Adventures in Bread Making: Cinnamon Craisin Bagels


How gaggerific is that photo?  I know, I couldn’t help myself.  I made these for Justin and was originally going to write “I ❤ UR ε==>'” but I ran out of plate space and the craisins kept slipping.  So instead he got a little more heartfelt message in the morning.

My intention was to make these and have them posted by Valentine’s Day, but I got busy.   But today is Justin’s birthday, so now they’re Birthday Bagels.  Whatever though, one does not need a special circumstance or over-marketed holiday to treat their loved one with home baked heart shaped (or ass shaped, depending how you look at that them) nummies.  These bagels are adapted from The Sophisticated Gourmet’s New York Style Bagels.  I had such good success with this bagel recipe I haven’t really tried any others.


2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups H2O (110° or whatever your yeast specifies)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tbsp H2O
1 cup craisins
1 1/2 tsp salt
500 g bread flour (3 – 3 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp white sugar

Resting time: about 1 hour 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes

Make a paste out of the 1 tbsp cinnamon + 1/2 tbsp H2o.  You want it to be dry.  Set aside.


Add your 1 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp white sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt.


Then add your bread flour and mix.  You can use all purpose flour instead, but you won’t get that classic bagel consistency.


In all my other recipes where I’ve made bread I tell you of course you can make them by hand, but then I never do.  So today I decided to make these bagels by using a bowl as little as possible.  Pour your flour onto a cutting board and make a well deep enough to hold your water.


Add your 2 tbsp of brown sugar and your warmed water and mix gently, breaking apart the brown sugar clumps.


Sprinkle your yeast on top and let it sit.


2 minutes in.  This is why it’s good to take the temperature of your water.  If the water had been too hot we would have damaged or killed the yeast and if it was too cold it wouldn’t have activated them.


Start gently swirling your fingers in the water to move the yeast around.


Then start swirling near the edge of the flour slowly incorporating some of the flour into the water.  The key word is “slow,” if you try to do it quickly you will have a very big mess on your hands and it will not be my fault because I told you the key word.


When enough of the water has been incorporated you can start to push it all together.  Use only one hand to do this to keep one hand clean.  Scrape your wet hand off and then begin to knead it as you normally would.


Now here is where I screwed up, but now you won’t.  I added my craisins in too early.  Add them very near the end of your kneading.


I think adding the craisins in too early really prevented full proper gluten formation during the kneading process.

When you think your dough is done chances are it could go for a minute or two longer since home bakers are notorious for under-kneading their dough, myself very much so included.  So when you think your dough is done add your cinnamon paste in 1/4 or 1/3 chunks.  Knead it just enough to incorporate and add the next chunk.  This is how we’re adding this swirl.  If you’re not as crazy about cinnamon as Justin and I are then either just do the swirl or just do the initial cinnamon addition with the flour.


Because of my craisin fiasco I also went on to add my cinnamon paste a little too early and didn’t have as much of a swirl as I wanted.  😦


Coat your bowl and dough lightly with oil and cover.  Let rise for 60 minutes


60 minutes: Hey, it’s not perfect but I didn’t completely screw it up!


Punch down your dough.


Punch it down everywhere.  Doesn’t make much sense just to punch it in the middle.


Cover and let it rest for another 10 minutes.


Now cut your dough into equal sections.  I had 36 ounces after everything, so I was going for 8 bagel at 4.5 ounces each.  I wasn’t crazy particular about getting them all at 4.5 ounces, just in that area.


If you want to do the heart shape, here is how I did it.  Roll out one of your pieces as you would to make a pretzel, about 12 inches long.


Then roll up each side, gently pulling as you roll to stretch it out until both sides are even when they meet in the middle.


Relatively even, whatever.


Gently pull on the opening of the heart to make a bigger bagel whole.  Pinch the ‘V’ part of the heart with your fingers.


To make a regular bagel just roll into a ball using the pressure of your work surface.


The Sophisticated Gourmet’s Bagel Balls look like perfect spheres.  It irritates me.  I’m willing to wager the under side isn’t perfectly smooth but it still irritates me.  I wanted to show you the underside of my bagel ball to let you know not all of us are fucking perfect.


Coat a finger with flour and poke through starting at the top side.  The hole should be about half the size of the whole bagel.


Put all your formed bagels on a sheet and cover.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

While resting bring a pot of water to boil and preheat your oven to 425°.


When your water is boiling add as many bagels as you feel comfortable adding to your pot.  Boil for 1-2 per side.  2 minutes if you want a chewier bagel (NY bagels are the chewier kind).


Your bagels should float. If they don’t then you screwed up and you should throw them all away and beat up on yourself for the rest of the day.  Oh, that’s not how you cope with a failed recipe?  My bad.  No, if you put one in and it sinks and doesn’t pop up after 5 seconds then pull it out and let all your bagels rest for another 10-20 minutes and try again.

Pull out with a slotted spoon and put on a cooling rack.

The tops of your heart bagels may pull open in the water, a couple of mine did.  If this happens just hold them together after you put them on the cooling rack as the water dries.  When the water dries they will have dried back closed.

Bake in 425° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


Enjoy with some cream cheese…


…or delicious lemon curd!



6 thoughts on “Adventures in Bread Making: Cinnamon Craisin Bagels

  1. Wow… thank you for taking the time and posting about this. It looks delicious!!! In one week, I’ll be in NYC (my first time), any suggestions where I should go for a ‘classic New York bagel’?

    • Thank you for reading! Have fun in New York! I don’t buy bagels too often here so I asked around and here is what some of my friends said:

      “On the corner! (As in “any”)” – NYC is notorious for having pretty awesome street vendors. They’re not really my thing, but the nuts are delicious.
      H&H – The original H&H has been closed for awhile but there’s a new one owned by different people, 2nd Avenue between East 80th and East 81st
      Ess-a-Bagel – 359 First Ave
      Murray’s Bagel Express – 94th and 3rd ave
      Mike’s Bagels – 4003 Broadway
      Kossar’s Bialys – 367 Grand St

      My friend Adrienne does food tours and she said she was pretty savvy on NY bagels (among other foods) if you’d like to look her up. Food tours are a fun way to get to know a new city.

      That being said I think it’s really hard to go wrong with a NY style bagel and you won’t find any one agreed upon place to buy “The Best Bagel.” Also, if you find a place with a line out the door (like Magnolia’s Bakery) chances are it’s a tourist trap and there are just as good (if not better) places right across the street.

      • Ahh, thank you SO much for asking your friends. I just googled ‘Ess-a-bagel’, and it’s a few blocks away from the apartment we rented! Yay! …Officially on the list.

        We’re from Montreal, and we’re huge on bagels over here. If you ever come up this way, you must go to ‘St.Viateur Bagels”.

        Your friends tour looks like fun and it’s not expensive! I’m going to show my boyfriend tonight. Thank you so much for the info- I’m SO excited for this trip.


      • No problem, people keep commenting on it so I added a couple more.

        I’ve never done one of her tours but she is a good friend and I’m sure she’s a lot of fun on her food tours.

        I don’t know, which ess a you’re near but there’s a Chocolat Michel Cluizel at 584 5th Ave and
        Jacques Torres Chocolate at Chelsea Market 75 9th Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets). These are two of my favorite places in the city and they serve some of the best hot chocolate in my opinion. Jaques has multiple locations and while the Chelsea Market location isn’t the best, Chelsea Market itself makes up for it.

        Have fun!

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