Baking Steel

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Many people love bagels, but few have ever learned how to make them at home. This is truly tragic, because there is nothing like a freshly boiled-then-baked bagel. Perhaps you’ve had a taste of this perfection if you’ve ever been the first customer on line in a NYC bagel shop, but even that experience won’t give you the inimitable sense of pride that comes from making your own.


  • 500 grams (3 ½ cups) bread flour
  • 12 grams (1 ½ tablespoons) sugar
  • 1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 16 grams (1 tablespoon) fine sea salt
  • 300 grams (1 1/4 cup) water, 105 degrees F


  1. DAY 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the water. Mix with a wooden spoon to just combine, then knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured countertop or cutting board for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  3. Put the dough in bowl and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 24 hours at room temperature, or until the dough has just about doubled in size.
  4. DAY 2: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F for 45-60 minutes with your Baking Steel inside.
  5. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Form dough into balls.
  7. Coat a finger in flour, and poke a hole into the center of each dough ball, gently stretching the hole with your fingers to form a traditional bagel shape.
  8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on a piece of parchment paper, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Bring a large pot of water (feel free to add a little honey) to a boil. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil for about 1 minute; the bagels will rise in the water and may bob on top. Using the slotted spoon, remove the bagels, tap to remove excess water, and transfer to a piece of parchment paper or directly onto a sheet tray that has been lightly dusted with semolina flour. If you’d like to add seeds or toppings to your bagels, now is the time: right after boiling is when they will be “stickiest” and best able to hold onto them.
  10. Either place your parchment onto a sheet tray and place on your Baking Steel, or use a pizza peel to launch the parchment sheet directly onto your Steel.
  11. Bake for 14-18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, or until golden brown. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Cool completely and make sure you have some soft cream cheese around. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.