The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Bagels

My Bagels

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken


Makes 8 of the classic bagel style.  There is a golden crisp crust and an interior which has a definite chew.  It is not a bread dough, it is a bagel dough and it does not taste like a bread roll with a hole in the middle!


Servings 8
SourceAbout a half dozen sources for recipe suggestions and an equal number of uTube videos for technique.
Prep time11 hours, 20 minutes
Cooking time24 minutes
Total time11 hours, 44 minutes


9 1⁄10 oz
spring water (105-degrees)
1 t
barley malt syrup
1 t
instant yeast
16 oz
King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour
1 t
diastatic malt powder from King Arthur
2 1⁄2 t
Morton's Kosher Salt (not the pickling salt)
3 q
tap water (for poaching the bagels)
2 T
barley malt syrup (for the boil, some bagel makers only use this.)
1 T
non-diastatic malt powder (stu adds this to the boil with the syrup)
1 T
baking soda (stu uses this too in the boil)
1 1⁄2 t
Kosher Salt (this too for the boil)


                                                                                                                                 PERFECT BAGEL RECIPE, finally!                        

Makes 8 bagels, ~3.2 ounce raw dough balls, 2.9 ounce baked bagels.

This recipe produces excellent bagels using King Arthur Sir Lancelot Flour which is 14.5% protein.  I use a scale to weigh water, flour and each raw dough segment which will make equal size bagels.  I use a heavy duty stand mixer for the 7 minute knead.  As to the shaping of the bagels;  two techniques may be used; make a ball and push a finger into the center all the way to the other side then twirl it around 2-3 fingers stretching the hole larger.  If you watch uTube videos of bagel making you will learn how to do this and how to make a rope and wrap it around your palm and seal the ends together.  




Wet ingredients;

9.1 ounces spring water brought to 105 degrees

1 tsp barley malt syrup mixed into the warm water

1 teaspoon Instant Yeast from King Arthur dissolved into the warm malt syrup water(any instant yeast will work) 



Dry ingredient:

16 ounces King Arthur Sir Lancelot flour 

1 teaspoon Diastatic Malt Powder from King Arthur

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


Poaching liquid:


3 quarts water

2 tablespoon barley malt syrup is all that Rise Bagel Company uses, the next ingredients are what I had been using prior to their suggestion (1 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)

I recently read that the baking soda is for the purpose of making the solution alkaline like when pretzel makers use lye.  To get the baking soda more alkali I read that you should bake it in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes and keep it in a sealed jar.  I did it and did NOT like the resultant crust at all.






Materials needed:

Medium size metal nesting bowl in which to raise the dough.  Weigh this bowl while it’s empty and record its weight.

Olive oil, 1/2 tbsp to grease the raising bowl AFTER you measure all the dry ingredients in it.

2 cup Pyrex measuring cup used to proof the yeast

Spring water or any natural water NOT from a hot water heater, 9.1 ounces.  No chlorine or fluoride.

Heavy duty stand mixer, paddle attachment, helps to have the rubber edged, bowl-edge-scraping design.

Dough hook attachment for kneading dough after you used the paddle to mix the dry and wet ingredients and wet all the flour grains

Non-stick spray

Rimmed baking sheet, thick bottomed, 17” X 13.5” this holds 8, ~3.2 ounce raw bagels 

Parchment paper cut to fit the baking sheet and lightly sprayed with the non-stick spray

Large pot, enough to hold 3 quarts water and deep enough to hold and flip 2-3 bagels at a time.

Chinese skimmer large size or a cheese curd skimmer or spatula to flip the boiling bagels and to lift and drain them and place them back onto the baking parchment.

Cake cooling rack upon which to let bagels cool 

Tongs to remove baked bagels from baking sheet and place on the cake-cooling-rack

Two whisks, one large to mix dry ingredients, and one smaller one to mix yeast in water.

Kitchen scale, measuring cups do not measure accurately  


KitchenAid Pro 600 series lift bowl stand mixer with rubber-edged-paddle available, but not yet inserted.

Weigh, and note on paper, the weight of a medium size dough rising bowl.

Dump flour into mixing bowl.  Add the salt, diastatic malt powder, mix with the large whisk.

Set up a 17” X 13.5” baking sheet with parchment.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray.



In 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup place the 9.1 ounces of spring water and the 1 tsp of barely malt syrup, then bring to 105-degrees in the microwave oven.

Add yeast to the 105-degree water and stir with small whisk.

Set timer for 5 minutes.  If yeast foams, it’s alive.  If dead, start again with fresh spring water, syrup and proof the yeast.  If alive, mix with the small whisk and then pour it into the bowl of the stand mixer.


In medium bowl on a scale, weigh out 16 ounces of Sir Lancelot flour.  

To the flour, add the diastatic malt powder and the 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.

Mix well with large whisk.


Pour flour mixture into bowl of stand mixer with the liquid inside…attach the paddle….set the motor to setting #2 and let it mix until ALL the flour is wetted.  Remove the paddle and attach the dough hook.  Again, set the motor to setting #2 and allow it to knead the dough for 7 minutes.  Wash out the flour inside the measuring bowl, dry it well then oil it with any oil.  The dough will be soft and not tacky.  Remove the dough to a board with no flour and knead a few times and form into a ball.  Place the dough top side down into the oiled bowl move it around then flip it over and cover bowl with plastic wrap tight across top of the bowl and not touching the dough.

Place the dough into a warm, raising oven for 1 hour, the dough will rises to double in size.


Weigh the bowl with the dough in it.  Subtract the weight of the bowl which you measured at the start of the recipe.  You now have the correct weight of the dough.  Divide this weight by 8 and you will have the weight of the individual dough pieces with which to make equal size bagels.  The weight of each piece will be about 3.1 to 3.3 ounces.


Have wet paper towels handy to cover the dough so it should not dry out during the weighing and shaping.  


Remove the dough from the bowl to a cutting board (do not knead) and cut into half, then into 4ths then into 8ths.  Keep covered with wet towels.  Place each piece onto the scale to get the correct weight, cutting off some if too heavy or borrowing from another piece if too light.  Do this to get all 8 of equal weight of about 3.3 ounces.  You will have exactly 8 equal weight dough pieces.


Shaping the bagels:  Remember, there are two ways to shape.  

Put one piece at a time onto the bread board with the “skin” side or outside down and the pointy side up just slightly pat it into a crude disk (skin side down) then gather up the 4 sides and pinch together.  Turn over so the skin side is now facing up, and with the sides of your hands pinch the bottom to make a nice ball.  Cup your hand over the ball and move it against the board for about 5 seconds in a circular motion to close the bottom seams.

Using your thumb or finger, press down in the ball center all the way down to the board.  Lift the ball with your thumb still in place and with your other thumb break thru the hole and twirl it to open the hole pretty large.  Place the bagel onto the parchment.  To this for all 8 pieces.  I then pick up each one and spread the hole one more time with twirling 3 fingers.  Spray lightly with nonstick spray and cover with wet/damp paper towel then with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 8-24 hours.  

Remove from the refrigerator and let sit in a warm rising oven, still covered for 45-60 minutes.  

(If you forget to use the spray on the raw bagel dough, then the paper towel will stick to the dough and NOT come off which will tear the bagels and deflate them and spoil the dough.  If you happen to have forgotten the spray and you do deflate the cold bagels, you can save them by putting the dough all together again into one mass, and, re-cut and re-weigh and re-shape and let rise for 1/2 hour, then do the boil).

Make your poaching liquid.

Set the oven to 498 degrees..



To Boil:

Bring the poaching solution to a boil.

When the dough has had a chance to warm and rise for 45-60 min then, using two hands, gently lift the bagels (if the dough is tacky then you wet your hands from the tap and then pick up the raw bagels) from the parchment (they should come off easily) gently transfer one at a time, gently into the boiling liquid and let them poach 30 seconds then using the strainer, flip over for 30 seconds then flip back to right side up and remove with strainer to the parchment paper in the baking pan.  Do this for all 8 bagels.  This is the place where you may sprinkle some poppy seeds, sesame seeds or rehydrated chopped dried onions onto the surface of the wet bagels.  I don’t use any, they just make a mess when you try to cut the bagels.


The Baking:

Place bagels into the hot oven, upper rack for 8 minutes.

Pull the pan our and rotate it around 180 degrees, front to back.  Turn oven temp down to 450 degrees for 6 minutes.

Look at them, they may need another 2-3 minutes at 450 or on convection at 425 to get nicely browned and crispy. The bagels should be nicely browned just shy of a char, if they are not browned as yet, let them bake longer.  

Remove with tongs to cake cooling-rack and allow to cool completely.  May enjoy warm, not when hot from the oven.  They need to cool to set up the crumb.


To Serve:

The naked way gives you a great bagel flavor and chew.  Or you may cut in half and toast.  The way I do it, is, I cut the bagel in half, I leave the two halves together, not separated, and toast the bagel in a toaster oven long enough to put a browned crust on the surface.  That way the outside gets real crispy and the center is soft and moist.  Most people like to separate the two halves and toast each half.  Serve with butter, jam, or classically, cream cheese, lox a slice of tomato, capers and chopped or very thinly sliced purple onion etc.  Your first bite will offer you the crisp crust and tender center with just a slight but definite chew.



The poaching liquid is controversail.  Some bagel makers use only the barley malt syrup and some use all the ingredients I mentioned for the boil.  I have used everything and you can see how mine turned out.


GregS's picture

Stuart, congratulations on a very professional job of presenting your recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but your clarity encourages me. I live on Hawaii Island, so coming by some of the ingredients will take mail order, but I'm motivated to try. Thanks for the work.


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

You can order everything from King Arthur Flour, that is what I did.