got older and couldn’t knead as much, my grandmother used to buy pizza dough from the bakery all the time…excellent tip, Michelle! Grazie 🙂

  5. 11.21.2008

    I love Bagels…especially warm with cream cheese on 🙂

    I have never tried making them, but don’t eat them that often. But some that you get in the UK are not good at all, so we have to be careful where
    we buy them, and what make…

    Anne’s last blog post..Nearly Missed it……

    Mmmm cream cheese, or as we say in Italy “Philadelphia” 😉

  6. 11.21.2008

    I love bagels. Especially NYC bagels. Went to Montreal and had their famous bagels- they were sooo good, but sweeter. I think I need to sample yours so I can make an informed decison. Yeah, that sounds about right 😉

    Nice job!

    My Melange’s last blog post..Love Thursday: Cappuccino Love

    Works for me, Robin 🙂

  7. 11.21.2008

    They look beautiful. I have never made them at home.

    They’re very tasty 🙂

  8. 11.21.2008

    Oh forgot to say i have the book , should check out the recipe u mentioned

    Happy Cook’s last blog post..Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Looks like a great book!

  9. W i bagel!!!

    Can you get “filadelfia” down there… or will you have to use mascarpone? 😉

    paul of the clue-by-four’s last blog post..Tech Thursday: scientists may have located a WIMP

    Forza Philadelphia! It’s even in Calabria (although, admittedly, it’s just *different* than in the US but still good) 🙂

  10. 11.21.2008

    I love bagels too, but have never made them.

    To Anne: go to the 24 hour bagel bakery in Brick Lane, London. They’re freshly baked on the premises and absolutely delicious.

    casalba’s last blog post..Mela Cotogna (Quince)

    Ooh I hope I get to use that recommendation some day too 🙂

  11. 11.21.2008

    Yum! I LOVE bagels! We can get pretty decent ones in the Philly area, but I’ll have to try making my own one of these days. And I’ll try anything (within reason) as a topping…these days it’s a cream cheese and chives mix.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Happy Love Thursday!

    Mmmm cream cheese and chives. YUM! I love onion bagels too 🙂

  12. 11.22.2008

    I have yet to try making our own bagels yet, but soon. How have you found Philadeliphia to be different in Italy? I know here in the U.K. (where they call it full fat cheese……makes my husband laugh) it’s creamier, and we actually prefer it to the American version.

    Kalee’s last blog post..Finally

    Oh it’s definitely not creamier here. It crumbles on me all the time, which I only had happen in the US if it were slightly old. It’s still good and better than nothing, though, so I can’t complain 🙂

  13. helena

    We ADORE bagels in our house. I’m definitely going to give this a try! And Philly rates as the spread of choice.

    Enjoy! You may find that you have to play with the sugar/salt measurements; in the original recipe they were reversed, but I found the bagels a bit salty for my taste.

  14. 11.22.2008

    Wow, wow, wow! I’ve never had a homemade bagel! That photo looks absolutely delicious. (Yes, I want to take a bite out of the photo itself… good sign for the actual bagels, no?)

    And this is coming from someone who just finished a warm NY sesame bagel slathered in cream cheese for, um, a nutritious breakfast…

    nova’s last blog post..The Next Novel: Plan of Attack

    Hah, I’ll *definitely* take that as a compliment 🙂

  15. Bipolarlawyercook

    You’re so brave– I would just do without, but then, I’m a lousy baker.

    But, but, it’s just dough! Actually I’m not very fond of working with dough myself, but these are worth it 🙂

  16. 11.22.2008

    these look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    Crazy Daisy’s last blog post..Have Junk – Carnival!!!

    Great to see you here Daisy!

  17. 11.23.2008

    i love your profile information! i live in pennsylvania right now and don’t know where i’ll end up someday. it’s cool you went to italy and fell in love. it’s like a movie.

    these bagels look amazing by the way. soo fresh and authentic looking.

    Joanna’s last blog post..Little Butter and Bethany… sittin in a tree

    Thanks Joanna! Great to see you here, and best of luck on your life adventure 🙂

  18. 11.23.2008

    Your bagels look fantastic! I’m so pleased that I inspired you to make some, I know you were missing them! Thank you so much for your kind words as well!! Best, Zoë

    Zoë François’s last blog post..The Sweet Potato vs. Yam Debate on APM’s Weekend America (which one do you use?)

    Will definitely be trying yours at some point too…I’m always excited when I can actually find all the ingredients to a recipe and don’t have to experiment from the get-go!

  19. 11.23.2008

    I’ve never really considered making my own bagels, as you can’t swing a cat without hitting a bagel place around here…but boy, these are making me wonder if it might be fun to try. Mmmm.

    J’s last blog post..Grateful

    This is the second time I’ve read about cat-swinging in just a few days. Should I be concerned for kitties everywhere? 😉

  20. helena

    Thanks Michelle, already noted the two 2tsp of salt, which seemed about 1tsp too much. Pizza dough needs a good measure of salt, but this, no. I would also play with the quantities of ingredients, to produce more bagels at one time. Too much effort for just 8 in this time poor era! They can be frozen.

    It was actually 3 tsp in the original recipe, but I could actually taste it in the bagels, so I turned it down a notch. Depending on taste, of course, could go even further. And actually for little ole me eight bagels make plenty to freeze as well–P doesn’t eat them, and we have a tiny freezer 😉

  21. acicastello

    Thanks for the recipe! It actually looks easy enough (and I am actually craving a good bagel that much!) to whip out my rolling pin and give this one a try!

    I’ve got even better news then…no rolling pin required 🙂

  22. 11.25.2008

    Oh my! I want to dive into those bagels. Amazing.

    Thanks LJ 🙂

  23. 03.06.2011

    One word: *Perfection!* xo

    These are definitely a nice treat around here! Thanks Pam 🙂

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving week also extends to my Round Up! Looking for Guest Writers! | Yankee in a New World
    [...] am thankful for Michelle at Bleeding Espresso sharing her recipe for bagels from scratch - I have one to...



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