Phase transitions are usually treated as equilibrium phenomena, which yields telltale universality classes with scaling behavior of relaxation time and healing length. However, in second-order phase transitions relaxation time diverges near the critical point (‘‘critical slowing down’’). Therefore, every such transition traversed at a finite rate is a non-equilibrium process. Kibble-Zurek mechanism (KZM) captures this basic physics, predicting sizes of domains – fragments of broken symmetry – and the density of topological defects, long-lived relics of symmetry breaking that can survive long after the transition. To test KZM we simulate Bose-Einstein condensation in a ring using stochastic Gross-Pitaevskii equation and show that BEC formation can spontaneously generate quantized circulation of the newborn condensate. The magnitude of the resulting winding numbers and the time-lag of BEC density growth – both experimentally measurable – follow scalings predicted by KZM. Our results may also facilitate measuring the dynamical critical exponent for the BEC transition.