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How to make bagels in Spain


I love most things about living in Galicia, the food included. But one huge downfall is the lack of international food and ingredients from home. Even if you want to make your favorite meal from scratch, there are so many ingredients that are impossible to find: brown sugar, peanut butter, kalamata olives, red pepper flakes… the list is quite long. 

Well, unfortunately bagels are on the list of foods that just haven’t made their way to Spain yet. They do have those dry grocery store bagels that come in plastic bags, but those just don’t cut it. So, after several years without bagels, I decided I’d make them myself.

Well, it turns out most bagel recipes call for active dry yeast and that’s yet another thing you just can’t find in Spain. Go figure. But today I decided enough is enough and I’ll make them with what I’ve got in my local grocery store. And fortunately, they turned out to be some of the best bagels I’ve ever had. 

bagel with poppy seeds

There’s something special about a freshly baked bagel still warm from the oven. Toast it, add some cream cheese and salmon… perfect. These New York style bagels are everything a bagel should be: chewy, golden, and dense. They were pretty easy to make too! I think next time I make these, I’ll make a giant batch and freeze a bunch of them. I’ll never go without bagels again. 

New York Style Bagels
Yields 8
Chewy and dense bagels
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
2 hr
  1. 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  2. 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 ½ cups warm water
  4. 3 ½ cups bread flour (in Spanish: harina de fuerza)
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  6. 1 egg
  7. toppings (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, minced onion, garlic salt, etc)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the warm (not hot!) water and combine until a moist but firm dough forms.
  2. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes, slowly incorporating more flour until you get a firm and elastic dough.
  3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl with a damp cloth on top. Put it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Punch the dough down and let it rise again for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the dough onto your work surface and cut it into 8 even pieces. Carefully rotate each chunk of dough in your hand in order to form a smooth and circular ball.
  5. Cover one finger in flour and poke a hole in the center of each dough ball. Move your finger in circular motions to make the hole bigger until it's reached the desired size.
  6. Place the formed dough onto parchment paper or an oiled pan and cover with a damp cloth for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF).
  8. With a slotted spoon, carefully place each bagel into a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 ½ minutes, before flipping it over and boiling the other side for another 1 ½ minutes. Place the boiled bagel back onto your work surface.
  9. To make your egg wash, beat one egg with 2 tablespoons of water. With a pasty brush, brush each bagel generously with the egg wash. Add whatever toppings you want.
  10. Bake at 220ºC (425ºF). for 20 minutes or until golden.
  1. Tip: when letting the dough rise, set your oven to the lowest temperature for 5 minutes, turn it off, then put the bowl inside with the door shut.
Oil and Garlic
 Chewy bagels

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    June 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Dear Jess, I love your style, I love the idea of your blog; there is so much you could teach us all living in such a wonderful part of the world. Will be back for more 🙂

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