The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts



I don't know why, but I thought making bagels was considerably more complicated than making a loaf of bread. Well, it's not: it is easy.

A recipe and a description of how easy it was to make these below.

I knew making bagels involved boiling them. Somehow this left me with the impression that it would be as complicated as deep frying is, where you have to get the oil just the right temperature or else you end up either setting your kitchen on fire or eating little wet balls of grease. Plus there is the whole pot of grease clean up factor. Yuck. Not something I've wanted to deal with.

So when I read a couple of bagel recipes and all they said was "bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop bagels in and boil for a minute or two on each side" I... well, I felt like a dolt. Why didn't I try making these sooner?

About Bagels

There are a ton of bagel recipes out there. A large percentage of them include eggs and butter. Most suggest using high protein bread flour. Some include sugar, some include honey, and others include malt syrup or powder.

For my first time baking bagels, I decided to use the recipe from the The Bread Baker's Apprentice. It appealed to me because it had an extremely simple ingredient list (only one ingredient that don't routinely keep around the house, and it was simple to find and inexpensive) and included an overnight retardation of the dough that made it perfect for baking in the morning. As regular readers will recall, preparing bread in the evening for baking first thing in the morning is an ongoing desire of mine. This recipe fit that model perfectly.


Makes 1 dozen bagels

1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder
1 tablespoon malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar

Finishing touches:
1 tablespoon baking soda for the water
Cornmeal for dusting the pan
Toppings for the bagels such as seeds, salt, onion, or garlic

The Night Before
Stir the yeast into the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until all ingredients are blended. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for two hours.

Remove the plastic wrap and stir the additional yeast into the sponge. Add 3 cups of the flour, the malt powder (the one unusual ingredient, which I was able to find at the local health food store), and the salt into the bowl and mix until all of the ingredients form a ball. You need to work in the additional 3/4 cups of flour to stiffen the dough, either while still mixing in the bowl or while kneading. The dough should be stiffer and drier than normal bread dough, but moist enough that all of the ingredients are well blended.

Pour the dough out of the bowl onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Immediately after kneading, split the dough into a dozen small pieces around 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a ball and set it aside. When you have all 12 pieces made, cover them with a damp towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.

Shaping the bagel is a snap: punch your thumb through the center of each roll and then rotate the dough, working it so that the bagel is as even in width as possible.

Place the shaped bagels on an oiled sheet pan, with an inch or so of space between one another (use two pans, if you need to). If you have parchment paper, line the sheet pan with parchment and spray it lightly with oil before placing the bagels on the pan. Cover the pan with plastic (I put mine into a small plastic garbage bag) and allow the dough to rise for about 20 minutes.

The suggested method of testing whether the bagels are ready to retard is by dropping one of them into a bowl of cool water: if the bagel floats back up to the surface in under ten seconds it is ready to retard. If not, it needs to rise more. I didn't bother doing this, instead counting on it taking about 20 minutes to get my son's teeth brushed and get him to take a bath. In the quick interval between bath time and story time, I placed the pan into the refrigerator for the night.

Baking Day
making bagels
Preheat the oven to 500. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Adding one tablespoon of baking soda to the pot to alkalize the water is suggested to replicate traditional bagel shop flavor. I went ahead and did this, though I have no idea if it made any difference.

boiling bagels
When the pot is boiling, drop a few of the bagels into the pot one at a time and let them boil for a minute. Use a large, slotted spoon or spatula to gently flip them over and boil them on the other side.

Before removing them from the pot, sprinkle corn meal onto the sheet pan. Remove them one at a time, set them back onto the sheet pan, and top them right away, while they are still slightly moist. Repeat this process until all of the bagels have been boiled and topped.

Once they have, place the sheet pan into the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees, rotate the pan, and bake for another 5 minutes until the bagels begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for as long as you can without succumbing to temptation.

Wrap Up

These bagels were awesome. I may try a different recipe next time, like an egg bagel recipe, but I have no complaints about this one.

I did learn that you can put too many seeds on top of a bagel. I went particularly overboard with the poppy seeds. Next time I'll use a few less, but the bagels were still a hit with everyone.


Related Recipes:Challah Bread, English Muffins, Struan Bread.


crumbbum's picture

yikes! 8 cups flour yields only 12 bagels? no wonder I can only eat one a day. whew.
they look great, though. another friend made bagels today, too.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, but do they taste like "bagels", as in the kind you get here on the West Coast, or actual bagels, as made by a good Jewish shop in NYC? That's what I want to know. :)

Also, where do you find malt powder? I've looked for it at my local grocery store and didnt see it. Was it in the baking aisle or elsewhere?

Floydm's picture

Okay, but do they taste like "bagels", as in the kind you get here on the West Coast, or actual bagels, as made by a good Jewish shop in NYC?

I'm a gentile who grew up on the West Coast, so I make no claims of it tasting like an authentic NYC bagel. I wouldn't know one if it bit me.

I will say that they taste as good as the best authentic seeming bagels I've had from bagel shops out here, and I thought that they were much better than the pillowy steamed bagels from Noah's or the Safeway bakery or any of the frozen bagels from the grocery store that I've tried.

Also, where do you find malt powder? I've looked for it at my local grocery store and didnt see it. Was it in the baking aisle or elsewhere?

I found an 8 ounce jar at Wild Oats for like 3 bucks. They had a couple of different brands as well as malt syrup. I believe the label said "Barley Malt Powder" on it and, yeah, I think it was on the baking aisle. I don't recall exactly because I was chasing my 3 year old around the store when we came across it.

If all else fails, it is inexpensive to order online.

storychick's picture

I made them last night/this morning and they are pretty good! Definitely better than Noah's etc (which are so NOT bagels, but merely bad bread in bagel form). I think next time I would add a little less salt, and I'd bake them a little longer... they need to be crunchier on the outside. But the texture was great and the flavor was *almost* there.

"Real" bagels have a little sourness and depth to the flavor I didnt get. I wonder if they use starter? I also think I cant get my oven hot enough to get that real crisp crust... I'm going to try some water in a pan in the oven next time, like you do with baguettes, to see if that helps.

I found the barley malt at Whole Foods, just for the record. :-)

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

OMG, we just had some leftover from this morning, and they are amazing. I think we needed to let them cool and then toast them, they were still too hot when we had them this morning. The flavor developed a lot more and they are soooo good. We had originally planned to share one as a before-bed snack but we ended up making another to share because one wasn't enough. Wow. These are the first really good bagels I've eaten on the west coast! :-D

Cricket's picture

Yum. I'm definitely going to try this recipe. I'm a novice bread baker, but I'm sure I can manage this recipe. I'd like to find a good egg bagel recipe.

crumbbum's picture

my bagels weren't so hot. I've got all my notes and photos and a blogpost about it, but it must wait. one thing of note that I want to remember though, is that my kettle of water got all foamy. I put in the baking soda, too. did you have a lot of foam when you were boiling them?

Floydm's picture

Um.... no, not too foamy. Once it got boiling good i think I turned it down a little, to medium high from high. Don't know if that made a difference.

STLBrewr's picture

"Malt powder" or dried malt extract is the main ingredient for making homebrewed beer.  It is available at a homebrewing supply store which can be found under "Beer Homebrewing & Supplies" in the Yellow Pages or just enter a similar search on the Internet.  You can get malted barley in dried form (dry malt extract) or as an extract syrup.  Dry malt extract will be easier to store when using a small amount for bagels and is available in pale, amber, or dark depending on the amount of carmelization you want.  I recommend the pale or light extract since baking will darken sugars.

Rachael's picture


You can purchase malt powder from King Arthur.  You want the non-diastic malt powder for this recipe.  I also use 1 tablespoon of malt in the water, not baking soda.  It gives the bagels and nice shine.  Like from a bakery.



Rachael's picture


For a crispier crust, try baking with steam.  Put a pan in the bottom of the oven while it is pre-heating.  When you put the bagels in, put about 8 or so ice cubes in the pan and close the oven door quickly.

LuLu B's picture
LuLu B

I used the recipe and the bagels were great.

anissaandben's picture

I made my first run of these.   I let mine rise for two hours and I also usesd cheddar on some and parmasean and romano cheese on the other half and they turned out SOOOO good.  I couldn't find any malt powder either but I substituted barley syrup and equated the water the instructions give on the back of the syrup jar.  My family ate them up in one day.  :)

camochef's picture

I get my malt powders at King Arthurs Flour ( ) where they have diastatic, non-diastatic malt powders, malt syrup and instant yeast along with many other useful baking products. prices are quite reasonable too!


dunlapjc3's picture

We bakers know patience, are adventurous enough to try new things, and appreciate quality ingredients, so why not make your own malt powder?

I've been looking for malt powder around Austin without luck, and for some reason do not like ordering food stuffs off the internet.  I did find a neat site that spelled out a simple process for making your own!

All you do is soak some wheat berries in water for 24 hours, drain and leave them on the counter, covered, for another 24 hours.  In that amount of time, the wheat berries will have begun to sprout, which is what you want.  

Throw them on a cookie sheet and leave 'em out in the sun to dry out, or in a low temp oven.  Do Not Toast.  Once dried, give 'em a whiz in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder and Oila!  Malt Powder.  (I know this isn't malted barley, but the site said processors use barley because it is less expensive.  If you can find unprocessed barley grain, I'm sure the same technique would work.)

whizkid's picture

Wow, I've got to try this.  I have a dehydrator that is just looking for more uses.  But now that I think of it, doesn't it just become sprouted wheat flour?

melinda-dawn's picture

Okay, but do they taste like "bagels", as in the kind you get here on the West Coast, or actual bagels, as made by a good Jewish shop in NYC?

I made these this last weekend,used honey instead of malt powder*. As a Californian who grew up on the east coast & came back to Ca, I was in pure heaven, my DH asked what I was eating and I said "manna from heaven". I have now converted him away from baged bagels aka sara lee/thomes's. I got 15 bagels, I'm thinking of reducing the dough and trying for smaller bagels next batch.


*I called all 6 natural food stores in my area and none of them carried malt powder, but 3 did offer malt syrup, since I already had the honey in the house I opted for that over a special trip to the store.


ps, if you read the parent co info for noahs they make all of the dough at 1 of 2 locations and ship to the stores :p, sorry but that's not baking fresh.

(edited to fix spelling errors)

pps, my pics are here

canyon_cupcake's picture

Malt is surprisingly easy to make but, takes a few days to produce.  Take a 1/4 C. of wheat berries and soak them overnight in a sprouting jar.  Rinse them in the morning and put them in a dark warm place, I use a shelf under my sink that seems to work out just perfectly.  Rinse them morning and night until the sprouts are about 1" long then spread them onto a baking sheet and let them dry in your oven with the heat from the pilot light.  If you have a dehydrator use that.  When they are completely dry, grind them in a coffee or spice grinder until they are powder.  Voila, you have beautiful malt powder.  Sprouting Barley or Rye work just as well and can be used in the place of wheat malt, especially if you're gluten intolerant.  

BKSinAZ's picture

The good bagels are in New York

steinanthony's picture

Bagels generally do not use any starter.  The sourness in a "real" bagel you're speaking of may likely come from the alkali bath the bagels are boiled in prior to baking.  Have you been using honey or just plain water prior to baking?

Crisp crust won't occur by using a water pan to steam.  Added steam prolongs the maillard reaction which produces your desired crust ( "Factors" section), and would actually produce the opposite effect.  First, steam allows greater oven spring and secondly, by prolonging the maillard reaction allows balance between exterior temperature and interior.

If you'd like more crunch you'll just have to bake longer or at a higher temperature.  A higher temperature would be preferred as you'll reach a higher exterior temperature in balance with the interior temperature.  Reinhart doesn't list an interior temperature, but that probably isn't a problem.

Happy baking,


rubber-side-down's picture

If your grocer doesn't carry malt powder, you can mail-order it from folks like KA, Williams-Sonoma, etc., or you can take a trip to the local homebrew shop. The homebrewing shop will have several types of malt powder, the distinction between being mainly flavor. Light dry malt extract is the least flavorful and probabaly the closest to what is usually called for in bread recipes.

CanadaBreadGuy's picture

I've made this recipe twice now, and the second time I used my kitchen scale to divide the dough into 20 equal pieces instead of 12. I think 20 makes a better sized bagel, you could probably do 24 with this recipe and they would be okay. I topped them with a mixture of sesame & poppy seeds, dried minced garlic & onion and sea salt. Once topped, if you use the back of a spoon to gently press the toppings into the wet bagels before they're baked then they'll stick much better.

starm_'s picture
jillhodges's picture

I've always heard that the bagels in Montreal are the best anywhere!  Chewier than what you get even in NY.  I'm not so sure about the water theory.  What's the difference between the Ottowa and Montreal bagels??


spsq's picture

visited montreal a few times... There are a few bakeries if you look that are original jewish bakeries with large brick ovens. My bf is from Montreal, and he insisted I eat a plain white bagel w/cream cheese fresh from the oven. I'm usually a pure whole wheat girl, but WOW! What texture! What taste! indescribable.... Would have been thrilled without the cream cheese. I don't know about Ottawa, but here in Saskatoon, we have chains like timmy's and Great Canadian bagel. No comparison - like the difference between any homemade loaf vs wonderbread. Shouldn't even be in the same food category!

christianb's picture

I have always thought it was difficult to make bagels, but this recipe made me try it, and it was fun and gave a great tasting result! Thanks.

I did not have any malt-stuff or baking powder, but I used honey and poured half a beer (stout) in the water -- they tasted great! However, I doubled the baking time (baked them until they where 95 deg. celsius in the middle).

Here are the measurements for europeans (note that I did some small changes):

12.5g yeast (compressed)
650g wheat
6dl water
3/4 tsp salt

6-8g yeast (compressed)
500g wheat
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey

And the oven should be set to 260/230 deg. celsius.

KazaKhan's picture

Maybe it's because I'm Australian but I find it odd that some have trouble finding malt, the powder and syrup has been in every supermarket I've been in. Of course I love malt and would never be without the stuff :)

As to the bagels they look really good, I'll have to give them a go. Can someone explain the reason for boiling?

pizzameister's picture

Bagels are my Wednesday morning chore to bring into the office. It really goes crazy if I am not there or forget to get them. Not being that much of a bread baker really (since I found out I was wheat intolerant 5 years ago), I none-the-less had to take a stab at bagels.

As Floyd says, they are not that at all difficult. NOw all I need is a wheat free real bagel. :-(

A short bagel making video at: (At bottom of page)

The dough was a litle on the soft side, but they came out excellent with a nice crunch.


marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

I produced a video you might find helpful.  You can see a sample at my website, listed above.  Please let me know if this is helpful to you.

RFMonaco's picture

It sure was helpful to me Mark, I left you + feedback on Ebay! Thanks, I will be following your series.

helend's picture

You may get on OK with spelt flour - many people who are wheat intolerant including me and my Dad get on fine with it. Although spelt is a form of wheat, the gluten is different and because it hasn't been "modernised" with breeding/genetic modification it is like a different grain.

It is very easy to work with and requires less kneading/proving time than ordinary wheat flour.

The wholemeal makes a lovely light bown, slightly nutty loaf and the "white" is great for everything (it isn't bleached usually so is very pale brown rather than snowy white).

An internet search should bring up some useful websites with info and hopefully some stockists. I have some trouble getting the white spelt flour in the UK.

PS in Germany spelt is called Dinkel and Dinkelbrot is quite a copmmon bakery bread.

tastybuthealthy's picture

I just made spelt bagels with this recipe and they came out great!  Like pmeister, I avoid wheat like the plague but spelt seems to be ok. 

I don't have trouble substituting it in recipes, though it acts a little different in bread or pizza dough recipes.  It's less stretchy and can get sticky.  I had a big sticky mess even using a little more flour than the recipe called for, but once I boiled them they plumped up and came out fine.  I used whole spelt for the sponge and light spelt for the rest of the dough.  I think spelt ends up making a chewier texture than wheat.

So for any of those spelt lovers/wheat avoiders out there, it works fine and don't get too upset when your hands stick to the dough.   

pizzameister's picture


Thanks for the advice. I have tried spelt and like it, but am not entirely sure if it is OK for me. Seems better than regular wheat, but needs more testing. Also, have tried kamut, which is also an old and unengineered grain. Same with that one. Have to be tested for gluten intolerance, but have been putting off as I generally just go without these days. Would be good to know.

Just bought a bag of sorghum, which has no gluten. Will be baking some this week with that. Problem is the lack of gluten and need to add xanthan gum to make elastic. That I have been avoiding too, since I would like to keep as natural as possible.

A good quality gluten free bagel! - Now that is the holy grail!



steinanthony's picture

Xanthan gum is on the right track but you might think about gelatin sheets or agar agar dissolved in the water you use to form the dough.  The problem with any hydrocolloid is that once you it sets, it won't be doing a lot of anything.  In other words, you could add a hydrocolloid to the water to form the dough though it won't aid in developing the dough or you could add it during the alkali bath but it won't gel until long after baking.  Picture jello, if you knead jello, what happens?


This should keep you busy with possibilities.  The pages isn't geared towards baking, but it can help.

helend's picture

Sorry to hear about the gluten thing :((

Hope the sorghum flour experiment is successful - and the search for the holy grail!

regards Helend

jeffbrook1's picture


I made them and they are good. An great improvement on other receipes. Mine did not look like the bagels in the photos for which I blame my rounding ability. Also yours are a yellowish color; did you add egg? What tips do you have on the shaping? Also, Two questions; you don't drain them on a rack or towels and did not mention applying a wash (egg white or yolk, etc). Did you do those two things or not?

Thanks for the post and the photos

Baking in Africa

Floydm's picture

No egg in my bagels. I use organic all-purpose flour, which does give them a bit of a yellowish cast.

As far as shaping goes, I make them into balls, then let them rest for 20 minutes or so. Then I punch my thumb through the center of the ball and spin and stretch them around my thumb until they resemble a bagel shape. I usually have pretty good luck with this method.

jeffbrook1's picture


I made the bagels again and it was not good. They rose to a huge size overnight in the fridge and then when I boiled them they flattened out and never really regained their form in the oven. What do you think went wrong?

Baking in Africa

Floydm's picture

Sounds like they overrose overnight. It could be that they were too warm going into the fridge or that the fridge isn't cool enough to retard them. Or too much yeast, perhaps? Somehow, you need to further slow down the fermentation so that they don't really "pop" until they hit the boiling water.

cooksalot's picture

I had given up on making bagels but I think I will try this. I always have that problem of the bagels going flat when trying to lift them to place in the water. Maybe I do over rise them. Thanks for the pics it really helps.


marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

Try this:  Once try proofing on the counter to get a sense of what is the right amount of proofing - you can look at them and see when they are overproofed with some practice.  If you are feeling really experimental, make a dozen and let them proof out for longer and longer times boiling two at a time.  You'll see the difference.  Getting a feel for how they should look and feel will serve you well later.  There are also times when you just don't have the time to overnight proof.  You'll still get good bagels that way.The bagels have to float in room temp. water as soon as you put them in but if they sink a little first, that is ok.  Somewhere between a little sinking and floating way high in the water is where you will find the best bagels.

To keep them from over-proofing overnight it requires that you not have much yeast activity before going into the fridge.  Try chilling the dough after final needing and shaping chilled dough to keep the yeast activity from accelerating during the shaping process.  Next, find the coolest spot in your fidge, the bottom near the crisper and near the back is probably that spot.  Don't be discouraged if you get up in the morning and they are not fully proofed.  Just put them someplace warm for a while to finish the inflation.  The flavor shift that happens during retardation will have taken place.

Good luck.


cooksalot's picture

I didn't proof overnight but they turned out decent. Not the prettiest either. They might have been just ever so slightly over proofed, but not that much they just lost a tiny bit of volume. The boys say that it's the best bagels they've ever had. So it must be good. Right? I'm going to try this again this week but I'm going to be brave and see if adding some frozen blueberries will work. Wish me luck!


marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

Blueberries are pretty weak structurally.  To get the best distinction of the berry here is what I would do; don't thaw them, add them with the last load of flour (if you are using a sponge/poolish method).  I'd even freeze the flour.  You need to keep those berries from thawing as long as possible or they will just puree in your dough.  

One other way might be to knead them in, still frozen, as a final step by resting your finished dough and flattening it out, maybe with a rolling pin. Place the blueberries on the flatened dough and fold it over like a letter.  Knead it a few more times, doing a quarter fold each time.  Rest it again covered and portion.  I think you can expect this to get messy! 

Over all a better option is dried fruit.  Peter Reinhart recommends soaking the dried fruit, personally I don't do that.  I chop it a bit. To tell you the truth, I'm kind of a purist and like bagels unadorned. 


cooksalot's picture

Yeah my thought was to add them in at the end of the kneading process. I just need to find the time to do it. And the guts. LOL!


jeffbrook1's picture


THanks for responding. In your receipe you did not indicate the temp of the water, is it room temp or hotter? I am wondering why my bagels are flat not round and the water temp might be the culprit. Also, do you glaze them?


Baking in Africa

Floydm's picture

No, I do not glaze them.

The water was straight out of the tap, so basically room temperature.

jeffbrook1's picture


I made them again and they were much better. I heated the water up last time like for pizza dough or other items and I think that did not help. This time just a little warmer than tap water and a much better product!

Baking in Africa

TheTimeLord's picture

When you put the bagels in the fridge for the night, do you cover them with anything? I wouldn't want them to dry out or anything.


vanilla's picture

Pizzamister....have you tried a bagel recipe from a book "special diet solutions" by Carol Fenster? This was a must for us when my older son was allergic to wheat and other gluten grains including spelt. It's a little more work than regular wheat recipe but if that's all you can eat, it's a pretty good substitute beyond rice cakes... Baking is a little easier w/ eggs. We were gluten and egg and dairy free. Anyway, hope that helps.

Meanwhile, I'm off to the kitchen to try this bagel recipe, maybe with honey.

pizzameister's picture


Do not have that book. Can you share anything from the recipe? Since the weekend is here, and cream cheeses are in the fridge, I can't think of a better project....



In the interim, I will take a look around online to see if I can find it.

heehee61's picture

I think the purpose to boiling is for the crunchy on the outside, chewey on the inside fresh bagels are known for. The same effect of steam when making baguettes? I made some with a higher gluten bread flour and they were almost too chewy. Must try normal bread flour next time. I also cut up some onions and fresh garlic, sprinkled sesame and poppy seeds and made everything bagels. They were delicious. As for letting them rise in the fridge overnight, I think bagels are not meant to rise too much before boiling, hence the reason for the 20min sitting.

heehee61's picture

My daughter only likes egg bagel so I did a little search and found this recipe on the net. Don't know how good it is, but will try it tomorrow.

Golden Egg Bagels - pareve

1 1/4 cups water
4 tsp. active dry yeast or 2 tsp. instant yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups bread flour - preferably unbleached

Kettle water:
6 quarts of water
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
l tbsp. sugar

Sesame or poppy seeds

Egg wash: 2 beaten egg whites

Whisk together water, yeast, eggs, oil, sugar and one cup of flour. Stir in salt and most of remaining flour. Knead 8-10 minutes until dough is stiff and smooth.

Cover and let rest on a board about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, line one large baking sheet with a kitchen towel and another with baking parchment. Fill a large soup pot or Dutch oven three quarters full with water, sugar and salt. Bring water to a boil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Deflate dough if it has risen at all. Then divide into 12 sections. Form into 10 inch trips, and then form these into bagel rings on a plain cookie sheet. Let rise 15 to 20 minutes. Bagels should have a 'half proof' - they should appear puffy.

Boil bagels about 1 1/2 minutes each, turning over once. Let dry on towel lined baking sheet then place on parchment lined baking sheet. Leave plain, glaze with beaten egg white, or simply top with sesame or poppy seeds.

Bake until done, about 15-20 minutes, turning bagels once, when almost baked. If you have a baking stone, finish bagels on the stone directly. Bake until done, about 15-20 minutes. Yield: 12 bagels.

Michele's picture

New Yorkers would say that the secret to their bagels is the water--if you want big, fluffy bagels, you need California water; if you want chewy, slightly sour bagels, turn on a NY tap....

As far as actual baking technique, NY bagel bakeries follow the same starter method as used by The Fresh Loaf for rye bread: work in day-old bread. I have not worked out a recipe for this (yet?), but I have gotten closer by using the same recipe as shown here, but extending the fermentation by refrigerating the biga overnight (although I have never tried refrigerating the shaped bagels, so I do not know how the sourness levels compare).

Michele's picture

Please keep posting your progress in achieving a good wheat-free bagel! I love making bagels (and then giving them away), but I am afraid that one day I will break down and eat an entire batch straight out of the oven -- bagels are the one wheat item that will forever tempt me despite the pregnancy-sized bloating just a few bites would inflict on my celiac-hexed body....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I ran into this site and it tells how to remove gluten from wheat. Can this be true? What do you think of rye?
:) Mini Oven

pizzameister's picture

Ha!! Ate a "bagel" this past Wednesday. All is well. Picked these (forget the brand, and they are still at the office) up at the health food store in the freezer case. They are a corn based product, with some tapioca or other starch and guar gum added. Maybe it is not having a bagle at all for close to a year, but I was pleasantly surprised (toasted with cream cheese, of course). I gave it a solid C as a bagel and an A- as a gluten free baked product - good flavor, some chew and a little spring.

As far as removing the gluten from wheat, that sounds intersting. Makes sense, since you can buy wheat gluten. Somehow they remove it. I will take a look at the link later out of interest, but the result (wheat without its gluten) would not be an advantage for baking, as it is the gluten which holds baked goods together and gives them their spring and chew. I would think that wheat sans its gluten would bake like corn or wheat.

While not baking, per say, I will gladly share a very good pancake (probably could be used for waffles or a good muffin base) recipe that I am fine tuning. These are wonderfully tasty - light and airy, have no "odd" ingredients, are not gritty, and are gluten free!!! The recipe includes about 20% rolled oats in the dry mix. I know that there has been some discussion about "gluten in oats" - There is none naturally, but there is some possibility of minute amounts of wheat or other gluten containing grains getting in. For me oats are fine and in this recipe, I think that the rolled oats add some much welcomed moisture retention capacity.

Commment on Rye: According to what I have read, rye has gluten and is a no go for celiacs!

Thanks for the info

maggie664's picture

Is it true that Jewish bagels were originally poached to doneness, like
dumplings, and did not see the inside of an oven - or is this fact just an urban myth?

jillhodges's picture

There's a version of bagels called "bialys which according to my taxi-cab polish means WHITE and they were boiled and not baked.  Not sure how that fits in with the jewish history of bagels.  I've had them before and I'd like to try to make them one of these days!


Yumarama's picture

A wee bit tardy of a response (like four years) but just wanted to make that distinction: bialys are baked but not boiled, that's one of the differences between them and a bagel. So the cabbie's info was a little bit flipped around and probably make bialys sound less than appetizing. They are actually really awesome.

They're really not a "version of bagels" as such, they are different in many ways and really are their own bread. They are similar in shape and size but that's really it. Neither should "substitute" for the other, they're both really good.

If anyone has a copy of Hamelman's BREAD, find them on page 262. Note a CORRECTION to the ingredients for the Home list: use .12 oz instant yeast (1 1/8 tsp or 3.4 grams). They're also crazy easy to make: start to finish, Hamelman's version take about 4 - 4.5 hours.

There are also other versions out on the web such as the Bread Cetera blog from TFL member SteveB.

We are doing bialys over on The Mellow Bakers this month so you can check out how several home bakers are doing making these very tasty little breads. 

echo's picture

I tried making this bagel recipe last week. It worked wonderfully, but I wanted to experiment when I did it a second time. So today, I followed the same instructions, only I added whole wheat flour instead of bread flour for the 3 3/4 cup of bread flour that is added to the sponge after letting it rise for two hours. After kneading, I divided the dough in two. One half I left plain, while adding cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins to the second half. I kept kneading until it was well mixed, then proceeded with the recipe. The plain whole wheat ones were good, but let me just say - I think the others were the best cinnamon raisin and brown sugar bagels I've ever eaten.

Thanks so much for the recipe. I can already tell I'm going to have loads of fun with it!

RuthCurry's picture

This is the third bagel recipe I have tried with varied results.  Two issues:

The bagels stuck mightily to the parchment paper when I put them in the refrigerator (covered) overnight. Is this to be expected?  Should I have greased the parchment paper?  Two bagels stuck so badly that I had to throw them away.

Regardless of the recipe, when it is time to bake I find that the bagels burn on the bottom and fail to brown on the top.  I thought my baking sheet was too dark, so this time I lined with parchment only to find that it stuck (again).  I had some success with flipping them over halfway through the bake time, but again, no predictable results.  The cornmeal also burns, producing a lot of smoke and odor.  Any suggestions as to how to fix this?

 Thank you!

Floydm's picture

I've not had problems with my bagels sticking to the parchment.  Sure, you can grease the parchment or use more cornmeal on it.  The dough should also be pretty stiff and not particularly sticky.  If it is still quite sticky, try throwing in a little extra flour.

As far as the burning, try using a higher shelf in your oven.  Or if you are already at the top, try double-panning it or buying one of those air-filled cookie sheets.  They are no more than 10 or 20 bucks and reduce the temp on the bottom a great deal.

The corn meal burns?  It really sounds like your oven is either WAY too hot or you are placing them too low.  Move the shelf up a notch and try turning the oven down a bit.

Better luck next time.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Ruth Curry commented: 

The bagels stuck mightily to the parchment paper when I put them in the refrigerator (covered) overnight. Is this to be expected?  Should I have greased the parchment paper?  Two bagels stuck so badly that I had to throw them away.

I've never bothered greasing or oiling the parchment paper, and the bagels usually come off with no trouble.  I think the chilled doughjust doesn't stick much.

Still, sometimes they stick, so I developed the following trick to release them.  I drop the bagels, still on the parchment paper, into the boiling water.  They release very quickly.  You may need to use fresh parchment paper after that little trick though.



marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

I use a baking stone and put the parchment paper on it preheated to 550, back the temp down to 425 as soon as the bagels go in.  With all this heat, the paper chars, but wouldn't call it burning. I rotate them 180 degrees front to back at about 5 minutes using a peel. At 10 minutes or so I move them off the stone onto the top rack.  The top rack is great for getting bread products nice and brown.

If you are baking on a baking pan and on the middle rack and the parchment is burning then I think it is time to calibrate your oven.  The best calibration thermometers are digital and have a probe that goes in the oven.  You can also use a metal or glass dial.  If you visit my website and send me an email with a mailing address, I can send you a short video that describes the process (see above link). Adjustment instructions for your oven can usually be found online.  It is included with some other bread tips I distribute from my ebay store free with any purchase.

Until you calibrate your oven, try backing the temperature down a bit (say 25 degrees) and see what happens. if you are still getting burned heel (bottom) and unbrowned crown then back it down another 25.  Home ovens can easily be off by 50 degrees or more.

BegginforBagels's picture

I had a bagel from a bagel shop in Atlanta that was presented on the menu as "Olive oil and sea salt" - it was one of the tastiest bagels I've ever had, and I've been looking for similar ones ever since. I can't seem to find one anywhere. The bagel had a crisp outside texture, and was chewy inside - although the inside was little more moist and porous than traditional bagels. The olive oil was definitely used in the baking process, not added afterwards - or atleast I assume so because it was evenly distributed.



red's picture

The recipe turned out great bagels, if a little soft -- I think I should have let them brown a bit more. They are delicious!

kgreg's picture

I made bagels for the first time.  Everything turned out except I had some sticking bagels.  I used cornmeal on parchment paper and put on baking stone.  The bagels stuck really bad to the parchment paper?   Why?

Floydm's picture

Um... you didn't have enough cornmeal? Or the dough was too moist? It should be on the dry side.

I'm trying to figure out.... they stuck before you boiled them or after? I think I do:

1) Shape them.
2) Place on parchment with cornmeal, cover, let rise overnight
3) Pull them off, boil them (adding more cornmeal to parchment if necessary
4) Place back on parchment
5) Bake on parchment covered baking sheet (not a stone).

I don't recall ever having a problem with them sticking.

kgreg's picture

thanks, I think the dough was too moist and when baking I put cornmeal on parchment paper and then on the stone.  Next time I will use a baking sheet and not a stone.

Thegreenbaker's picture

When I make my bagels I only lightly oil a baking sheet. I dont use parchment at all. Out of fear for them sticking! I find my method works well enough for me though.



kgreg's picture

thanks, I will try your method next time I do bagels.

marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

You should not use corn meal till after boiling. 

 Shape, place on parchment that is sprayed with cooking spray and proof overnight covered with plastic wrap.

Boil, drain breifly on a cooling rack, place on NEW parchment that has been sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. 

That should do it.  I like a stone, but either way will result in great bagels.


Sarah_uk's picture

This seems like a great recipe, which I'm about to try!  But it's the first time I've tried working with yeast and I would like to ask something.  I bought a small tin of yeast that is in tiny granules and called 'Dried Active Yeast'.  It says on the tin that the yeast needs to be reactivated with water before use.  This recipe calls for 'instant yeast' and I was wondering if this is the same thing?  Should I reactivate the yeast first, or just add the dry granules to the flour and continue with the rest of the instructions?


Thanks for any advice you can give!  :) 

Floydm's picture

Active Dry and Instant Yeast are slightly different. I would recommend activating it first before adding it to the recipe.

The Yeast FAQ here has more info.

Good luck!

Sarah_uk's picture

Thanks for the link!  I read through your FAQ and it explains why my sponge has not risen!  I guess I'll throw it away and start afresh.  Thanks again.

Sarah_uk's picture

I made a half batch (6) of these bagels today. I substituted some brown sugar for the malt powder and I had to cook them a little slower as my oven won't reach 500 degrees, but they turned out really well! The only thing I would do differently is make larger holes in each bagel, as they closed up a little over night.


I was wondering if it would be possible, rather than baking the bagels and storing them, to make up a dozen bagels as described here but then just bake 3-4 each day? How long would the dough stay fresh for in the refrigerator, and what affect would such a long period of retardation have on the baked bagel?

inspsfj's picture

The first batch I ever made was out of a Better Homes cook book and they turned out great.  The kids loved the entire process. My next 2 batches were door stops and paper weights.  I will try your recipe and pay very close attention to the time & temps.

sphealey's picture

> . Adding one tablespoon of baking soda to the pot to

> alkalize the water is suggested to replicate traditional bagel

> shop flavor. I went ahead and did this, though I have no

> idea if it made any difference.


The third time I tried this recipe I did an experiment: 10 boiled in plain water and 5 with baking soda. There is a difference: the ones with baking soda came out browner, crisper, and with a slight alkali tang. My family did not like this flavour, so I will probably omit it in the future. But you might want to try both ways for your own trials.


I noticed that Hammelman's recipes calls for maple syrup in the water. This would be similar to the malt that RLB calls for in her recipe; that didn't work too well for me either.



natalia000's picture

thank you so much for such a great simple, easy to follow recipe, I've just made some today with dried apricot, sultana, raisin, cinamon, mango powder, red bean powder, it was alot of fun, and tasted absolutely delicious, except mine were too soft, next time I'd probably need to boil them a little longer. love bagels! thanks again!

NinaJane's picture

This morning I baked the bagels I prepared the night before from BBA. A total of just 10 minute of baking time seemed woefully inadequate. It took another ten minutes before they looked even slightly brown.

What experience do others have with the baking time in this recipe?

(I baked them on my sheet pan, which sat on top of a baking stone, in a 500 deg. oven, which I lowered to 450 after the first five monutes.)

sphealey's picture

I bake them right on the stone, but I agree that it takes longer than 10 minutes. I leave them in until my family starts screaming that they will be "burnt", which is usually at least 15 minutes.



demegrad's picture

I had a very similar experience with the bagel recipe from BBA.  Maybe it is our ovens?  I guess I'm not giving you any answers but at least the comfront that your not the only who had this issue with this recipe.  Luckily they still tasted good once they did come out of the oven. 


NinaJane's picture

How do you get the poppy, sesame seeds, etc. to stick to the bagels?  Just sprinkling them after boiling and before baking doesn't work too well.  They look pretty, but the seeds fall off easily.

The BBA recipe doesn't call for an egg wash like many other bagel recipes.  Some kind of wash would make the seeds stick, but it would also change the appearance of the bagels.

I don't want them to look as if they've been shellacked!!

Any ideas?



Thegreenbaker's picture

My seeds stick fine when I put them on straight after they come out of the pot of water. I do it straight away though. So the top is still wet and sticky.

I dont know what else to tell you.


Good luck next time :) 


Morya's picture


well, I've got two problems with bagel recipe. I've decided to try it during weekend but I want to finish it in the evening (not in the morning) and I don't know how long the bagels can (or must) stay in the refrigerator (and whether it is necessary at all). The second question is whether  I could use whole-wheat flour mixed with normal flour instead od bread flour.


Morya from Slovakia

Thegreenbaker's picture

When I make these, I make them with out retarding in the fridge.

After they have been shaped I rest them for 20-30 mins and then I boil them and bake them.

they come out great :) 

Thegreenbaker's picture

Oh, and in reference to your whole wheat question.


I use whole wheat only.  I have made half half but didnt like the flavour as much.

Whole wheat doesnt come out looking like smooth glazed bakery or cafe bagels, but they taste great :)


Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

There are two things that make bagels bagels.  One is an overnight (or equivalent time) retardation.  The other is boiling them.

While they can be OK if you don't retard them, the overnight rest gives them time to develop their full flavor. 



hyedenny's picture

  Ive never seen a recipe for bagels that calls for Baking soda in the boiling water... I think youre confusing pretzel making with bagel making.

  PRETZELS are first boiled in a baking soda solution. BAGELS are traditionally boiled in a malt syrup, honey, or sugar (ie, sweet) solution.

mety's picture

I seem to be having the opposite problem of others in that my bagels turn out soggy on the bottom and I must flip them over to get the bottom to cook well. The source of this problem has been suggested perhaps: I am using an air-filled cookie sheet ? I don't have a baking stone either so perhaps that is it.

I have made this recipe twice. I found that the bagels were a little big for my taste so I made more of them from the recipe, which turned out fine. I also had problems with the bagels sticking in the fridge which would result in their collapsing when I tried to detach them for boiling. I solved this problem by performing emergency surgery on the paper, which I cut around each bagel so I could flip each over and let a combination of gravity and gentle prodding detach each bagel. Preventing this by making a less sticky dough in the first place and maybe some cornmeal would be better of course. Also I agree that I needed more cooking time than 10 minutes. In regard to putting toppings on the bagels, I found putting the toppings in a small dish and putting the boiled bagel topside-down into the dish and moving it around (much like salting a margarita glass) to be effective. So far I have made plain, chocolate chip, cranberry, and salt bagels. The salt bagel is just like a round pretzel, so perhaps the idea of boiling them in something sweet has merit :)

marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

Make sure you move the bagels immediately to a cooling rack.  That is the best thing to prevent soggy bottom crust.  A baking stone helps a lot too.  Baking should start out hot (500-550) with a backdown to about 425.  It is important to calibrate your oven too.  Lots of times people are baking 25 or 50 degrees below where they think they are.

Cornmeal won't help on the sogginess but will help on getting the bagels off of the parchment paper.  Before you put the cornmeal on the parchment, spray it with cooking spray to make it stay put.  Using parchment, cooking spray, cornmeal and baking stone works great.  One thing to watch though is that at 550 the parchment will begin to char.  Backing down to 425 will minimize it.  When you take the bagels out you can expect the parchment to break easily.  Good luck.  I have a video (see above) that describes my entire process.


erk's picture

thanx for the amazing recipe.


i baked these as a kind of last minute valentines gift this year, and i had so much fun making and eating these bagels. and everyone that tried them absolutely loved them.


i got comments like "Wow, these taste just like the ones from the bakery!"


amazing recipe, thanx again for the great find. 

marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

I always post the full recipe for my dvd productions along with the full procedure.  My thinking is simply that when someone asks you what it takes to make bagels (or now cinnamon rolls) you can send them my way. 

I recently released a cinnamon roll DVD.  The recipe and a story of how I developed my final formula can be downloaded at

Focaccia will be released in September!

sandbuac's picture

This recipe was great!  I didn't retard them I just let them rest for 30 minutes.  Then, I mixed a little water into an egg white (left over from one of the many recipes that only use the yolk) and brushed it onto the tops of the bagels after they were boiled.  It made the tops this really great glossy brown.  They were soft and delicious.

RFMonaco's picture

Which recipe are you referring to specifically..Floyd's or the one above your post by marklwitt? Thanks.

sandbuac's picture


Sean's picture

"New Yorkers would say that the secret to their bagels is the water--if you want big, fluffy bagels, you need California water; if you want chewy, slightly sour bagels, turn on a NY tap.... "

 Any helpful hints on how this California boy can get chewy, slightly sour with his Sacramento tap water?

 I've been using the BBA recipe, but substituting one cup of wheat flour for a cup of white flour. Also using light malt powder from the brewer's supply store. I'm ready to go back for dark malt syrup though. I've got the hang of bagels, now I'm looking to take them up a notch or three.

marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

First get some high gluten flour.  A good source is Baker's Catalogue.  The kind you want from there is Sir Lancelot.  Second, boil them a little more than you usually do.  These two things will give you extra chew.

For a sour accent try letting the sponge go a few days in the fridge.  I have a recipe and procedure available at my website that you may like (see above). 

Guess you could always find someone to sent you a 5 gallon jug of NY tap as a last resort!

Sean's picture

Thanks for the advice, Mark.


I'm right now munching on a bagel boiled and baked this morning. I've been extending the boiling time on recent batches and this morning extended the baking time for two minutes: one minute longer at 500 degreees and 450 degrees. I'm much happier with the chewniess.

I've been using King Arthur Bread Flour. Next shopping trip I'm buying bread machine flour to try.

I'm also going to try your sponge advice. Getting 5 gallons of NY tap water to CA may be challenge since I'd have to fly it over 3 ounces at a time. What we won't do for great bread!

marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

Before you use breadmachine flour read the label.  Unfortunately, the USDA requires  the nutritional information to be based on a 30 gram serving for flour and rounded to the nearest gram.  On most AP flour the protien grams will be 3 and on most bread flour 4.  Higher is better for bagels.  Even on my bag of Sir Lancelot it states 4 grams.  King Arthur says (if I remember right) that it is actually 13 - 14%, but that rounds down to 4 grams in a 30 gram serving.  Too bad that gram decimals are not allowed.  Also too bad that the only way I have found to buy Sir Lancelot is mail order from Bakers Catalogue!  For that reason I have only used it a few times.  Let me assure you it makes a great difference.
Hope you have gotten a chance to review my procedure on the website.  About a thousand people have accessed the recipes and I get many emails from folks about it.  The recipe and procedure are free. 

nbicomputers's picture

NY bagels are not made by a sponge and dough method

you need to make a stiff stright dough with malt- can be replaced with sugar white or brown  ounce for ounce

 the boiling water should have some malt or sugar in it to give you the crisp brown glossy crust.

as for baking this is where you want to get your stone ready and HOT

oven at 500 yes but the stone must be hot as well so give the oven time

after the bagel is shaped ether retard it over night or be ready to boil it cause you do not proof them just rest for 5 or 10 minutes and boil if the bagel opens up in the watter you did not shape them correctly it is not because you did not let them rest enough

now the real baking method take a 1-1/2 thich wood board you can use pine but hard wood is best

cover the board with a single layer of canvis (sp)- baking is my game not spelling_ staple the cloth to the board once you make these you can keep them and use them when ever.

soke the cloth with water and put your topping on the wet cloth

place the bagel on the cloth and into the hot oven for 2-3 minutes

NOW take the board and flip the bagels on to the stone so they are now bottom the side that was on the board and has the topping on it is now face up on the stone and take out the board and close the oven and finish baking








Trishinomaha's picture

We had these for breakfast yesterday and they weren't pretty but boy did they taste good! Like you, I always appreciate a recipe that can retard overnight and be finished off the next morning. We will be making these again!


Jimme's picture

I made the BBA Bagel recipe for the first time last night and this morning.  I followed the dough recipe exactly from the BBA, but the boiling and baking recipe from here:


The bagels came out great with one exception.  They floated immediately last night after the 20 minute rest stage so something was a bit off there which affected the finished bagel volume to a slight degree.


The bagels were just great.  Golden brown with a slight crackle to the bite and chewy to beat the band.  I think malt syrup is the way to go in the water not baking soda.


Check out the site above and try their directions for boiling and baking and see what you think! 

robyung's picture

Thank you so much for this recipe. As a transplanted New Yorker, I can't get decent bagels without flying at least 8 hours, and I've always thought about trying it myself. While it was a bit more work than I expected, the results were oh, so satisfying (and on the first try!).

Thanks again for the great recipe.

Sean's picture

Another bagel question:

Any difference in quality, taste, texture, etc when using malt power v. malt syrup?

marklwitt's picture

Check out my Breadmaking videos at

The malt syrup has to be added to a wet dough, as opposed to with the dry ingredients.  As to flavor, it shouldn't matter which you use.  The malt syrup is easier to find thatn the malt powder.  Both syrup and powder are available in diastatic and non-diastatic.  Diastatic will help your fermentation a bit. 

For amazingly beautiful bagels, try addiing  a couple of heaping tablespoons of malt syrup to your boiling water.  they will have a beautiful crust.

Good luck, making bagels is a joy.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

As a confirmed sourdough addict, I came up with a sourdough bagel recipe. It is explained pretty well at

I've used this recipe in the "Back To Bagels" class I teach many times, and so far we've had 100% success.

The sourdough, combined with the overnight retard and boil, gives these bagels an uncommon depth of flavor.



tommy d's picture
tommy d

Tommy D well here how I do it

flour 25lbs

three lbs brown sugar

4 0z salt

2 oz instant yeast

1 1/2 gallons of water (give or take depends on the humidity)

mix untill dough is smooth and has a lot of (for lack of a better word) strechability

a lot of these next steps I have machines for so form in the shape of bagels

let sit for 10 minutes then stck in the fridge over night they will proof

sense my oven has steam injection I dont need to boil how ever when you decide to make them cause they will hold for about two days boil then bake at about 425

for 8-14 minutes (depends on how many bagels you have )

if you want to add toppings like sesame just spray with water then add toppings

before you bake ! if you have any questions email me at

ElaineW's picture

I have found that beside using the barley malt syrup to the dough, I also add 2-3 TB. to the water bath that they are boiled in. It makes a big difference in the taste, color, and shine to the bagels. I usually don't top them with any seeds or wash.


MrsStoklosa's picture

I have made bagels for decades, using a different recipe or two than the above, but last week I tried the tip here for adding baking soda to the water, to 2 different batches/kinds of bagels. I'd not heard of the baking soda thing before, only adding malt syrup or sugar to the water.


My first batch with baking soda in the water was cinnamon raisin, and they came out fine. I didn't notice much difference in the taste, perhaps because the cinnamon flavor is strong in my recipe. 


Later that week I made cranberry bagels with a swirl of strawberry jam in the dough. I don't know what got discolored - the cranberry or the strawberry, but 'something' did, most likely one of the fruit acids. These bagels came out with an unappetizing purplish-black cast all over them, which didn't show until they were all baked (the entire batch was baked all at once). I can only assume it was the baking soda, since that has never happened before to this recipe when I just used white granulated sugar in the water. An unpleasant 'alkaline tang' was most definitely present, too. I won't be using the baking soda again for any of my bagels.


What is the author's source for advice on adding the baking soda to the water? Just curious.




Floydm's picture

Since baking soda is a base, it is quite possible that adding it to a recipe with acidic fruit would cause problems. I've never heard of bagels having cranberries or jam in them, so that issue never crossed my mind.

nbicomputers's picture

the reaction was molst likely caused due to the reaction of the acid in the fruit the baking soda and the pot used for boiling

i must asume the it was aluminum BIG NO NO!  the acid and the base will react with the pan   all boiling kettles in new york bakeries  mine too before i retired was stanless steel a non reactive metal raw or evem coated aluminum can react and cause a discoleration due to the formation of aluminum oxide  (WHITCH IS POISENOUS)  THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T STORE FOODS IN ALMIMUM CONTAINERS

see for your self by wraping a lemon in foil with a drop of soda the lemon will turn black and the foil will get holes in it where the acid has eated through the foil

tori's picture

i finally got around to making this recipe, and even with my many screw ups, they still tasted good!  i can wait to make them when i'm not 1/2 dead.  just to give you an idea (and a laugh), this is my note to myself for next time:

1.  don't do it when you have the plague
2.  no, that isn't enough salt, add more
3. really, wait til the water is at a rolling boil
4. the cats will step on the bagels - keep your eyes open
5. yes, you need to toast the sesame seeds first
6. you don't have cornmeal.  semolina is not good enough.  polenta will be gross.  just go get some cornmeal.
7. don't do it when you have the plague

Bakingbent's picture

I tried this recipe, and had great success at all stages, even after the boil. They looked great, nice a big, then I put them in the oven they came out flat.  Any suggestions?

bensara91513's picture

I tried these out last night/this morning.  What a WONDERFUL recipe!!!!  I had great luck, and for the first time ever, a dough actually TOTALLY cleaned my KitchenAid bowl!  LOL.  No trouble with sticking either.  I did liberally grease my silpats before the retard and then LIBERALLY used cornmeal before the bake.  Maybe that's why?  It was a great dough and it yielded wonderful bagels--puffy, chewy, and so tasty.  I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and my husband has already put in an order for a couple dozen to take to work!


Thanks for the great recipe.   


shericyng's picture

sheri    made these today....they were easy and so good. because i'm a chocolate freak I added chocolate chips at the end of kneading.......rave reviews. One question......I took them out of the fridge 2 hrs. before boiling and they seemed to deflat a bit. Should I have left them in the fridge and then right in the water??

bensara91513's picture

Hi Sherri:


I don't know what the "official" answer is, but I can tell you that I threw mine in the boiling water immediately after taking them out of the fridge and I didn't have a problem.  So maybe that works better?  (This is the only time I tried them. so I don't have anything to compare it to.)  Chocolate chips in the bagels sound SOOOO yummy. 

shericyng's picture

sheri    thanks i'll try w/out taking them out early.......the only problem w/ chocolate in them is I eat to many  :)

LuceFLY's picture

Tried making 1/2 the portion. Taste good and chewy but I find that the bottom is too soggy. Also when the beautifully smooth raised dough was put into the boiling water, it came out with a moon surface. Ha..ha..! Instead of boiling can we steam them before baking. Steam like the Chinese Pao then bake. Has any one tried this method before?

Trishinomaha's picture

For anyone who hasn't tried this recipe - you don't know what you're missing! We've made these several times now and each time the results get better and the process easier. Just finished my second one and these get better after a day or so, especially toasted and then a little (ok a lot..) of cream cheese on top. We  will keep the four in the refrigerator for this week's breakfasts and freeze six which will no doubt come out of the freezer next Saturday morning. Very good stuff, thanks again Floyd! There are only two of us in the house but these never go to waste.



Floydm's picture

Glad to hear you enjoyed them. All credit should go to Peter Reinhart though, since this is almost exactly his recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice.

LDoleys's picture

I am new to the web site....I just tried the bagels! I have always thought there was a magical thing to make them. You proved me wrong! Thank you for posting the recipe... my kids thank you:) I think I can convince my father that New York bagels are not the only thing out there. I look forward to continue reading and learning more about my passion of bread making. It looks like I have to get that treadmill just so I can continue to eat bread:)

Lilandra's picture

I just made these. They were awesome.

 Next time I'll try standardizing the sizes :-)

pampushka's picture

I am making my second batch of bagels today and we loved them the first time around.  I almost never follow a recipe completely and this was not exception.  I started by making a double batch.  That created no problem.  I did lessen the salt a little rather than doubling it fully.  Then, instead of making 24 bagels, I did 32.  The easy way to split the dough for 32 is to just keeping halfing all your dough peices.  (First you have 2, then 4, then 8, then 16, and then finally 32)  I was VERY PLEASED with this.  It made smaller bagels of course, but they were still VERY close in size to what you buy commercially and more than enough for my children.  The third thing I did differently is that I only made up 24 of them immediately.  Of those 24, 12 we ate fresh and I froze (already baked) the other 12 to see how they would hold up.  After freezing and thawing, the bagels needed to be toasted (otherwise they were a little soggy on the outside,)  but they were great, even a little chewier than the fresh ones.  The last twelve bagels I froze in bagel shape, but uncooked.  Later I made them up.  I took them out of the freezer around 3 p.m., and then put them in the fridge to retard around 5 p.m., by the next morning they were ready to boil.  They took a little longer to rise and did not rise as much on the baking sheet, but then I had a pleasant surpise in that they made up their size by expanding more in the boiling water.  They were indistinguishable from the original batch.  Excellent!  One other note is that I found the baking times in the recipe were too short.  Mine took a total of 15-17 minutes, not 10 minutes.  Thanks for the recipe.  I am thrilled with it.  By the bye, our favorite topping is a cinnamon and sugar mix (light on the cinnamon), with another small layer of just sugar on top of that.  We ate those with cream cheese.  Happy food!

SORANDA2's picture

RECIPE WAS VERY SIMPLE. AS WITH ALL THINGS,1st times;there will most of the times be some problems.1st I did not have the parchment paper.Nore the malt,the bagels did stick to my well oiled pans,and I did not get the "GOLDEN" finish.HELP how do I get that touch. Im going to make a good 6 dozen or more, for a fall farmers market sale..please tips on the GOLDEN part and maybe a price range to sell my bagels at....Thanks alot Carl J.Smith.

oh! and if there is eny easy creme cheese recipes,I could use them as well..

SeaBelle's picture

For those looking for a non-wheat alternative, I have found a pre-made mix at Trader Joe's.  It has a great consistency and everything I have made has turned out exceptionally well. 

The mix is supposed to be for pancakes or waffles, but you can really use it for anything; it's last ingrediant is vanilla bean powder, but there's not enough make your breadgoods sweet.  It comes in brown and purple bag and is found with the usual baking suspects. 

I also have a wheat allergy and use spelt for lots of things, but I worry about developing an intolerance or allergy by eating too much of it.  Also, whole spelt is a pain the butt to work with because it's so heavy (my popovers turned into rolls), I do like white spelt for almost everything.  It's nice and light and tastes pretty good.


kung fu bbq's picture
kung fu bbq

I used this for my first attempt at bagels this weekend. 3 bakes.

Round 1: forgot to put brown sugar (no malt products) in. Realized it after I had individually balled them up. Result. They looked like bagels, they felt like bagels but they didn't really taste like bagels. Actually the first bite did, while at the front of the mouth. Once the bagel got to the back of the mouth there was a bitter bite.

Round 2: remembered to put in brown sugar. Sugar is important. Turned out much better.

Round 3: Found barley malt syrup on saturday afternoon. Should of thinned it out prior to adding it to sponge and extra flour. The results however were better than round 2. 


thanks for the recipe, the whole family loved them. 


Berry's picture

I am a New Yorker and new to this site.  I just made two batches of these bagels using brown sugar instead of malt as I wasn't sure where to get it in my area.  I did make the bagels all in one day, not overnight. It takes awhile doing it in one day. I made the sponge and had it sit for 2 hours like the recipe listed.  I would suggest making the dough into balls and setting their form and making the holes before they rise instead of letting them rise in balls.  I had some difficulty making the holes after it has risen as some of them would deflate.  I also added jalapeno to some of the dough at this time before they were formed to bagel shape.  They came out great!  I can't stay there identical to NY style bagels but they are delicious I am very happy with this recipe!



Spetch's picture

Made these yesterday and baked them today.  They are delicious!  As a former Montrealer living on the West coast its hard to get anything but "bread" bagels here.  These were crispy outside and chewy good inside! 


Next time I will divide the recipe into more than 12 bagels though!  The rise once boiled made them huge.  I think 16 bagels is more realistic size wise.

I topped them with a little salt and sesame seed after boiling.  As soon as I cut them open all the seeds pop off all over the counter!  Still good none the less!



Mary Jane D. Toribio's picture
Mary Jane D. Toribio

i just want to ask if i can omit the malt in the bagel that ill gonna make.



gaaarp's picture

Mary Jane, you can substitute honey for the malt.  Use a good, dark honey, if you have one.  I am making bagels today and couldn't find my malt syrup to save my life. (My mom was just here for a visit and must have put it away somewhere.)  So I used buckwheat honey in the dough.


Mary Jane D. Toribio's picture
Mary Jane D. Toribio


lukemansell's picture

.. I'm just a goy who can't say no


The recipe I use has an initial step of boiling a large chopped potato for 20 minutes - you discard the potato, then let the water cool and use it in the dough - most flavoursome and textutralious

Lucy-Sue's picture

Hi: I am new to this site and just love baking.  I have never made bagels before, only bread.  I can hardly wait to try this bagel recipe.

Would it be ok to substitute agave nectar or brown rice suryp for the malt powder or honey?

Does anyone have a great recipe for a sunflower bread?

Thanks in advance for the help!

mrfrost's picture

Brown rice syrup is maybe the next best thing as a sub for malt syrup. The agave would probably follow the others you mentioned along with molasses and brown sugar.

willsfca's picture

i came across this post last night and decided to make it and i must say it's easier than i thought! i did replace about 20% of the bread flour with whole wheat bread flour, and used brown sugar instead of malt powder. i think they could be a little denser (what? denser? after spending weeks trying to get baguettes that're not dense?) but i might've over-proofed them a bit. still though it was quite good. now i'm curious to try other bagel recipes.

i took some pics of them HERE.

tom1am's picture

Is it correct that the recipe calls for 8 cups of flour?

Floydm's picture

Nearly, yes.

dasmueller's picture

Being more accomplished as a homebrewer than a baker I ask- would one use the dry malt powder used in brewing work well here-I think so. What would the equivalent be ?


drdick62's picture

I've been making bagels for some time now, always with excellent results.  People always want my recipe, so I hand it out freely in hopes of winning more and more converts.  My foodie friends are now a great source of advice on experimental variations on the Basic Bagel.

The over-rising problem:  I work quickly from kneading to shaping, to get those babies into the fridge ASAP.  The recipe I work from takes only 30 minutes the night before.  Also, I have a huge bulk supply of yeast in my fridge that's been in there for over 2 years.  Maybe this more "mature" yeast, while still vital, has a little less pep than the younger stock.

Sticking to the pan overnight: Sprinkle a deep roasting or lasagna pan generously with cornmeal and place the freshly-shaped bagels right onto the cornmeal.  I cover the pan with aluminum foil, making sure the sides of the pan are high enough to avoid contact between incubating baby bagels and foil cover.

Making seed toppings stick:  When the bagel comes out of the boiling water, it's surprisingly not very hot to the touch after a couple of seconds, even to my tender digits!  Cover the bottom of a 9x13 dish with your seeds.  Handling the freshly-boiled bagel carefully--watch out, they're slippery!--press it gently topside-down into the seeds and place onto a rack until all bagels are topped.  That little bit of pressing makes the seeds stick better than mere sprinkling does.

Sticking to the baking sheet: Line the sheet with parchment paper and arrange bagels bare-naked on parchment.  Bagels stick minimally, if at all.

Stuff burning on the baking sheet:  If you follow the above, there is nothing to actually burn on the baking sheet.  No oil, no excess cornmeal, no excess seed toppings.  It's a beautiful thing!

Notes on authenticity:  A good NY bagel is very chewy.  I always add 4 or 5 tablespoons of wheat gluten powder to my bread flour to simulate the 16% gluten flour the bakeries use.  Also, there's a little cornmeal remaining on the bottoms of the bagels left over from the rising.  I find this also to be a very authentic touch.

If you're having real, authentic New York Jews for breakfast, these bagels will pass muster, but they won't be the best your guests have ever eaten.  They're sure to know of some little NY deli that blows your bagels out of the water.  To make up for this, be sure to have all the real, authentic go-withs on the table: good-quality cream cheese, lox, capers, etc.


Dr. Dick

Wilton, Maine

mccun934's picture

Followed the method above and it all turned out great.



Additional pics here:

Bagel Set

sutra11's picture

very good bagels mmm

Branwine's picture

I have to say my bagels turned out almost perfect! My husband is a huge bagel freak! LOVES LOVES LOVES good bagels. He could not wait for these to come out of the oven this morning. I had decided not to do any toppings except for 4 that I sprinkled some cinn sugar on from Penzey's. I just wanted to see how they were without anything. Thank you for making bagels simple! I need to see something on kneeding though. My right wrist started to bug me after about 4 minute's. Of coarse my hubby has offered to be my offical kneeder from here on out. But I know there has to be a way to do it that doesn't hurt so much! Again our tummies thank you!

lemuel's picture

looks like a very tasty bagels! ^__^

LeighE's picture

Made these today- wonderful!  Used this recipe except instead of adding baking soda to the water when I boiled them, I added 2 T of malt powder and 1 T of sugar (per the recipe for water bagels on the back of the malt powder I bought from KAF)

Will definitely make again, can't wait to play around with toppings!


DC Dori's picture
DC Dori

I made these, with several adjustments to the recipe, and they are amazing.

First, I halved the recipe and made 12 mini bagels, it's hard to find good mini bagels!

I also used half whole wheat flour and half white flour (I couldn't find bread flour due to a pre-blizzard grocery store craze this weekend), and I used regular yeast because I couldn't find instant yeast. To activate it, I combined the (warm) water, the malt syrup, the yeast and let it bubble, then added the white flour to make the sponge. I added the wheat flour to make the dough after the sponge rose.

I also added a tablespoon of malt syrup to the boiling water, instead of baking soda, and brushed the bagels with a little egg white before baking to make them extra shiny. I topped mine with sesame seeds and chopped sunflower seeds.

Other than that, I followed your directions.

Even without the right yeast or bread flour, the bagels turned out chewy and airy inside, and crispy and shiny on the outside. And they're multigrain too! Yum! Next making scallion and bacon cream cheese to put on them!

RachelJ's picture

I don't use instant yeast, but active dry yeast. Can it be used in this recipe, if I activate it first? I'd love to make bagels, and have seen so many delicious photos of homemade ones... oh boy it tickles be funky!

ragreen's picture


Marji H's picture
Marji H

Baked these off this morning--excellent!  Crispy outside, substantial chew.  I made bagels before, years ago, and have been wanting to try again.  I collected many recipes online, but something about this one stood out.  I know the overnight retardation leads to a more flavorful product, same with a pizza dough.  My starter expanded just a tiny bit in 2 hours.  I even proofed some of the yeast just to make sure it was still active since there was so little movement.  I let the shaped bagels proof for 25 minutes before refrigeration overnight.  This was a warm day too.  There was no real apparent rising then either, just barely.  In the morning they had gotten a little bigger, some were actually touching a bit.  I had all 12 on a half sheet pan.  I let them sit on the sheet for about 45 minutes before I got to the boiling/poaching stage.  I added some malt powder to the water , and I anticipated a major "spring".  Well, it still wasn't anything major.  There was no difference in shape/size after baking either.  They looked beautiful with that blistery looking surface, but I still wasn't convinced they had turned out "right" until tasting.  I was afraid that with the seemingly minute amount of "rising" in any of the stages that I would wind up with very hard bagels, but they had small airholes through the interior, and moist chewiness.  I was very pleased with the results, my family too.  Thanks very much.

mhays's picture

I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood with real bagels, so I'm pretty picky, but I'm pretty happy with the 2-hour version of the Jo Goldenberg's recipe that's all over the internet.  Does the overnight proofing really make that much of a difference?  

I do use a sourdough starter (and all the time that entails) when baking bread, I like the complex flavor it offers, but I don't see bagels as really needing that - to me, they're more about texture, and I find that comes from the right balance of gluten and a long knead (or, in my lazy case, a long run in the Kitchenaid)  Has anybody compared both recipes?

TinyKitchenCCC's picture

I have made these a few times now, and they are so good!!! Its easy enough to do half the recipe and make 6, which suits me better, because then i'm not tempted too eat too many. They're not too hard to make, just takes some time and arm muscle. Its very satisfying to know that all the work you do pays off with something so delicious. This is my go to bagel recipe for now.

rockstarmomof2's picture

i would like to make these with the sourdough starter that i have as the sponge but am not sure how to modify the recipe for it?  can anyone help? please and thank you.

mrfrost's picture

Maybe you'd like to try this recipe(looks good), or pick up some tips on how to incorporate starter:


piranha_08's picture

Hi, great post. I've been trying some recipes and had ago at making a blueberry puree bagel. Seemed to work well. Pics @ Has anyone tried these before?

jaltsc's picture



I have made a number of batches of bagels using Hamelman's recipe, with some changes after trial and error. I live in Thailand and the bread flour here does not seem to be the same as in the states. So, to 2 pounds of bread flour, I add 2T of wheat gluten (surprisingly available here), and 2 t diastatic malt powder (which somehow found its way into my baggage after me last visit to the states). I bake the bagels on wooden planks, like I remember them doing in the bagel bakery in the Bronx, where I was raised. This seems to keep the bagel rounder and bake more evenly after flipping them over.

So, everything about the bagle is great...flavor, density, chewiness, shape, except the surface is not the smooth surface I remember bagels to possess. I even used different boiling times, with no difference.

As you can see in the photo, I also make bialys which look and taste exactly the way I remember.


Any insight or suggestions?

brijnet23's picture

Hi folks, brand new to the site. I caught this post and figured why not begin by adding my 2 cents here ! I spent many years at the beginning of my cooking career working in a few of bagel shops here in NYC, one of which is just about the most famous you can think of. I noticed several replies on this post regarding the bottom of the bagel coming out too wet, and there is a very simple explanation for this. Traditionally, when the bagels are removed from the kettle, they are then tossed onto a series of boards ( basically 2x4's) covered with burlap. Once lined up on these boards they are slid one by one into the oven for approx. 1 minute. During this time the top of the bagel begins the drying and rising process. After the minute or so, which for most ovens is one revolution on their shelves, the bagels are then flipped off the boards and the boards removed. Aside from the boards being your vehicle for getting the bagels into the oven, they most importantly enable the bagel to dry and rise on one side before the flipping and continuation of baking. There is a very easy way to duplicate this process at home. I use a stone in my oven for the final bake, but prior to that I use sheet pan with a damp towel placed on top of it. After removing the bagels from the boiling water, place them on the towel/sheet pan combo, seed or dont seed, and place the pan on the rack above your stone for approx. 90 seconds depending on your oven. After this time, quickly remove the pan and place what had been the tops of the bagels face down on your stone. This process will give you a much more evenly cooked bagel throughout, with a nice rise and no " flat " side to your bagel.

lwilson1214's picture

I have been making my own bagels with a recipe I love.  However, the recipe calls for a dozen bagels, and they are gone in less than a week, that's how good they are.  I would like to make the dough twice (one dough for shaping and using now) and freeze one dough (without shaping) for another time.  Anyone tried this?  Anyone know if this is ok?  Lee

lwilson1214's picture

fscott's picture

your own recipe looks irresistable.

not-thekitchensink's picture



It's my first time baking bagels (and posting here) and so far, I've had moderate success with most of the recipes from Reinhart's books - but i tried the bagel recipe from the Artisan Bread Every Day book and it didn't turn out too well. 

After the bagels passed the float test, I put them in the boiling water - but thing is, they didn't sink to the bottom before refloating - they floated the moment I put them in - anyone knows why is that so? 

When I baked them, they turned brown far too easily and are kinda hard and flat :/ I've read through the comments and didn't find the help I needed. 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

FYI I'm in a humid env - but I proofed for an hour the day before before placing them into the fridge and preshaped them. Then I took them out for less than an hour today before they passed the float test. I bake at 230 degree celsius cos that's the hottest my oven can go, but I reduced it to 200 degrees after 10 minutes because I saw the bagels turning far too brown. Now they are unevenly brown and some look very dark brown (not burnt yet though)


THanks :)

fscott's picture

I'm not 100% positive but it sounds like they proofed too long for your enviorment. The first time I made these I had the same thing happen because I allowed them to rise too long. Also, they only need a very short time in the water on each side. I had one I boiled too long do the same thing. Hope this helps. :-)

Farmpride's picture

"I" would not have proofed them befor putting in the fridg, do the make-up and go straight to the fridg..another thing you can try is to put the dough straight into the fridg from the mixer, then take out, make-up and proof, we used to proof on boards (smooth maple or birch plywood) with corn meal, and avoid using silcone paper after boiling, it is likly to stick, go back to the boards after boiling and topping, then you can slide them off into the oven if you do not want the corn meal mess in the oven then i like to take them out of the boil, onto a pan of corn meal, then flip into the topping, then onto a paper lined pan.(silcone coated paper), and there are silcone sheets now that will last forever, i would like to get those one day ..

If you do bake on silcone paper, and they stick on taking them out of the oven, just turn them over and lightly brush the sheet with water, wait a moment, brush again if the paper has not started to let go... should work..

you did not mention the flour you used, as mentioned many times here, use a good high protien bread flour, or get some wheat gluten, that will help them not flatten out it is necessary for the bagel texture.

fscott's picture

This recipe is awesome. My family loved these. Not hard to make and oooo so NY

lputka's picture

The bagel turned out great, BUT, ten minutes in the oven at high temp was not enough. They were doughy inside.  What I did was turn the oven off and put them in until the oven cooled off.  It made the the outside nice and tan and the inside warm and chewy, Yummy!

theavidbaker's picture

By far, the best recipe I have used to make bagels with is, without a doubt, Peter Reinhart's. 

The bagels themselves are crusty on the outside, but fluffy and flavourful on the inside with a nice chew to them.  Fresh out of the oven, they need no adornments.

After that, a nice toasting will liven them up again and caramelize the slices to a perfect golden brown.  I love spreading it with salted butter and watching how the bread just eats up and absorbs the sweet creamery goodness.

However, while Peter says to boil the bagels for at least a minute, I took a tip from Baking Illustrated and boiled them for only 30 seconds on each side.  Because they weren't submerged in the water for a long period of time, they could rise in the oven much better than the flat stagnant ones I made the very first time.

For pictures and the recipe, you can get them off my blog:


Cheers and Happy Baking!

NewBakerDC's picture

So I am relatively new to baking and really want to try Peter Reinharts bagel recipe.  I have a question though.  His recipe calls for instant yeast, I was wondering how much dry active yeast I should use if I am not using instant.  I have read that you should use 20% more dry active than instant when converting but the amount of yeast for this recipe just seems too little.  Every other recipe i have seen calls for a tablespoon of dry active yeast.  HELP!! If anyone knows what the proper amount of dry active that should be used in place of instant I would greatly appreciate the help.  I have not not looked for instant yeast in the grocery yet, I am just trying to plan ahead if I am unable to get instant yeast by this weekend.  Thanks for the help.



ScoMo's picture

Thanks so much for the introduction to bagels.  I developed my own recipe after trying yours. Thought you might like to see my results.

Also, I've been using bricks in my oven with pretty awesome results.  See my website for more info and my recipe. 

shaylaaaa's picture


I cursed and praised you throughout the process, and overall, there were more praises than profanities used :) thank you !!! Living in Vietnam has its perks, but the lack of baked goods has changed me from a home chef to a home baker, and oh how my fellow ex pats are jealous of my creations (of which, of course I share graciously).

However, I needed to use up to 2cups extra of flour (!!!!) for my dough to resemble anything close to your description. I am not too surprised, because all of my baked goods require more dry than wet ingredients, due to the hot and sticky climate I live in. Even with the 2cups extra, I had difficulty from the refridgeration to the boiling water steps, all of my bagels lost their shape, I read someone's comment about dropping the parchment paper in the water, or someone else's about more cornmeal, any suggestions for keeping that traditional bagel shape??

Thank you mucho, Floyd !! I love all your recipes !! You have kept my husband, myself and our unborn baby well fed !!! Hey, with all your Northern Californian references, I bet I'm from the same neck of the woods ... I'm from Marin. Et tu ??


Beautiful outcome !!! One question, are those just normal brick tiles?? I got plenty o' those around and am quite tempted to wash some down and throw them in. Do you use them the same as a pizza stone, like for all your baked goods?? Do you put a pan directly on them, or your goods directly on them ??? Thanks !!

Thank you both !!!

Shayla :)

kitchenchick's picture

Hi, I have made quite a few batches of bagels from both Reinhart books, The Bread Bakers Apprentice and Artisan Breads everyday. The bagels come out delicious in both, but I prefer the Bread bakers Apprentice recipe and method. In any case, when I have made the Cinnamon Raisin version I can't get them to float until about a minute once dropped in the water. I have followed the recipe and method to the T, let them sit and rise 20 minutes before putting them in the fridge ovenight and for both methods they just won't pass the float test. They seem to come out a little more dense then the traditional bagels with toppings. Is it because of the raisins?? Or something else??

Also my Onion bagels always seem to brown a little more than I want them to while cooking. I use rehydrated. Any suggestons?? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think it's the cinnamon slowing down the rise because it slows down the yeast.    You can try different solutions:  1) increase the proofing time before chilling  2) reduce the amount of cinnamon or  3) add a pinch extra yeast  or  4) coat the raisins with cinnamon before adding instead of adding cinnamon to the dough.

Onion bagels -- might try turning down the temp just a little bit.  (did you mean baking?)

kitchenchick's picture

Thanks for the reply! Sorry it took me so long to get back on the blog. I'm on vacation and finally have time to do nothing but plan on what to bake next :)

In any case, I took a 4 day Boot Camp at the CIA and did manage to ask the baking Chef what the problem was with my sinking Cinnamon Raisin bagels. He too said that it was the Cinnamon reacting with the yeast and to try adding a pinch more yeast. I think I will try that this week. Although my KitchenAid mixer doesn't really like bagel dough. I think I am killing it slowly with the stiff dough. At least once it dies I will have an excuse to upgrade, lol!





Elagins's picture

a number of spices -- cinnamon, cloves, allspice, just to name a few -- contain an essential oil that kills yeast. for that reason, it's always a bad idea to add cinnamon to your dough mix.  instead, make the dough, roll or flatten it out, sprinkle the cinnamon and roll into a spiral/jellyroll to make your bagels.

Stan Ginsberg

kitchenchick's picture

Thanks Stan! I'll give it a try. 

My bagel making is kind of on hold right now. I don't think my Kitchen Aid can handle another batch. I've been on line researching mixers. Kinda leaning toward Bosch Universal Plus. I really don't do huge batches right now, but do need a machine that can handle bagel dough. I had originally leaned toward Kitchen Aid Pro 600 but upon reading about what other have said, I threw that out the window!

erdosh's picture

I have been trying to make the perfect New York bagels for some time and I am very nearly there. My bagels look like they were just purchased from the bagel shop and they taste perfect. I do like them chewy, however, these are a bit TOO chewy. What do I do next? I bake them at 425 for 26 minutes. Should I reduce oven temperature to 400? Note: I make my bagels a little smaller than standard commercial ones.

Thanks for the help!


mrfrost's picture

What brand and type of flour are you using?

Try a lower protein flour. If the lower protein flour doesn't make enough chew, then try various blends of your present flour and the lower protein flour until you get the desired chewiness.

There are tools available to calculate a desired protein level with various blends of flours, but of course that's probably not really necessary.

You can also play around with how long the bagels are allowed to rise, and/or the boiling times to get a bagel that is a little more "bready".

kasandra16's picture

I made this bagel recipe today..and i did not need all the flour that you add in the second time..i probably only used half of it..and i only put my bagels in the fridge for about 4 hours and they turned out great.

And i also used all purpose flour and brown sugar instead of the malt powder

patman23's picture

Ok, like many others I have never made bagels before.  I made two batches.  A whole wheat and a white / sessame seed version.   My results were mixed.

1.  The While Wheat bagles:

     A.  I used 50% Bread Flour (KA) and 50% Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat (Bob's Red Mill)

     B.  I added about 1 teaspoon additional yeast and about 1/4 cup of additional water.

     C.  I also added a tablespoon or two of honey to the water alon with the baking powder.

     D.  I extended the boil time to 1.5 minutes on each side.

The result was a slighty crunchy, chewy, wonderful bagel.  Now, I ate on while it was still hot.  I did toast it and used a little butter and was quite pleased.  The flavor was a bit lacking but according to the other posts the flavor may develop after they cool down a bit yet.  I'll be trying another for dinner. 

2.  The White / Sessame Seed Bagels:

     A.  I followed the recipe exacty and the dough turned out a bit slack so I added a bit more flour.

     B.  I used corn meal on one pan and a cooking spray on another pan to prevent sticking and to see what the differences would be in the finished result.

     C.  I also added a bit of honey to the waer.

The result was less than what I had hoped for.  The bagles that I used cooking spray on the pan were perfectly browned on top, however, the sooking spray prevented the bottoms from browing and as a result they were soggy on the bottoms.

The dough was  a bit slack coming out of the fridge.  They seemed to "fall" once I picked them up however they responded well to the water.  They never regained their fullness and ended up bing sort of semi-flat / lumpy.  The crust developed well, I like the look of these quite a bit. 

On the pan that I used cornmeal as the stick preventer, for lack of a better term, the bottoms were perfect as expected. 


Over all this was a great experiment and a well thoughout recipe.  I really appreciate you posting it.  I also appreciate the comments that the other uses added.  This helped me fee more confidant in playing with the recipe a little.  I'll do it again and make a few changes.

1.  I'll bake them a bit longer

2.  For the White / Sessame Bagels, I'll ensure the dough is a bit stiffer prior to shaping

3.  I'll never used cooking spray again on bagles!

That is about it!  Thanks again!!!




ctsabai's picture

I started a batch of these last night and my husband and I had them for breakfast this morning -yum! I used all WW flour, plus a teaspoon of wheat gluten per cup of flour. I don't know if this was really necessary but I added it just in case. When I was done kneading, I divided the dough in half and folded raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar into half of it, and roasted garlic into the other half. This morning, they needed to bake quite a bit longer than ten minutes, but that was probably my oven's fault. They came out great though - nice and crunchy outside, chewy inside. The only problem I had was that some of them were pretty ugly - when I shaped them, some of them had seams that wouldn't close, so they didn't get nicely rounded. The result was some lumpy (though still tasty) bagels. Anybody have any tips for smoothing them out? 

mariett's picture

Has anyone made these just rising them on the counter for 20 minutes or so and skipping the retardation in the refrigerator?

I make bagels this way and they come out pretty good-just wondering if the refrigeration would make them even better.

Also when I boil them they seem to lose their rise some when I turn them-I use a slotted spatula - maybe I should just pat them into the water and not turn them?

Thanks if you have any ideas.

BTW glad I found this site-oh my how I love bread of all kinds :)


mrfrost's picture

Try reducing the boiling time by about half.

djeffsmith's picture

I've been having great success with this recipe with a couple of modifications.  First - I am combing KA Bread Flour with enough Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten to get it up to @ 14.5% Protein.  I like the chewiness this gives me.  I also found that my bagels would over-proof if I shaped them before retarding them.  So now I mix the dough from the sponge and then retard in the bowl overnight.  In the morning I punch down, portion & shape then let rest for ~30 mins.  As soon as the Bagels are able to float in a glass of water I boil in Lye water (1 tsp Lye for each quart of boiling water).  This gives me a crust that I've been unable to duplicate with Baking Soda or Barley Malt in the boiling water.  I preheat to 500, but turn down to 450 and use convection when I put them in the oven.  



R.Acosta's picture

I've been promising Tim(DH) for the past year or so that since I was loving making bread so much that I would totally be up for trying to make bagels sometime.  As I was scanning over this post at about 10pm (not intending to be starting anything at that time of night) he looked over my shoulder and got excited asking if I was going to finally deliver on my promise of homemade bagels.  I must admit, I was less than enthusiastic about starting them since our little one has been a VERY touchy sleeper lately, but I relented because I just can't say no to that childish glimmer in my husband's eyes :).  So after briefly scanning the recipe I made the sponge (thinking that was the only part of the night before prep) and then I went to bed. I woke up at 6am the next morning and read the recipe again realizing my mistake and hoping that it wouldn't affect the outcome too badly.  The only effect it seemed to have was that the crumb wasn't nice and tight and dense as you would expect from a bagel, it was slightly more open (like white bread), but these were still delicious.  I used honey in the recipe and after a little research found that traditionally bagels are boiled in honey sweetened water with baking soda. So into the alkaline bath went the honey as well. Here are my yummy, crunchy results :)!

jenna_rizzer's picture

I am a beginner and would really like to bake these bagels. The only problem I see is using a sponge. Could someone tell me what that means?



Floydm's picture

It just means mixing a few of the ingredients and letting them sit to ferment for a while first, then mixing in the rest of the ingredients at a later point.  Just read through the recipe and you'll see there is nothing terribly tricky about it, it just takes a little extra time.

Good luck!


debwin's picture

Have tried numerous bagel recipes.....just wanted them not to be too heavy. This recipe worked really well although I added a little more yeast and a tblspn of honey and  I skipped the retardation in the refrigerator and only left them for an hour before testing to see if they floated ...they did so I boiled them a minute each side before baking .

The recipe made 14 good size bagels. The family has voted them best bagels so far ...and now they want more..... so thank you !

elijahking04's picture

successful! they are pretty good tasting bagels. i substituted the malt with molasses and boiled them in honey-baking soda water.  the crust is nice and chewy but next time im going to try lye powder in the boiling water for a chewier texture.  maybe add some cinnamon and raisins. thanks :)

Grenage's picture

I'm a very novice baker, and had absolutely no idea that bagels are boiled during the process; I always assumed that bagels were nothing more than circles of bread.  I'll have to give these a go.

Skamama's picture


To 1 pint sourdough starter, add:

1 pint lukewarm water (105-110 degrees F.)

2 tsp. of British malt syrup (1 tsp. sugar, or 2 tsp. honey or agave syrup, if you don't have it)

2 cups unbleached flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Put ingredients one at a time in a large mixing bowl, beating after each addition.

Add one cup of flour at a time, and beat, adding flour and/or water until it's the consistency of thick pancake batter. Put 2 cups of starter back in a jar, let sit on counter for a couple of hours, then refrigerate until the next use (try to use it once a week; if you can't, stir in 1/2 tsp. sugar and a little water and flour to feed the yeast every week to 10 days).

In a small saucepan on the stove, briefly cook 1 cup bulghur or cracked wheat in 2 cups of

lightly salted water, adding 1/4 c. dark molasses after it boils and the cereal

absorbs most of the water. It should be the consistency of gruel---add a little

water if it thickens too much. Cool.

Add the following ingredients to the remainder of the starter in the bowl:

2 cups lukewarm water

1 tsp. salt

2 T. oil

1-1/2 teaspoons granulated yeast (SAP is best), or one packet, stirred into 1/4 cup lukewarm water + 1 tsp. sugar

1/3 cup gluten flour (if you don't have it, just use additional unbleached)

1-1/2 cups dark rye flour (I prefer Bob's Red Mill)

1 cup whole wheat flour

Cooled 'gruel' of bulghur or cracked wheat

2 tsp. caraway seeds

To top bagels, 1 tsp. each poppy, flax, and sesame seeds

Optional - dried garlic bits, dried onion

Beat batter well with wooden spoon to get gluten working; stir in cooked, cooled bulghur/cracked wheat, then gradually keep adding unbleached flour to make a good stiff dough, working it with a spoon until it forms a ball in bowl. Sprinkle flour on the ball, then knead, adding flour a little at a time. When the dough is cohesive and doesn't take any more flour readily (knead it about 5 minutes), form a smoothly rounded ball in bowl, spray it with Pam, and cover it with a non-fuzzy towel in a warm place. Let it double. Grease your hands with salad or olive oil. Pinch off apricot-sized balls of dough, roll a round ball, and pierce the center all the way through with your greased index finger. Twirl the dough like a hula hoop, keeping your index finger in the air, until the hole in the center is at least 1-1/2 inches across. It's fun, and you'll get the knack in no time.

Place the bagels on a greased cookie sheets; let rise 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees, and put a large cake pan half full of water in the bottom of the oven. Fill a large, wide kettle 3/4 full with warm water + 3 T. malt syrup, sugar, or agave syrup and bring to a boil on top of the stove (some people also add 1/2 tsp. baking soda). Carefully slide a few bagels at a time into the water until the surface is covered but they don't touch, doing four or so at a time depending on the size of the kettle. After one or so minutes in the boiling water, flip to cook the other side one more minute. Use a spider or large slotted pancake turner to remove. Respray the cookie sheets, sprinkle with cornmeal and sprinkle the bagels with poppy or sesame seeds, and/or onion or garlic bits, if desired. Bake each pan in very hot oven (425-450) until golden, about 10-12  minutes --- watch 'em. Have a pan of water in the oven, and spray them a couple of times (not in an electric oven with a light bulb --- don't ask.)

These freeze well; bag half-dozens and thaw and toast as needed. They are especially good with cream cheese and a little lox or smoked salmon.

BoyntonStu's picture

Some years ago, I invented and trade-marked "Squagels", a square bagel.

"For a square meal eat a Squagel".

They won't roll off your table".

"We don't cut corners". etc.

We had a lot of fun, and when a large company made us an offer that we could not refuse, we sold Squagels for quite a lot of 'dough'.

mase's picture

Just discovered this blog recently. I love to bake - cakes, brownies, lasagna and breads until I accidentally broke the glass panel of my gas-top oven about a year ago.

Recently I bought a  bread machine so that I can make my favorite bread/bun - the bagel  again. Oh! and my sourdough bread too. Although I haven't solved the broken oven glass panel, I needed the machine to do all the kneading. I was thinking of buying a microwave/convection oven for my baking escapades in the near future.

Back to the bagel - I have been successful on occasions but I was wondering (the unsuccessful times) why immediately after removing the boiled dough (using a slotted spoon) it immediately deflates. Out of a dozen, may 3 or 4 look acceptable and the rest I'm afraid what it will turn out if I bake them - hard as a rock maybe.

I wonder where or what I did differently each time, but I'm stumped. Maybe you have an answer. Thnx.

mattmmille's picture

Thanks for the bagel recipe! I followed it and did quite well. I found Barley Malt Syrup at my local Whole Foods store...had to get help to find it. It was on a rack with other syrups at the end of an aisle...not with baking stuff. Anyway, had a great breakfast this morning! Here's a couple of photos:


kwonders's picture

Bagels are a passion of mine, and I have written extensively about the process. See my recipe and technique at:

Crumb is dense yet soft, taste is just what I remember growing up


The crust has just the right amount of crunch

Davido's picture

When mixing the sponge, what temperature should the water be at? The usual ~98 degrees?

Also, should the bagels be done rising after retarding in the fridge overnight, and the be ready for the big plunge into the boil?


I'm asking because I think my bagels overrose (came out a tad flat). I used cold tapwater for the sponge, which led me to believe that they needed extra rising.


Thanks in advance!

GoodGuyNY's picture

NY Bagels use water, not milk so this is a great receipe. 8 cups of flour is a bit much and makes them fairly heavy. I don't understand the "sponge" then the "dough". I mix the dough and knead it in a Kitchen Aide mixer using a dough hook. I do not use eggs. Eggs only give a bit of coloring and really don't add to the texture. I let the dough rise for about an hour then punch it down and place it in the refrigerator until morning. I take the dough out about an hour before I want to finish the bagels. I take and make "strips" abiout 1" wide and 6" long. I shape these into a circle and then "connect" the ends by forming the dough into itself.

Then they are boiled for 2 minutes each side. An egg yolk wash and toppings. Into the oven at 425 for 16-18 minutes and VIOLA! Real NY Bagels!!!!!

chelmus's picture

I am a newbe and tried this recipe and my husband LOVED them!  I made it again but this time made the bagels 2.25oz (half).  Perfect!!!  My husband took one to work as a sandwich today and marvelled his co workers that the bagel was home made and DELICIOUS!!!

drlee's picture

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good. I made some changes to the recipe - a few by choice and one by accident.  I misread the night before step and what I did was to make sponge the night before and I stopped there.  Then the next morning I realized that I was supposed to add the additional dough, knead and then put it away.  So what I did was to move on to adding the dough, kneading and shaping and so on and then I put it in the fridge for 6.5 hours. A few other differences - when I added the flour the next morning I added 2 cups of coarse wheat flour. I was not very successful with using my thumb to make the hole in the shaped bagel but I did use my thumb - then I finished the hole by using a plastic soda bottle cap as a punch ( I salted the little balls and made pretzel balls).  I used malt syrup which I ordered online but when it came the bottle was labeled "artificially flavored."  I don't know what impact that had.  I did add two tablespoons of honey to the recipe as well - as a beekeeper I had to. I seeded some and kept some plain.  Otherwise I followed the recipe above.  For a first time bagel maker I was very pleased with the result. So was my wife!

LanaD's picture

Followed the recipe to the tee, though the dough wouldn't take quite the full quantity of flour.  They came out with good taste and texture.  They were a little flat, but that could have been due to my shaping technique.  I tried to do it as described in Reinhardt's book.SInce the texture of the bread was a little softer and lighter than I think of with a NY bagel I have to think that I should have tried to incorporate more flour  

suzyr's picture

I have made these bagels for quite a while. I was reading on here a while back all of the different posts to your original one. Yours photos are great. 

Chef Reinhart is the greatest teacher.  in all his books.  I can't tell you how many times I have pulled out his books to reference a recipe.  

Here is my batch that I finished this morning.  They are so good and with it being so cold. What a treat. 


Fred Lee's picture
Fred Lee

Nice looking bagels! Always nice to see a new baker succeed. Your bagels look great! :) Fred 

AndreiI's picture

First take on bagels and came out great. Soft on the outside, a little chewy inside (10pm and I could not resist eating one ...the butter just melted on it...drooling already)

I changed the recipe a little. Used half of the ingredients. Used honey (1Tbsp in the dough and 2 in the boiling water). Boiled 1.5min / side and baked about 8-9 min / side at around 475F. Retarded them in the fridge after forming for about 6 hours. I wasnt sure if they would rise but the came out quite big. I think next time I'll shape them a bit smaller


Overall I am very pleased with the taste and the result

rblakeley's picture

I have used one of the Reinhart recipes for a while (there are more than one), and migrated those in the direction of a Lahey style slow rise over time. Good results but not optimal. The taste was there but the texture (crisp crust and moist, dense, chewy interior) was not. I switched to the Gletzer recipe which improved the texture significantly, but the taste was good but not quite as rich.  

The difference in the process is that the Gletzer recipe mixes and shapes immediately, then lets rise only about 1.5 to 2 hours before refrigerating. Then the next day, the bagels are boiled cold, right out of the fridge. I did adjust the Gletzer 30 second boiling time to a minute.

Azlady2003's picture

i am an impatient baker, how would I go about making this recipe but still be able to eat them that day? I want to skip the overnight process, what would you suggest to replace this but still get good bagels?

T. Fargo's picture
T. Fargo

... If you start in the morning.  I have done it with this recipe.  Keep in mind this makes six bagels.  If you want plain bagels, omit sriracha and use 340 g (or mL) water and increase salt to 13 grams.  let rise for 2 hours after mixing, then refrigerate for about an hour - cold dough is easier to work with.  Be sure to let them rise a bit before the boil and I'm sure you'll end up with a good product.  Good luck.