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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. 


NY style bagels
  1. 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  2. 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
  3. 1 ¼ cups warm water
  4. 3 ½ cups bread flour
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  6. 1 egg
  7. toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, diced onion, etc)
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (yeast, sugar, flour, and salt).
  2. Pour the warm water into the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate. The ball should be moist but firm.
  3. On a floured worktop, knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. It should not stick to the edges of the bowl or to your fingers.
  4. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Knead the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces using a knife. Carefully form each piece into a ball.
  6. Coat one finger in flour and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a hole. Stretch the ring of dough until you have the desired size of hole. Remember that the dough will continue to rise and change, so make the hole slightly bigger than what you want.
  7. Cover the formed bagels with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F.
  9. While the dough is rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Use a slotted spoon to carefully lower a few bagels at a time into the water. Boil for 2 minutes and then flip the bagels over and boil on the other side for 2 more minutes. Remove the bagel and set aside. Repeat until all bagels have been boiled.
  10. Now it's time for toppings. Beat one egg in a bowl and add a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg mixture on top of the bagels one by one, and while still wet, add any toppings you'd like!
  11. Transfer the bagels to an oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top.
The Cozy Spoonful
Bagel with poppy seeds

bagel with poppy seeds


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