RECIPE: Robbie Vorhaus’ Artisanal Bagels



Robbie’s Artisanal Bagels
Yield: Makes 12 big bagels
2 tablespoons Eden’s organic barley malt syrup, or raw honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast
5 teaspoons kosher salt
2.5 cups lukewarm water (approx. 95º)
7 cups unbleached, preferably organic, bread flour

Poaching Liquid
4-5 quarts water
2 tablespoons Eden’s organic barley malt syrup, raw honey, or molasses
1 ¼ tablespoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 separated egg white
1 teaspoon water

Either the night before, or at least 5 hours prior to baking, slowly stir together the malt syrup, salt, yeast and lukewarm water. Place the flour in a mixing bowl or mixer fitted with a dough hook, and on the slowest speed, stir in the yeast mixture. Continue mixing for 3 to 5 minutes so you have a fully mixed and hydrated dough ball. If need be, add a bit more water; you’re looking for a thick, rough ball. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Resume mixing on the slowest speed with the dough hook or by hand for another 10 minutes to allow the dough ball to become smooth and develop its gluten. You’re looking for a dough ball that’s a bit giving with a little shine.

Spread a small amount of olive oil, avocado, or coconut oil on the bottom of a large, clean, bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator or cool place overnight, or for at least 5 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and return to room temperature, approx. 1 hour.* Prepare an oven-ready baking pan with slightly oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for approx. 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each ball around on a clean, dry, non-floured surface, or around in your cupped hand, to form a small dough ball.


There are two ways to create the bagel. The first is to take each of the 12 smaller dough balls and with your thumb, create a hole in the middle, while slowly and deliberately, create a personally appealing bagel shape. Make sure the hole is bigger than your thumb or it will somewhat close-up after the final rise.

The second method is to take each of the 12 small dough balls and on a clean, dry, non-floured surface, using both hands and firm pressure, roll the dough into a 8”-9” rope. Taper the ends, and using a small amount of water as glue, wrap the dough around the back of your hand, connect the two ends in your palm so that at least 2” of dough overlap. Close your hand in a grip, and with a flip, bring the dough to the front of your hand so it’s now hanging from your grip. Shape the dough to your liking, making sure the ends are enmeshed and secure.
Place the bagels one by one on the prepared oven pan, and either spray or brush with a very light coating of olive, avocado or coconut oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for at least one hour.

Preheat the over to 500º. Fill a heavy pot with 4-5 quarts of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and stir in the barley malt syrup, raw honey, or molasses, baking soda and salt. Also, prepare any toppings, such as garlic, coarse salt, onion, sesame or poppy seeds, and set aside.

Mix together the egg white and water to create an egg wash.

Return water to a rolling boil, remove the plastic wrap from the bagels, and slowly lower one bagel at a time into the water until the bagels touch and the pot is full. Time for 1 minute, then with a slotted spoon, flip the bagels one at a time, and time for another minute. Remove the bagels, shake off the excess water, and place back on the baking sheet with well-oiled parchment paper or silicon. Brush each bagel with the egg wash, and if the bagel is to be plain, leave it, or generously add the desired toppings at this time.

Lower the oven temperature to 450º, and immediately place the bagels on the middle rack of the oven. After 10 minutes, turn the baking sheet by 180º, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the bagels appear golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes (if you can wait that long).

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
After the dough has risen at least 5 hours*, cut the dough ball in half. Return the dough ball to the mixer fitted with the dough hook, and add 1 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 ½ cup of raisins, and 1 teaspoon of yeast. Mix at the slowest speed for approx. five minutes, or until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. (You may need to stop the mixer at times and incorporate the raisins by hand.) The dough is now ready to be shaped, allowed to rise again, poached, and glazed with the egg wash.