Since I started the blog I've been reading a lot about food, not only cookbooks, but magazines, articles, critics, other food blogs, you name it. And although I’m enjoying it beyond words, I have this contradicting feelings growing inside me. The blog is very slowly starting to grab all my attention and my time after work is almost fully dedicated to it, what if I get overwhelmed?

Then I got a couple of cookbooks and the feeling was disappointing, I wasn't excited about them, the fear was becoming a latent reality. Was I seeing the blog as a job? I didn’t want to give a step back, I was just starting, so I cleared my head and continued along the path, I knew there was going to be light at the end of the tunnel.

The New York Cult Recipes cookbook arrived just a couple of days after I was questioning all this, and let me tell you, this book did the trick. It ticks all the boxes for a graphic designer: beautiful use of typographies, nice colour pallet, amazing illustrations, inviting photography. After a quick glance the foodie in me fell in love as well.

The first recipe to catch my eye was 'Bagels'. I always wondered how the process to make them go, I knew you needed to boil them first but that was pretty much it.

This recipe makes 5 bagels.


Note:  I couldn’t find all the ingredients so I had to make a couple of substitutions.

For the dough:

  • 375 grams all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 190 millilitres lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup  
  • 3/4 tablespoons olive oil

For the poaching water:

  • 3 teaspoons cornflour
  • 3 litres water
  • 3 teaspoons simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

I used poppy seeds and sesame seeds as toppings, 1 tablespoon per bagel is more than enough.

Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix all the wet ingredients. Combine the two mixtures and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. I’m using my Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook attachment but you can knead by hand — I’m not good at kneading, that is why I prefer to use the mixer.


Divide the dough into 5 equal round pieces (1) — I did it by weighting the dough, dividing the total by 5 and then weighting the pieces to make sure they all were the same size. Using your hands shape each portion into an 8 inch sausage (2), make sure they are smooth — some of mine were not, resulting in an uneven surface. Flatten one of the ends (3) , wrap it around the other end (4) and pinch at the back to seal (5). Place each bagel on an individual piece of parchment paper. Dust some flour on the top, cover with plastic wraps and let them rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Click to zoom

 Preheat the oven to 230°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Dissolve the cornflour into some of the cold water, add it to a large pot with all the other poaching ingredients. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat so it’s simmering. Drop the bagels into the water in batches, turn them after a minute and cook for another minute. Take them out and place them on the baking tray you previously lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the toppings over the damp bagels.


Lower the temperature of the oven to 210°C and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.