E9: Bagels with Erica

“The Gluten Matrix”

February 4 | Brooklyn, New York

Today I’m joining Erica Wides in her apartment kitchen in Brooklyn, NY.  Erica is one of our school’s beloved chef-instructors and the host of “Funny People Making Food,” a YouTube series that follows her attempts to teach comedians how to cook. Since Erica teaches our Handmade Bagel Workshop, and I’ve never attempted to make one from scratch, I thought it was time to remedy that hole in my repertoire and have her show me the ropes. I’ll happily gloat that the bagels we made were at the very least, on par with some of the best bagels I’ve ever eaten. I also created a signature bagel using some add-ins from Erica’s well-stocked kitchen, which I am surprised that not in rotation at every bagel shop. You’ll want to hear all about that. Listen in. 

NOTES: Get to know Erica @ Funny People Making Food or @chefericawides.


Everything Bagels
Makes 10

1 ½ cups warm water (less than 110°F)
5 teaspoons active dry yeast  (2 packets)
20 ounces high-gluten flour (we love King Arthur bread flour)  (approximately 4 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided (or sub honey for some of the sugar)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup baking soda + 1 tablespoon honey (for water bath)
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse salt, etc. for topping 

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the water and yeast plus 1 teaspoon sugar together to dissolve the yeast and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes to hydrate the yeast. It should become bubbly and foamy. 
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or in a large mixing bowl (or by hand!), combine the flour, remaining sugar and salt, and mix to combine.
  3. Add the water and yeast and mix to combine, then knead for 7 minutes until the dough is smooth. 
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead for another minute. 
  5. Using a scale, cut and divide the dough into 4-ounce pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch long cylinder, then moisten the ends with water and seal the ends to form a ring. 
  6. Transfer the bagels to an oiled or Silpat-lined sheet pan, and allow the bagels to proof at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° and fill a deep, wide pot with water and bring it to a boil. Whisk in baking soda and honey.
  8. After proofing, gently drop a few bagels at a time into the water, poach for 30 seconds, then remove the bagels from the water and place on parchment-lined sheet pans. 
  9. Sprinkle with seeds or salt and bake immediately for 15-17 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Cool the finished bagels on a rack.