Best Homemade Bagels

Emeril Lagasse Bagel Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
This winter we traveled to Colorado and Wyoming to visit our family. During our visit we were treated to a truly special breakfast with a New York twist: homemade bagels. Our nephew and young chef, Keith, woke up early in the morning and, with his dad’s help, prepared us the best homemade bagels we had ever had. We enjoyed an assortment of warm bagels right out of the oven, including asiago cheese, everything, garlic, salt, sesame, poppy seed and chocolate chip. Sharing this breakfast with our talented nephew was one of the highlights of a restful and healing vacation.
Keith uses Emeril Lagasse’s Homemade Bagel recipe. The bagels are soft and chewy on the inside and crusty on the outside. Our nine year old nephew impressed us with these fantastic homemade bagels and inspired me to try to make these at home.
According to Keith, they are time consuming, but easy to make.
Emeril’s Homemade Bagels
2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
Optional Toppings:
1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped onions (2 teaspoons each)
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon each)
1. Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.
2. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)
3. Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
4. Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.
6. In a large, heavy pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 bagels

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