Old Fashioned Russian Bagels

Unlike bready American bagels, the Russian kind are skinnier, dryer, sweeter, with the texture more like a soft pretzel.
By Yuliya Childers
Old Fashioned Russian Bagels

Old Fashioned Russian Bagels
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Unlike bready American bagels, the Russian kind are skinnier, dryer, sweeter, with the texture more like a soft pretzel.
Recipe Type: Baking
Serves: 15
  • 350 g (2-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 200 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) dry yeast
  • 10 g (2 tsp) sugar
  • 5 g (1 tsp) salt
Final Dough:
  • 650 g (5-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 4 g (1 tsp) dry yeast
  • 50 g (3-1/2 tbsp) melted butter
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 10 g (2 tsp) salt
  1. Combine starter ingredients in a bowl and knead until all flour is absorbed and dough clears the walls of the bowl with ease.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball, grease the bowl, put the dough into the bowl, cover and place in a warm spot for 3-4 hrs.
  3. Mix the final dough ingredients, add all of the starter, knead until smooth and very elastic, for at least 10 minutes by hand, or 7-8 minutes with a dough hook.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball again, and place into a large greased container, cover and let rise for about 40 minutes to 1 hr. We are not looking for a spectacular double rise here, so time is more important than the volume.
  5. Divide the dough into 15 part, 110 g each.
  6. For each piece of dough, roll into a hot dog shape using confident high pressure movements – we want a smooth stick without cracks or yeasty blisters.
  7. Wrap the “hot dog” around your four fingers, overlapping the ends at your thumb crease.
  8. Confidently, applying great pressure, squeeze the ends together; then, placing the hand down on a table with bagel still on it roll the pinched ends back and forth a few times until they fuse together nicely. The whole operation won’t take longer than 15-20 seconds for each bagel.
  9. Lay shaped bagels on a parchment, cover with plastic and let rise for 20-30 minutes. They won’t rise much, just soften and relax.
  10. Meanwhile, bring a pot to a rapid boil. Add 1-2 tbsp salt to the water, and never reduce the heat.
  11. Gently lower three bagels at a time into a boiling pot. If they sink to the bottom at first, don’t worry, they will surface when ready. If they remain on the surface, cook them for about 30 seconds on each side, and remove onto the parchment to dry.
  12. Repeat with the remaining bagels as before.
  13. If you decide to sprinkle your bagels (I did), the best time to sprinkle them is when they are still wet and tacky. You may also need to flip them over once to dry them on the bottom as well.
  14. Once all bagels are boiled and no longer dripping wet (still tacky is ok), you can bake them.
  15. Preheat the oven to 525°F.
  16. Bake bagels for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned all over (check on the bottom at 15 minute point to see if they need to be flipped to brown underneath).
  17. Cool on rack and enjoy.

Yuliya Childers

Yuliya Childers is a self-proclaimed cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city of Odessa on the Black Sea coast. She started cooking at quite an early age and learned most of her skills by watching others and reading cook books. Made-from-scratch naturally grown food is her passion. Yuliya believes that truly good food either creates or invokes memories. Her blog Eat Already! is focused on everyday creative yet un-pretentious cooking that anyone with basic skill can replicate. Yuliya's recipes are usually accompanied by childhood memories or family stories related to the dish in some way. Her recipes are honest, eclectic, multi-cultural, imaginative, and often outside the box. Currently she's into artisan breads, traditional cooking, and everything fermented… Yuliya is cooking and writing about it from Alabama.

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