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Karen Mordechai’s Everything Bagels

by Kristina Gill


One of the great food scenes in Brooklyn that I really regret not being able to take part in is Sunday Suppers, founded by photographer and stylist Karen Mordechai. I’m absolutely in love with the dreamy studio space Karen is lucky enough to work in, and though I can’t partake in the community she has built around seasonal and market-fresh food with local artisans and crafters, I can recreate some of her favorite meals at home here in Rome with the recent release of Karen’s cookbook, Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings. To get started right away, we have Karen’s recipe for Homemade Everything Bagels. I look forward to mastering these at home! Kristina

About Karen: Karen Mordechai is a photographer and stylist, and the founder of Sunday Suppers, a Brooklyn-based food community and blog that has won many accolades, including a 2013 Food & Wine Digital Award, top food blog by Saveur, and #6 in Babble.com’s Top 50 Design Blogs. Karen’s work is regularly featured in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Remodelista, New York magazine, and more. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, NY. You can hear Karen on After the Jump, and see her recipe for butternut squash and pomegranate galette here, and her olive oil loaf cake with citrus rosemary compote here.

Learn how to make your own Everything Bagels after the jump!





Homemade Everything Bagels
Makes 12 small bagels

We opted to top our bagels with coarse salt, sesame seeds, and chia seeds. If you don’t have these handy, you can of course use any toppings of your choice: hemp seeds, poppy seeds, and dehydrated onion all work well.


  • 3½ cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (about 105°F)
  • Vegetable oil, for the bowl
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt or coarse sea salt


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the warm water. Continue to mix until the dough comes together, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Oil a large bowl, add the dough, and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Gently punch down the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Press each piece to get rid of any air bubbles. Form them into smooth balls by rolling and rotating each one between your palms. Coat a finger with flour and press it through each ball to form a ring, stretching the dough and widening the hole to about one-third of the bagel’s diameter. Place the bagels on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a towel. Let rest for 10 minutes. (If the bagels begin to dry out, spray them with a bit of water.)
  3. Bring the water back to a full boil and gently lower the bagels, 2 or 3 at a time, into the water. Boil uncovered for about 1 minute. Flip and boil for another minute. Remove the bagels, drain, and return to the baking sheet.
  4. Whisk the egg yolk with the 1 teaspoon water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of the bagels with the egg wash. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, chia seeds, and rock salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



Why Karen loves this recipe: We grew up eating bagels on Sunday like many jewish-American New Yorkers. To me, a bagel brunch feels like home and tradition. Taking it to the next level by making your own bagels is quite a fun undertaking and a huge level of accomplishment when the task is complete. I promise you they are not as difficult as they sound. The beauty is you can tailor the size and toppings to your liking. In our cookbook, chapters are broken down into “meals” and so this one is taken from a lovely brunch meal at home. The full menu includes a citrus salad, a tea and ginger cured fish, whipped cream cheese and, for a sweet note – a fig and ricotta tart.



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