BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Crispy Cornmeal Bagels

May I be frank?

Yes? OK. These bagels were a mistake.

There, I said it. I almost never do this. Generally, if I mess something up in the kitchen, I make my roommates eat it and then promise to never bring it up again. I am, admittedly, less than kind to myself when it comes to my culinary screw-ups.

My plan had been to make chewy, NYC-style bagels. Bagels like these. But, of course, I wanted to be my BrokeAss self and do it with pizza dough. I had made them once before and, while they were OK, they did not fulfill my bagel pipe dreams. So I did some research and it seemed that the problem was that I hadn’t allowed my bagels to rise a second time—so this time I did, and also took extra care not to pull the bagels too much during boiling (another problem I’d had before). Still, when they came out of the oven, they were thin and crisp, not puffy, as I had been hoping. I was about to stuff them into a zip-lock bag with a note that said “Eat Me” and call it a day when, on a whim (and needing lunch), I took a bite.

They were glorious.

They didn’t taste like traditional bagels, but they had the chewy interior down pat. The cornmeal aided the deliciously crispy crust and I found them to be the perfect base for a smear of cream cheese, shredded carrots, sliced tomato and some sliced red onions. They’d also be lovely with hummus, lox, egg salad, or as the base for pizza bagels (note to self: will probably make those soon). They weren’t the results I had been hoping for, but they were something entirely different and equally wonderful. A good lesson learned.

  • ingredients
  • 1 recipe pizza dough $1.50
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey Pantry
  • oil for the pan
  • medium or fine cornmeal, for sprinkling $3 for 16 oz.
Total Cost of Ingredients $4.50


Preheat oven to 400 degrees, F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces and shape into balls. Poke a finger through the center of a ball of dough and shape the dough into a bagel (as pictured). Transfer to the greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Cover the dough bagels with a clean, damp dish cloth and let rise for 20 minutes.

While bagels rise, bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in the sugar or honey.

Very carefully pick up a risen bagel (using the sides of your uncurled hands or a large spatula helps) and drop into the boiling water. Work in batches, boiling the bagels a few at a time for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to gently return to the greased baking sheet.

Once all the bagels have been boiled, sprinkle them lightly with the cornmeal. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip, using a spatula and sprinkle their tops lightly with a pinch more cornmeal.

Bake for another 27-35 minutes or until golden brown and lightly crisp.

Makes 6 large, thin bagels.

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