Firstly, you should know that the majority of this post will be a garbled, semi-literate attempt at a love letter to New York. Because of reasons, including bagels. Secondly, you should know that this post contains BAGELS. And not just that, but ONION BAGELS. So if you don’t live in New York, or (like me) anywhere even close to New York at all, you can bring the bagel action to your home. Please note: I am aware of ONE bakery in my neighbourhood that produces what I would deem an acceptable bagel, but the lines are always so long, and their opening hours so inconvenient that they might as well not. So I bring the bagels to me. Because I will do anything to bring myself closer to my unrequited love; New York. You know who made me fall in love with NY? It was Nora Ephron. Who better to hear the good news from, than a real New Yorker. I read her novel Heartburn maybe 5 years ago, because Nigella Lawson recommends it in one of her books. And of course, given that Nigella is my Oprah, I just do whatever she tells me. And she was right, the New York that Ms Ephron paints is a stunner. Just the kind of bustling metropolis, choc full of micro-cultures and sub-cultures that an angsty teen like me WOULD love. But there also lurks a deep sentimentality at the heart of it all, and I think that’s what truly appealed to me then, and still does now. Nora Ephron also made two movies based in NYC. You probably already know this, but they were ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail’. I adore When Harry Met Sally. I have absolutely no time for any negativity about it. I love Meg Ryan in it, I love Billy Crystal in it, I love New York in it, and I love the New Yorkness of the whole enterprise. But I feel like Nora’s true feelings for the island of Manhattan appear more fully in ‘You’ve Got Mail’. [Sidenote, did ya’ll know that Dave Chapelle is in that movie? Surprises me every time I see him.][Other sidenote: I never say ‘ya’ll’ in real life]. Anyway, the whole thing, the book stores of New York, Tom Hanks, people bustling on city streets. That whole line:
‘Don’t you just love New York in the Fall?’
I find it totally magical. I would love to go to New York City. I will go there one day. And I will search the streets for every Shop Around the Corner shop that I can find. I will try and spot Tom Hanks also, but I do that everywhere I go, so that’s not really a New York thing. Until then, I will keep reading Smitten Kitchen (another New York favourite), I will watch Annie Hall and Manhattan by Woody Allen (the very definition of a New Yorker), I will read all of Nora Ephron’s books and essays, and I will re-watch her movies. And I will make bagels. I will make onion bagels. And I will eat the onion bagels with scallion cream cheese, because once you’ve given in to the possibility of onion-breath at breakfast, there’s no point in holding back now. I will eat my onion bagels with coffee, black, and I will DREAM. Have you been to New York? Do you have any recommendations for the city, or any other books or movies about it that you love? Or is there another place that has your heart? Tell me, I love to hear this stuff.
INGREDIENTS 1 brown onion
500g strong/bread flour
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vegetable oil
250 ml warm water
Malt Syrup, brown rice syrup, brown sugar or even maple syrup, in a pinch.
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, dried herbs or anything else you like, to sprinkle on top (optional) Firstly, peel and grate the onion coarsely onto a few layers of paper towels. Gather up the onion in the paper towels, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set to one side. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, yeast sugar and oil, and paddle briefly to combine. Stop the mixer, and add the water all in one go, before mixing with the dough hook until the dough is elastic and smooth. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Add the wrung-out onion, and mix until it is well incorporated. Set the dough aside to prove for about an hour. Once the hour is up, turn the oven on to 220C to preheat and fill a wide saucepan with water, placing it over a medium heat. Punch down the dough, and divide it into three balls. Divide each ball into three pieces, and roll each piece into a sausage shape, about 15cm long. Curl the dough around and pinch the ends together to form your bagels. By now the water should be simmering, so add about 2 tablespoons of malt syrup. Starting with the first bagel you shaped, gently place it in the simmering water, and poach it for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and place on a lined baking sheet. Quickly sprinkle over any toppings of your choice, before proceeding with the remaining bagels until they are all done. Bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until burnished brown and hollow when tapped. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, before diving in. Cream cheese is mandatory.
I do love NYC. And the onion bagels. Mmm :)
Me too! Glad they’re in my life now.
I love this post!! I also love When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. New York (especially in the fall) is somewhere I desperately hope to visit one day. Lovely bagels, btw!
Me too, let’s go together.
New York is a magical place and I do hope you get experience it one day. These bagels look as if they belong in a deli. Perfection!
I love onion bagels-they go so well with lox or just a lick of scallion cream cheese. I’m sure you’ll make it to New York one day! :D
These look delish. I adore bagels. Lets go to NY together.
I agree- anything to remind me of NYC is bliss. I miss the bagels. Gotta make this soon!
Love that Nigella is your Oprah!
These onion bagels look incredibly delish!
Haha, thanks shashi!
I’ve never been to New York, but I love bagels, especially onion bagels :-) I’ve never made them from scratch, so will be trying these!
Awesome! Go for it. :)
I went to NYC for an art class (more like a wander around museums class… not mad abaout it!) and somehow never once ate a bagel while I was there. I ate pretty much everything else in sight, and I ‘d love to go back! I’ll settle for bagels in the meantime — these look yummy!
There’s a bagel story on about every 2 blocks here in NYC and I absolutely fall in love with the smell everytime I walk by a shop. But now I can make my own! Thank you!
Giiiiirrrrrl. These bagels look like absolute perfection. I want that green onion cream cheese forever!
And I went to New York for the first time last September. I just loved it! Everything I ate was magic. I need to go back immediately.
They look amazing! I have a sudden craving for onion bagels now.
These bagels look like they’ve come straight from America. It’s pretty appalling the lack of decent tasting bagels here in sydney. It’s shocking. Guess I’ll have to make them at home like yours.
I love onion bagels – they are my favorites and this homemade version looks really wonderful!
You will go to NY one day, and you will love it! In the meantime, your bagels look grand.
Sarah, thanks for contacting me on my blog G’day Souffle’. My daughter lives in Brooklyn (one of the boroughs of NYC) and we’re going there next month- I’ll think of you then!
I need me a NYC bagel!! I’m a huge bagel person :) These look awesome.
Your bagels look peerrrfffeeeccctt!! And that’s coming from a born and bred NY-er…so you know it must be true!
Mmm homemade bagels are the best! Love this recipe, so glad I found your blog! :)
Come visit New York!!! I’ll show you around ;)
Your bagels came out amazing. Bagels with scallion cream cheese remind me of Sundays of my childhood, when my dad would take me with him to the bagel shop to bring home all kinds of goodies for Sunday brunch. I actually tried making bagels the other day but mine came out flat :( They were still delicious though. Yours look much more bagel-like…i’m thinking it’s because your recipes uses regular yeast and for some reason the one I used called for Instant Yeast. I’ll have to use this recipe when i try again!
Have not been to New York, although would love to after all the beautiful words your had to say.
These bagels look amazing.
Nice to meet you..
Oh I totally understand the unrequited love for New York :) Bagels are definitely a way to feel that love. Not sure about Brisbane, but Sydney has currently had a few bagels places open up, very enjoyed!
I went to New York city when I was eleven years old (which was a looooong time ago) so didn’t fully appreciate it. I have loved bagels seemingly my whole life, but have never made them!?! Now you have inspired me:) Your toasty bagels look JUST right. My oldest daughter has had a wish to go to NYC too~hopefully someday…
Do you know, I have not had an onion bagel since I was in New York in 1989 and I didn’t realize that fact until I read your post. I think I might have to revisit my time there by making these. Thanks for the recipe :)
I love bagels and I love onions. I’ve made several different homemade bagels. But why haven’t I made onion? Thanks for the recipe. :)
Bagels for LIFE. You have the key to my heart, onion bagels and quoting You’ve Got Mail, yeah girl!
I have to read Heartburn, just downloaded it onto my Kindle. I love NY and it does seem to be the only place for a decent bagel. My favourite is Everything Bagels. Not just onion morning breath but garlic too! GG
I hope to eat a real New York bagel someday. Your home ones look terrific!!!!
How bizarre that I’m eating a bagel while reading this. I’m all too familiar with your love for NY and lucky for me I live close by and work in the city ! Did you know theat most number of Hollywood movies are made/ set in NYC ? That’s right! I found out that little trivia when I took a film making course here.
You should visit! It’s everything you think it is and you will have so much to discover. You can even try the NY style pizzas. Look me up when you visit!
N Y is where I want to move someday-dream city :) and yes i will be eating bagels there everyday..for now these homemade ones will suffice :)
I love close to the city and I just love it. Try to visit the less touristy areas, too. The bagels there are so delicious!
I love NYC too! I wish I could just hang out there. And Nora Ephron is great. You’re right, it is so hard to find a good bagel. Yours looks great (and is making me hungry)!
I love your onion bagels Sarah. Beautiful writing and lovely photographs, I am inspired to have a bagel session :D
Ohmygosh! My husband would love this recipe so so much!! Yum :)
Homemade bagels are the best. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Mmmm bagels! I honestly don’t remember the last time I had one. Now I am totally craving one.
Really gorgeous bagels! I went to NY for the first time last summer and it did not disappoint! Times Square at 1 am is a massive pulsing crush of humanity. I loved it! Grey’s Papaya for their famous NY hot dogs, Broadway, Grand Central Terminal, the market in GCT and Central Park the list goes on and on and on. It was surreal and I loved every single moment of it. So hope you get to go some day!
I love this post – I used to have an absolute thing about onion bagels which I had forgotten about (until now) and it also reminded me of the best bagel I ever tasted – in New York of course…..
Yes to onion bagels and yes to New York! (Of course, the last time I was there I ate about a dozen doughnuts and nary a bagel, so obviously I was doing it wrong.) I love that you made your own–next stop, NYC!
The places that have my heart are Rome and London, but that said, I haven’t yet been to NYC. That is a yet unplanned trip I’m very much looking forward to. In the meantime, I’ll definitely bring a little New York to me by trying your bagels. Thanks for sharing!
Oh my goodness… I’m such a sucker for an onion bagel. Although I have them in a dastardly un-kosher way with bacon and melted cheese.
I would just like to say that those bagels looks totally pro and I want you to be my personal chef.
Looove Bagels !! I will try this recipe soon!
NYC ? Nigella ? and Nora (broken heart ;( a true NYorker)
When you do get to nyc – and i know you will – be sure to visit Barney Greengrass for some of the best bagels in town. I rarely eat bagels anymore even though i love them – my thighs disagree – but I will still indulge with barney! Loved your billet-doux to NYC. I too have a serious love affair with NYC…21 years and going strong!