Photo credit Micah Siva
Prep Cook Yield Ready In
30 minutes 25 minutes 8 bagels 2.5 hours

How to Make Pretzel Bagels

The perfect salty carb combo.

Bagel dough is deceptively simple to make —with just five ingredients, you can knead, roll, boil and bake bagels at home. But what happens if you mash-up your favorite bagel, with the ultimate comfort carb…the pretzel? I used to enjoy pretzels while walking around my local shopping mall, but now you can enjoy them reimagined as a fun and unique breakfast.

Bagels and pretzels have more in common than you think. Both are made of a relatively dense dough, both require a water bath or dip before baking, both have a distinctive chew, and both are rolled, shaped and baked to a deep golden brown.

To get their distinctive shine and deep brown hue, pretzel dough is dipped in food grade lye (which can be dangerous to do at home), or a combination of baking soda and water. While pretzels are dunked or dipped, bagels are boiled in a water bath made with malt syrup.

This recipe combines both processes, with a water bath made with baking soda and honey, to get an addictive shine and crust. My secret to making deli-worthy bagels? Bread flour. Unlike all-purpose flour, bread flour has a higher protein content, meaning a stronger structure for a chewy bagel.

Topped with pretzel salt (a coarse, large grain salt), these bagels are perfect dipped or slathered with Dijon mustard. Can’t find pretzel salt? Top these bagels with large flake salt, everything bagel seasoning or sesame seeds for an equally delicious treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • vegetable oil, to coat the bowl 

For water bath:

  • 9-10 cups water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp Pretzel salt, or large flake salt

For egg wash:

  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp pretzel salt, or large flake salt

Directions

  1. Combine the yeast, water, and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. If the yeast mixture is slightly foamy, bubbly, and/or fragrant, your yeast is active. If not, you may need to get fresher yeast.
  2. Add the bread flour and salt. Beat on medium for 2 minutes and continue kneading for 4-5 minutes on medium-low speed. If your mixer is struggling, knead it on a lightly floured surface for 6-7 minutes, or until elastic.
  3. Grease a large bowl with oil. Add the dough to the bowl, and cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let rise for 45-90 minutes at room temperature, or until doubled. To test if the dough has proofed, poke the dough with your finger. If it springs back immediately, it needs more time. If it slowly returns to its shape, with a slight indentation, it is ready to go!
  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Cupping your hand over each dough, Roll each piece into a ball, and place onto a lined baking sheet. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. While resting, prepare the water bath and preheat the oven to 425°F. Add the water, baking soda, and honey to a large pot. Bring to a gentle boil.
  6. Use your index and middle finger to poke a hole in the center of each dough ball, stretching until it is 1-2 inches in diameter. Return to the baking sheet.
  7. Add 2-3 bagels into the simmer water bath, cooking for 1 minute on each side.
  8. Remove from the bath and return to the baking sheet.
  9. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  10. Brush each bagel with the egg wash, and sprinkle with salt.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until deep brown, turning the tray halfway through.
  12. Let cool before serving.

 

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