The Edible Peace Project Part 7: Homemade Everything Bagels

I just got back from an incredible trip to New Orleans with my sig other.

Y’all, I’m basically southern now. I ate so many fried shrimp, I woke up the morning we left convinced I had turned into a crustacean. The food, the jazz, the tasty libations, the little cobblestone streets; Nawlins holds a special place in my California native heart and soul.


This trip was not just a nice distraction from all that’s happened in the last month and a half, turns out it was sorta essential to my healing process.

I spent significantly fewer seconds of the day wishing I could go back in time and instead really relishing in all of the tiny moments that make up the day. And from this, I realized (again and again) how precious this life is and how warm it feels to remember this so many times a day while I catch the sun sinking on the Mississippi river or eat a raw oyster on the half shell.


When life hits you fast and hard, these delicious diversions have actually proven to be my most prized set of bandages when I’m (begrudgingly) trying to lick my wounds.


Enter: The Edible Peace Project Part 7. From what I’ve gathered…getting back in the kitchen, be it as simple as roasting broccolini or as complex as braiding babka dough, is instrumental to my acceptance of my father being gone. We used to spend hours and hours together blasting music and making meals; it was our thing. Now that he’s not here, doing it on my own, just for me, is honest to god the only way I can feel close to him now.


May whatever it is you choose to pour your heart into bring you peace in your soul, passion in your spirit, and hopefully a burst of flavor into your mouth. Because these bagez’ accomplish all of the above, and more. They’re crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, full of perfect golden carby goodness, and 100% jewish grandmother approved.


Homemade Everything Bagels

Makes 8 bagels

  • 1 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour + more for dusting and kneading
  • 1/4 cup barley malt syrup (can also use honey)
  • egg wash*:
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tablespoon water
  • everything toppings:
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced very finely
    • 1/2 yellow onion, minced very finely
    • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
    • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
    • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
    • coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. First you need the water to be the right temperature so you don’t murder the yeast. Use a candy thermometer to reach a temp in between 105-110 degrees F. Once the water is the right temp, measure out 1/2 cup of it and pour into a small bowl. Pour in sugar and yeast. DON’T STIR! Hold your horses. Let it sit 5 mins, then stir it all together until everything is dissolved into the water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the salt and 3 1/2 cups of the flour together. Make a well in the middle and pour in the warm water/sugar/yeast mixture in. Give it one stir, then pour in 1/3 cup of the remaining water in, and stir again. Mix it together and pour in remaining water as needed (should have ~1/2 cup left) until dough begins to come together. You want the dough to be firm and only slightly sticky (should be able to easily form a large dough ball).
  3. On a floured surface, knead the dough ball for 10 minutes. My arms literally were burning afterwards but that’s because I lack the proper upper body strength. When you’re done you’ll feel like a rockstar, promise. If you’re not too familiar with kneading dough, check out this vid. Work in more flour as needed…and when done, turn the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp dish cloth.
  4. Let dough rise for one hour (I use the oven with only the light turned on, but not actually “on”). After an hour, punch dough down with fists and let sit another 10 minutes.
  5. fullsizeoutput_1ba0Divide the dough into 8 pieces, shape each into a round ball, and using a thumb dusted with a bit of flour, make a hole in the middle and poke through to the other side. Use your fingers to shape dough into a round bagel shape and to widen the middle hole to be about 1/3 of the size of the bagel. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. When all 8 bagels are formed and on the baking sheet, cover again with the damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, preheat yo’ oven to 425. Then in a large pot, bring 8 cups of water and the barley malt syrup to a boil.
  6. fullsizeoutput_1b94When bagels are done resting, boil bagels (I did 3 at a time) for 1 minute, then flip over and boil another 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to lower bagels into the water and also to remove them. When boiled, place back on the baking sheet.
  7. fullsizeoutput_1b95In a small bowl, whisk the egg wash toppings. In another medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the everything topping. Chu can also just make plain bagels (I did 6 everything bages’ and 2 plain). Brush each bagel with the egg wash (*skip for vegan bagels) and sprinkle generously with toppings. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bagels are golden brown and firm to the touch.
  8. Let cool, if you can wait that long, and top with whatever your heart desires. Pro Tip: smother with lox or smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, thinly sliced red onion, thick sliced tomato, and then devour.


  1. Laurie Westley

    Cory — I love reading the SSP! Not only for the gorgeous, nutritious, and yummy recipes but to share your journey. Thanks for keeping it real and delicious. Laurie

    • Laurie,
      Always, always a pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. Hope to make some bagels when we visit, among other goodies!

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