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New York Style Everything Bagels

I love living in California, but I will always consider myself a New Yorker at heart.

 Why I’m Still A New Yorker

  • I talk fast.
  • Relaxing is challenging for me.
  • 90% of things in my closet (clothing, shoes, and handbags) are black.
  • Good restaurant service can make or break a restaurant experience for me.
  • I prefer walking over driving and I absolutely hate running.
  • Despite how caloric they are, I still eat bagels.

People often ask me what I miss most about living in New York City. And after 12 years the the answer has remained the same.  I miss the diversity, energy, sarcasm, and most of all, I miss the food.

everything bagels

To clarify, by “food” I don’t mean high-end, we have plenty of that in Northern California. I’m referring to a few different things: (1) amazing inexpensive ethnic foods, (2) a proper pastrami sandwich, (3) thin-crust, brick-oven pizza by the slice, and (4) killer bagels. Simply put, California needs to work on bagel making. The places all around us call their bagels “New York style” bagels. But trust me, they’re not.

Some bagel places near me say they have “Kosher-style” or “Brooklyn-style” bagels, but they are also mistaken. To clarify, West Coast bagels have a few significant issues.  First, they are way too big size-wise. Second, they are way too airy. And third, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why their version of an everything bagel does not include salt. Seriously, that’s a must.

everything bagels

My family’s favorite bagels in California are not close, they’re a 35-minute car ride to San Francisco, but they’re worth it.  Wise Sons, which calls themselves a “Jewish Delicatessen” hits the mark on the closest thing to a New York-style bagel that we’ve found. And thank goodness for that, as we needed them to cater my son’s bar mitzvah brunch.

People often say it’s the water that makes the bagel. For a long time, I believed in myself. But actually, it’s much simpler than that.  It’s the actual bagel-making process that matters most.  Below is a breakdown of what you need to know (or do) to make great New York-style bagels at home:

  • Good quality bread flour (I love King Arthur).
  • Proper dough kneading (at least 8 minutes in a machine fitted with a dough hook).
  • Hand shaping the bagels (do not use a cutter).
  • Proofing them properly (they should not double in size).
  • Quick boil in flavored water (a good local honey is my preference).
  • A very hot oven (at least 425 degrees F).

everything bagels

It took me a while to come up with a bagel recipe I loved and wanted to share, but I finally did it.  My bagels have a thin crispy outside, soft, but not too airy or dense inside, with just a subtle touch of sweetness. Like a great challah bread, I don’t make homemade bagels all that often, but trust me, when I do, they don’t disappoint. This is a recipe for everything bagels because that is my favorite bagel flavor.

Trader Joe’s has made it even easier with their extremely popular product Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. And they even added the salt. If everything topping is not your style, no worries, any topping can be easily substituted. Above all, even if you qualify yourself as a non-bread baker, try making my bagels, they are less intimidating than they seem, and boy are they worth it!

everything bagels

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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