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New York-Style Bagel Recipe

This easy homemade New York-Style Bagel recipe is simply the best! Basic pantry ingredients transform into deliciously chewy freshly made New York bagels.

New York-Style Bagel Recipe

This is simply the best homemade New York-Style Bagel Recipe. After so much love (this recipe has received over 11 years worth on here!), I had to share the recipe in Hand Made Baking, and I updated this page with various photos, tons of tips, tricks, and information you’ll need to achieve the most perfect chewy homemade bagels.

This easy bagel recipe is delicious and results in perfection. It does not need as much dedication as other bagel recipes you will find on the web– you do not need to dedicate 2 days to this. It’s a same-day homemade bagel recipe that comes together in 2 hours.

Bagel varieties

As a native New Yorker, I know there’s nothing better than a fresh bagel schmeared with cream cheese. I have a high standard when it comes to bagels and I don’t put unusual ingredients in mine.

In these bagels, you will not find any yogurt, maple-syrup, or ingredients you might not have in your pantry.

I no longer live in New York City, and I constantly crave the good old-fashioned bagels I grew up on– flavorful, modestly sweet, and chewy with soft, shiny crusts. These bagels are made the classic way: you boil them in water for a couple of minutes before you bake them. This is probably one of the most bizarre things a person can do to dough, but it just works.

This bagel recipe is a very altered adaptation of one from a cookbook, Ultimate Bread, that I borrowed over a decade ago from my aunt. It was my first introduction to homemade bagels. Over the years, this has become the best bagel recipe that I’ve ever made.

It doesn’t require unusual ingredients or require special equipment to make the recipe. These homemade chewy bagels are a treat fresh out of the oven, but when they’re toasted– oh, my! Can we just say that you’ll be making this bagel recipe time and time again?

Homemade New York-Style Bagels

After making this New York-Style bagel recipe on your own, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I know I always do! This will definitely give some competition to your local bagel shop- the recipe is that good (I mean, look at the comments!).

This homemade bagel recipe is so good that you’ll be impressed with yourself and totally satisfied after you take a nice bite out of one of these freshly made chewy bagels. So, if you mail order bagels from your favorite spot in New York City and pay $7.50 a bagel, save your money!

And if good bagels cannot be found where you live, worry no more; this recipe is infinitely adaptable, and the little bit of effort you put into making these bagels is well worth it. It’s time to get baking!

New York-Style Bagel with Cream Cheese

Homemade Bagel Recipe Ingredients

This homemade bagel recipe consists of four major parts– making and preparing the bagel dough, shaping and boiling the bagels, the bagel topping, and the things you’ll need to serve them with. Here’s what you’ll need:

The Bagel Dough: The Bagel Recipe Ingredients

• Granulated Sugar– this is used to slightly sweeten the bagel dough and to activate the yeast.
Feel free to use natural cane sugar here if you have it.

Active dry yeast– to help the bagel dough form and rise.

• Luke warm water– this needs to be between around 105ºF/ 40.5ºC and 115ºF / 46ºC; this will also help the yeast activate and bind the flour and other ingredients into a smooth, elastic bagel dough. On the rare occasion, you may need more water than listed in the recipe. The water called for in the recipe is a guide– your ultimate goal is to form a smooth bagel dough that is moist and firm.

• Bread flour – It contains a high protein content, perfect for making homemade bagels that are chewy. All-purpose flour works here too, they will be just as delicious– just not as chewy as ones made with bread flour (Read: New York-Style Bagel Recipe FAQ located below the recipe in this post for more information about flour alternatives for these homemade bagels).

• Fine-Grain Sea Salt– this adds the right amount of flavor to the bagels.

Resting Dough

Shaping and Boiling the Bagels

There are many methods in which you can shape a bagel; there is a more traditional method that many bagel shops use– you roll the bagel dough into logs and bind the ends together.

The method used here is done by simply poking the hole in the middle of taught rounds of bagel dough. Once that is done, the bagel rings are gently stretched to about a third of the diameter of the bagel.

After a short rest, each bagel is boiled. This gives the bagels their New York-Style signature delicious, chewy, and shiny crust.

Read more: New York-Style Bagel Recipe FAQ located below the recipe section in this post.

While you can opt to flavor your poaching liquid (there’s more information about this in the FAQ section), I keep it simple here and just use water and these come out perfect every time.

The Bagel Toppings

Favorite bagel toppings vary from person to person. Depending on the day, I like a good homemade everything bagel or a poppyseed bagel. I know many people who are partial to single toppings like minced onion or coarse salt. Whatever you like, definitely customize the toppings to match your tastes.

Everything bagel seasoning, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion or shallot, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, coarse salt, cinnamon sugar- these are just some of the many topping options you can go with to customize the taste of your bagels.

What to Serve the Bagels With

A proper New York-Style bagel always requires a schmear. What is a “schmear” you ask? It’s a generous slather of cream cheese. It’s practically a requirement, especially when these homemade bagels come out of the oven. However, there are multiple ways you can serve them– all of which I have listed within this post.

How to Make Homemade New York-Style Bagels

First, proof the yeast. Proofing basically means you’re activating the yeast. To do this, you will need to add sugar and yeast into luke warm water. After about 5 minutes, the yeast will bubble up; this indicates that the mixture is ready to stir until everything is properly dissolved.

Kneading Dough for New York-Style Bagel Recipe

Then, mix the bagel dough together. You can you can opt to make the bagel dough by hand (which I highly recommend if you’re making this recipe for the firs time), or you can do so with a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, on the lowest setting (for about 5 to 6 minutes). If you’re making a double batch you might not be able to use your stand mixer for kneading– refer to your manufacturer’s instructions.

Dough in hands

When mixing the bagel dough, you may or may not need the entirety of the water called for in the recipe. You want the bagel dough to be moist and firm after it is mixed. Sometimes you may need more water, depending on humidity, brand of flour, your altitude, climate, amongst many other things.

Once the dough has come together and has been kneaded, place the bagel dough in an oiled bowl to rest for an hour (about 2 hours if you’re using less yeast) or covered overnight in the refrigerator.

Once the bagel dough has rested, you will need to deflate it. You will know it has rested enough when you poke the dough with your finger and the impression remains. If it bounces back, the bagel dough has not risen enough.

If you allowed the bagel dough to rest in the refrigerator, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour before working with it.

Once deflated, divide the dough. It should be divided into 8 equal portions. Feel free to use a scale or eyeball it. You do not have to be exacting about this; just make sure they’re roughly even so that all the bagels bake at the same time.

Rolling Dough Balls for Bagels

After that, form the bagel dough portions into rounds. Don’t use flour for this step. This is going to sound more complicated than it is, but hold your hand in a C shape while cupping a portion of dough.

Press the dough against the work surface (remember to avoid flouring it) and move your hand and the dough in a slow, circular motion. Allow the irregular edge of the dough to pull onto itself, while decreasing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfectly smooth round ball forms.

Repeat this with the other portions. Have your eyes crossed? This probably does sound difficult at first, but essentially all you’re doing is making the dough round taut by pulling its sides in and keeping it round.

How to roll dough into rounds

Now, here comes the part when we shape the bagel dough! Working gently and firmly with the dough will result in perfectly smooth bagels.

Simply coat a finger with flour and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball. Then you stretch the rings out to about a third of the diameter of the bagel and place them onto a prepared baking sheet.

Shaping Dough for Bagels

It’s time to boil the bagels. The bagels need a little rest in between shaping and boiling. So, while the unbaked bagels rest, bring a large pot of water to a bubbling boil.

Once it has reached a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. You’ll need a slotted spoon or a skimmer to place the bagels into the water. Some folks like to use small squares of parchment that they cut up before hand– do what is most comfortable for you.

Handling the uncooked dough with the utmost care will preserve their shape as well.

Boil the bagels and don’t overcrowd the water. Boil as many bagels as you can comfortably fit into the pot. They will puff up quite a bit, so do keep in mind they do need some breathing room.

Once in the water, the bagels will float on the top. Let them sit for 1 minute, then gently flip them over to boil for another minute on the other side.

This will give them a nice crust and their signature New York-Style chew. You can go a little bit longer on the poach, as well. This will give them a stronger crust and chew– more on that in the recipe.

After boiling them, top the bagels! This is the time when you can let your creativity run free. You can use any or all of the topping options listed in the recipe.

Often times I do a combination of toppings to make a delicious homemade everything bagel or I sometimes just keep it plain or stick to one ingredient on each bagel. Be creative!

Bagel Toppings

Once the bagels have been topped, bake them. Depending if your oven is calibrated or not (I like to keep an oven thermometer in mine to ensure it’s always accurate), you will need to bake the bagels between 20-25 minutes. Until they’re uniformly golden brown.

Now, here is the difficult part (not really). You’re supposed to let these cool for at least a few minutes once they’re out of the oven, until you can handle them. If you’re impatient like me, I brave through it, slice one open and schmear some cream cheese on mine right away.

Take a bite… Oooh, child!

Homemade New York-Style Bagel Serving Suggestions

There is no right or wrong way to eat a bagel, but I’ve listed a few ideas and classic options you would enjoy. A schmear is a classic.

A bagel with lox is also another classic. If you’re looking for a good breakfast idea, go the New York City deli route and make yourself an Egg and Cheese Bagel (bacon is preferred, but optional).

Bagel with cream cheese

Bagel with cream cheese– either plain, or your choice of flavored cream cheese. A schmear is a New York classic, and it’s so good.

Bagel with butter– especially with homemade butter or a delicious French butter. Heavenly.

Bagel with butter and jam– more specifically homemade butter and homemade strawberry jam– a match made in heaven. Highly recommended!

Bagel with lox– add a schmear of cream cheese, lox on top, a slice of fresh tomato, red onion, thinly sliced cucumbers, and some deliciously briney capers. Perfection.

Bagel with Avocado– a nice, healthy option. Toast the bagel, smash a ripe avocado on top, season to your liking, and serve it. Bacon is perfect on top, if you’re into that. Leftover guacamole is also delicious.

Bagel with Egg and Cheese– this is New York City deli / bodega-style, peeps. Toast the bagel. Butter it lightly. Make an egg and cheese omelet to your liking. Or fry an egg up, over easy, season it with salt and pepper, top it with cheese and bacon. Add ketchup, if you’re into it; add aioli, hot sauce, sriracha, sambal olek, or a combination thereof if you’d prefer that. Cut it in half. You’ll thank me later.

New York Deli Egg and Cheese on a Bagel

More Everyday Baking Recipes

Yield: Makes 8 medium-sized bagels

New York-Style Bagel Recipe

New York-Style Bagel Recipe

As a native New Yorker, I know there's nothing better than a fresh bagel schmeared with cream cheese. I no longer live in New York City, and I constantly crave the good old-fashioned bagels I grew up on– flavorful, modestly sweet, chewy ones with soft, shiny crusts.

These bagels are made the classic way: You boil them in water for a couple of minutes before you bake them. This is probably one of the most bizarre things a person can do to the dough, but it works. So, if good bagels cannot be found where you live, worry no more; this recipe is infinitely adaptable, and the little bit of effort you put into making these bagels is well worth it.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


  • 2 teaspoons / 6 g active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ teaspoons / 19 g granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups / 300 ml warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup /60 ml more)
  • 3 ½ cups / 440 g bread flour or high gluten flour (you may need up to 1/2 cup / 60g for kneading)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons / 6 g salt
  • Optional Toppings: (Refer to Notes)


  1. In ½ cup /120ml of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture until it all dissolves in the water.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  3. Pour 1/3 cup / 80ml of warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water (the scant 1/2 cup / 100ml that is remaining), as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add an additional couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup/60ml of water. You want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
  5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  8. After shaping the bagels and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and then flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York-Style bagel with this option).
  10. If you want to add toppings to your bagels, do so as you take them out of the water. Alternatively, you can use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before baking the bagels. You may want to use the “Optional Toppings” listed above to top the bagels. Use just one topping, or a combination to make your own Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown (I usually err on the side of 20 minutes).
  13. Cool on a wire rack (Or, if you’re impatient like I am, slice one of these babies open and spread on some of your favorite cream cheese or softened butter. Take a bite… Oh babyyy!)


Optional Toppings:

Caraway seeds, cinnamon sugar, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, or a mix of your favorite flavors.

Water measurement & similar concerns:

The recipe measurements for the water in the recipe is a guide; not all 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) will be used unless you need it. This is because of environmental factors (humidity, temperature, altitude, etc.) and the flour you are using. The most important thing when making the dough is to make sure it is homogenous and smooth– do not get caught up on the water measurement. If the dough is too firm, add in more water to ensure the dough is not dry and flaky– this has to be done when mixing the dough, not after you’ve allowed it to rise.

For all other concerns, please review past comments and refer to the FAQ below the recipe card for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:


8 Medium-Sized Bagels

Serving Size:

1 Bagel

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228.4Trans Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 441mgCarbohydrates: 44.4gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 2.4gProtein: 6g

New York-Style Bagel Recipe: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following is a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions I receive about this New York-Style Bagel Recipe. You will find answers to your questions about Yeast, types of flour you can use, and everything you may need to keep in mind when it comes to preparing this homemade bagel recipe and storing the bagels properly.

The Yeast

• Can I use fresh yeast?

If you are unable to get active dry or instant yeast, you can use fresh yeast. The general rule of thumb is a ratio of 2.5:1, fresh to active dry. As the amount of active dry yeast used in the recipe is only 6 grams, you would need about 15 grams of fresh yeast.

When substituting fresh yeast, you may want to make a few adjustments to the method; fresh yeast does not need to be proofed like active dry yeast (the water, sugar, and yeast step will be unnecessary in this case), so do keep that in mind. But, as some have told me, they’ve simply substituted fresh yeast for the active dry yeast and followed the steps as directed without any issues.

• Can I use instant yeast for this bagels recipe?

You can. Substitute an equal amount. There’s no need to proof the yeast, so add the yeast to the flour with the sugar and jump straight to making the dough.

• I prefer less of a yeasty bread-like flavor, how can I achieve that?

You can reduce the amount of active dry yeast to 1 teaspoon in the recipe; do note that you will have to double the rising time to about 2 hours, instead.

Types of Flour

• What if I can’t find bread flour? Can I substitute regular (all-purpose) flour?

If you don’t have access to bread flour, it is okay to use all-purpose flour; they will still come out wonderfully. Alternatively, if you can find vital wheat gluten (it’s usually carried at health food stores), add 4 teaspoons to the all-purpose flour, and you should have a good substitute for the bread flour called for in the recipe.

• Can I make bagels with whole-wheat flour?

Yes, simply use half whole-wheat flour and half bread flour. If you like a milder tasting bagel, you can use white whole-wheat flour.

• Can I use spelt flour for bagels?

Yes. Use 2 cups / 255 g whole-wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups / 315 g sifted spelt four. Alternatively, readers have told me that they’ve made the bagels entirely out of spelt flour with great success.


• How hot should the water be to proof the yeast?

The water should ideally be between 105F / 40.5C – 115F / 46C.

• Can I prepare the bagel dough in my bread maker or KitchenAid / stand mixer?

You can absolutely use either. For a stand mixer: use the hook attachment, and knead the dough on the lowest setting. Do this for 5 to 6 minutes until smooth and springy. If you’re making a double batch, you might not be able to use your stand mixer for kneading– refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

• My bagels aren’t smooth. What did I do wrong?

There’s two factors that come into play here: the way the dough is handled and the water the dough is boiled in. Being gentle is crucial to the formation of smooth looking bagels. The less you handle it, the smoother it will be. If you squeeze the dough roughly, it’ll turn out wrinkly. Like many folks, I bake these bagels a lot, and some batches come out smooth and gorgeous, and on bad days some come out wrinkly. It’s all about how you handle the dough, but in the end- it always tastes amazing!

When it comes to boiling, make sure the water is not at a rolling boil; this will also prevent them from looking rough.

• How can I achiece an even shinier, sweeter bagel? Can I use barley malt or honey?

Yes! This will achieve a slightly sweeter and shinier product. Use about 1 teaspoon of barley malt in the dough and a generous tablespoon in the pot of boiling water. Because this is not easily found, I have not made it a required ingredient for the recipe. However, it does add a delicious taste. Alternatively, you can use a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and/ or honey in the boiling water to achieve a similar effect.

• Do the bagels need an eggwash before they go into the oven?

No, an egg wash is not necessary, though it does give a beautiful sheen to the bagels. The bagels will be just as beautiful and delicious if you forego the egg wash– this is especially a great option for vegans.

Once boiled, add toppings to the wet, unbaked bagels immediately so that the toppings stick.

• My bagels stuck to my pan. What can I do to prevent this in the future?

The original recipe calls for simply using an oiled pan (I’ve edited it). Like many folks, I am paranoid about things sticking to pans, so I use parchment paper or a silpat baking mat (as shown in this post). Feel free to do the same. I do oil the parchment just a bit to add a little bit of extra non-stick protection, but it’s not necessary.

• I live at high elevation, what can I do to ensure these come out properly?

I’ve been told by bakers who live at a higher elevation that this recipe works well as is, however I know that high-altitude baking, especially with yeast, can be a headache as dough tends to rise about 25 to 50 percent quicker than at lower altitudes, so do keep that in mind.

A sure-fire way to ensure that the finished product is not very dense would be to reduce the amount of yeast to 1 teaspoon and allow the dough to rise for the recommended time in the recipe. If the dough has doubled in size after 1-hour, it’s good to start working with. If not, continue to let it rise, checking on it every 15 minutes until doubled in size. Your altitude, brand of flour, humidity, and room temperature are factors that would make the rising times vary.

• Can I make the bagels bigger?

You can, just keep in mind that they will need longer to bake, so check on them every few minutes past the 20 minute mark until they are uniformly golden brown.

Make Ahead and Storage

• How can I make the dough ahead of time? Can I refrigerate the dough over night?

The best means of making the dough ahead of time would be to prepare it, cover its container with plastic wrap, and rest it over night in the refrigerator. This is called a cold-rise. I often do this and I love this method because it allows the dough to achieve a more complex flavor. If you are doing a cold rise, be sure to allow the dough about 1/2 hour to come to room temperature before working with it.

• Can I par-bake the bagels for later baking?

Yes, you can bake them until they are a faint gold tinge (about 10-15 minutes). Cool the par-baked bagels completely before storing them in a resealable bag to be stored in the freezer. To be bake from frozen, bake the bagels for an additional 10-15 minutes, until soft and golden brown.

• Can I freeze the bagels? Do they keep well?

Once cool, out of the oven, you can freeze the bagels without any issues. Slice them and then freeze them in a freezer-safe plastic bag, and let them thaw when needed. If you’re planning on toasting them, thawing them is unnecessary.

• How long do the bagels stay fresh for?

The bagels will keep in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Updated May 14th, 2020 – As one of the most popular recipes here and in my book, I’ve received many questions about this bagel recipe. For your convenience, I’ve updated the post with photos, more information, and answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.

Have another question? Leave a comment below!


  • agustina
    December 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I live in Argentina and I havent had a bagel in 6 months since I came back from America… untin tonight! I made them and they are absolutely AMAZING thank you veeeeery much

  • Frugal in WV
    December 17, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Thanks for the great bagel recipe! I made these last week and they were a huge hit with everyone in my house :)

  • Mary
    December 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Hi, I was looking online for an easy bagel recipe, and your recipe caught my eye. Made the bagels and boy, are they good! Mine are not picture perfect, but certainly worth the effort. :-)
    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. It’s definitely a keeper! Already planning to make more bagels soon.

    Have also shared your recipe link with like-minded friends.

    Thanks again.

  • Karlina
    December 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    My three daughters and I made this recipe and the bagels were excellent. We tripled the recipe and used spelt flour mixed with all purpose flour because we couldn’t find organic bread flour where we live. We homeschool and have baking days every Friday. We will be making a big batch of these bagels every Friday! Thank you!

    • kamran
      December 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Karlina- Spelt Flour in this recipe sounds so interesting! Next batch, I’m using some spelt flour. I suspect that if you made these only with all-purpose flour, they would have been fine, but I’m sure that spelt flour made these bagels even more extraordinary than they are! Thanks for the great comment, and happy holidays! :)

  • Mel
    December 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    These bagels are first thing I’ve ever baked in my LIFE that came out stellar, and I claim no part of that- this recipe is wonderful and wonderfully forgiving- which is really important to me personally. My family, a picky group of eaters aged 7 to 70, loved them as well and were so impressed! They looked a little pale after 20 minutes of baking so I broiled them for 1 minute and viola! gorgeous golden color on the top.
    Thank you so so so so much for sharing this recipe. I’m already on my third batch and I am gonna make these forever.

    • kamran
      December 23, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Mel, I am so glad that everyone enjoyed them! Happy Holidays and happy baking! :)

  • sally
    December 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    My dough didn’t rise at all. Tried the recipe twice Christmas morning. I’m so disappointed! I ruined Christmas breakfast :( Any suggestions on why these didn’t rise?

    • kamran
      December 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      Sally, I truly apologize that your Christmas breakfast was ruined. There are many reasons for this. I suspect that the yeast you used was either expired, or you killed it by adding water that might have been too hot. Because I wasn’t in the kitchen with you, and you didn’t share the details of your process, I can’t tell you what exactly happened, but I suspect the yeast was either bad/killed. Or your kitchen was a bit too cold. Dough will rise in the cold, it’ll just take longer… Ideally, however, you should rise the dough in a warm environment. Feel free to email me what your process was, and what you may have been confused about in the recipe, and I’ll be happy to try and figure out why your bagel dough didn’t turn out the way it should have.

  • sally
    December 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for the advice. I live in Florida and it was hot today so that wasn’t the problem. I just bought the yeast yesterday so I think it should have been okay. How warm does the water need to be? I thought the temp was okay but maybe it was too hot. I might try one more time with half a batch. If you tell me a water temp then I’ll make sure it isn’t too hot. Thanks again for the advice. I’m a bagel lover so I want to get this right :)

    • kamran
      December 26, 2011 at 12:31 am

      Hi Sally- the water, ideally, should be between 100ºF and 115ºF. I’d make sure of a few things… That you’re not substituting anything in the recipe. That you’re using active dry yeast (dry active yeast), that you’re actually putting sugar with the yeast (no sugar substitutes), and not salt- salt will kill the yeast if you’re using that instead of the sugar.

      Also, depending on the weather, it could take anywhere between 1 hour to 2 hours at room temperature for your dough to rise. I like to mark the container / bowl I’m using with a rubber band / a piece of masking tape to show where I start off at and where I should end up… If you don’t see that the dough is rising, the yeast is either dead, or it’s freezing in your home (which I don’t think is the problem here; you’re in Florida…). If your house is a bit chilly, I’d do this- in a large mug, boil some water in your microwave, and stick the bowl of dough in there (with the mug still inside the microwave). It’ll create a pretty good environment for the dough to rise in. In the other comments, commenters have offered other ways that they rise their dough (I’d read through them and use one that you feel might be right). I can’t imagine what’s not allowing your dough to rise, but I hope one of the tips I’ve mentioned helps. If not, please do tell me everything you did while making the recipe, and I’ll try to figure it all out from there. All the best!

  • sally
    December 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll give it another chance sometime this week I hope and let you know :)

  • Sean
    December 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you SO much for this recipe…

    I was craving bagels as don’t have them often here in New Zealand but I would have them all the time when visiting friends in the states. So, to the wonderous google and what do I find? Your recipe…

    So, I followed the recipe exactly and they came out great. I opted for the 2 min boiling either side as think the slight chewyness is part of the bagel charm!..

    Have just sliced a bagel in half and lightly toasted it and then had butter and marmite! yummm….

    Thanks again.

  • sally
    December 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

    It worked this time!!! I think I had the water too hot. I have 4 cheese and 4 cranberry bagels in the oven. Can’t wait to eat one!!!

  • Greg
    December 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Bagels! I’ve just made this recipe and the result was awesome. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for 5 years now and I’ve never had a ‘real’ bagel here until now.
    One baking issue…I greased the cooking sheet like in the recipe but they stuck like mad to the pan. Maybe next time I’ll try with cornmeal/polenta on the sheet instead of oil. Otherwise they were as good as any NY bagel I’ve had!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Uly
    December 31, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I made these for lunch yesterday and they came out perfect. I had two right out of the oven one w/ vegan cream cheese and the other w/ vegan butter yummmmm!!!! – can’t talk, I’m savoring it in my head – I can see now how these can quickly become dangerous to my silhouette hahahaah. When my husband came home,I offered him a bagel sandwich for dinner and then he wanted another one just plain w/ butter to enjoy. I reheated mine in the oven after spraying them with a bit of water (that brought the crunch and that fresh out of the oven feel again)…his first complaint was, “You mean we could have been eating these awesome bagels all this time and you’ve never made them for me?” “Actually, now that I think about it, you’ve never made bagels before!!!”

    So needless to say, thank you, thank you, thank you; your recipe was a big hit and I’ll definitely make these again. Of course, you should know that I’ll also be blaming you for my expanding waistband hahahaa. Happy New Year and Happy Baking!!!!;-)

    • kamran
      December 31, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Hi Uly- I’m so glad you like them so much! Happy New Year! :)

  • Steve
    January 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Any adjustments needed at 4800 ft in elevation? I made some and they were really good tasting but I couldn’t develop the crusty and shiny outside. They seemed to not be wanting the 2 minutes in the kettle, I also added barly malt to the pot for the shine. What’s your suggestions? Cut down yeast? Lower proof time?
    Thanks ST

    • kamran
      January 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      I’d definitely cut down on the proof time. Instead of doubling the dough in size, I’d let it rise 1/3 the size… I hope that helps!

  • Sam
    January 5, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Would only using all purpose flour work? It’s all I can seem to find. Thanks in advance for the help.

  • Adrianne
    January 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Im making these right now, I can already tell they are going to be awesome! Thanks!

  • Ron
    January 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Happily these are the real thing as we moved from NY, albeit upstate, to central Michigan and real bagels are here unknown. In the major local grocery when I asked the whereabouts of lox I heard, “Do you mean leeks ?”, “No lox, thin slices of smoked salmon”. Finally found them but had to ask 3 different clerks. Made the bagels using Con-Agra Kyrol premium high gluten bread flour in my high powered 12 cup Cuisinart FP using the plastic dough blade. The FP works very well to produce extremely elastic dough with the added benefit that the mechanical energy from the 1000w motor warms the dough substantially. Really churned the dough until like taffy and could stretch it into a thin balloon like layer. A method unheard of in most bread cookbooks but one I learned from my good friend who makes the best European Artisan breads on Park Ave. in Rochester NY.

    Cut the yeast back to 1 tsp on my second batch as I prefer less of the yeasty bread like flavor that I found in the first batch. Did slow down the rise so I doubled the time. Got rid of the yeasty taste.

    Completely deflate the dough before rolling into balls to form the rounds. Otherwise the bagels are not correctly dense and loose some of their authentic texture.

    Easy to make and truly NYC style.

  • Sarah G
    January 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Do you have any advice on which steps you could do the night before? I did everything up to shaping the bagels, I then put them in the fridge on the tray. A few hours later I checked on them and they had swelled and closed up their holes, so were in danger of overproofing (maybe my fridge isn’t cold enough to retard them). I was hoping to do as much as possible the night before and just do the boiling and baking the next morning, but maybe it’s not possible?

    • kamran
      January 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Hi Sarah- I think that freezing the shaped dough might work (haven’t tried it, though). However, like I mentioned in a previous comment (Comment 27), you can par-bake the bagels the night before, and then in the morning finish baking them. There’s also the option of making the dough the night before, and popping it in the refrigerator overnight for a cold rise…

  • Greg
    January 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    For those of you who also had problems with sticking, try setting the just-boiled bagels on a wire rack or a plate to drain off any extra water before putting them on the cooking sheet. Also, instead of oiling the cooking sheet, try a thin layer of polenta or cornmeal.

    I just made these for the second time this way and they didn’t stick at all. Reminded me of the sitzel bagels my grandmother used to bring for Sunday morning brunch.

  • HGspecialist
    January 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Was never fond of bagels, but this one sound delicious!

  • Hannah Michael
    January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Hey! I saw these and thought they looked sooooo good! I love bagels, and right now I am doing exam week at my college~ And I NEED these. But when I made them, the bagels didn’t float like they were supposed to…I didn’t use high gluten flour, just plain normal…Could this have effected that? Thanks!

    • kamran
      January 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Hannah- I suspect your problem was just that the dough hadn’t risen enough. Sometimes, depending on the temperature of the kitchen, etc. the dough might take a little longer to double… What I like to do is mark the container / bowl I’m using with a rubber band / a piece of masking tape to show where I start off at and where I should end up… That way, you know the dough has risen properly, and won’t sink when you get to boiling the bagels.

  • Sheryl Taylor
    January 18, 2012 at 4:55 am

    I used to make bagels years ago when I worked as a baker. I no longer have that delicious recipe, but it was a commercial quantity and in Imperial units. I’m dying to try your recipe, but have always believed that authentic bagels use malt syrup instead of sugar. Do you have any idea what the substitution amount would be? Thanks!

  • Tricia
    January 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Hi there! I’m an expat living in Australia and dying to try your recipe! Thank you very much.

  • Lori Meszaros
    January 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Another expat living in Australia, this is my second time making these bagels and my family LOVES them! I’m kind of a health nut and always trying to find good food for my kids so this time I made a double batch using wholemeal (whole wheat) flour and wholemeal spelt flour- equal parts of both and used coconut sugar with pink himilian rock salt and topped half of them with black and white sesame seeds and the other half with a Pura Veda blend from the health food store. Super yummy and great to pack into my kids school lunches! Thanks for the amazing recipe!!

  • Mary
    February 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Eight is not Enough – Thanks for this recipe, living in Italy, my children are loving all the bread, but missing bagels (Montreal Style from Canada), so we were so excited to give this recipe a go, to great success, they have barely been out of the oven an hour and there are only 3 left!

  • Brainless Housewife
    February 11, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Just made these and they were outstanding! No more buying bagels!

  • Isabel
    February 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Fantasic & authentic! Thanks so much. We here in Portugal don’t have bagel bakers, but many bagel fans. Absolutely loved the recipe – easy and quick. I used whole grain flour and the bagels were light nonetheless! My friends and family thank you, too!

  • aezrina
    February 14, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Hi Kamran,
    After reading all the fantastic reviews, I can’t wait to try it myself. I’m from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was in the U.S. (Providence) for my degree and bagels were my staple breakfast – quick and yummy! I can imagine the crunchy sides and soft centres biting into it…thanks!

  • nia
    February 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    hi! I´m from argentina and I was looking for a beigel receipe and I found yours! It has so many good reviews that I´m going to try it, tomorrow! promise that I´ll tell you how delicious they were! cheers!

  • Jess
    February 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    These turned out beautifully! They tasted fantastic and were elastic and fluffy on the inside. My only trouble was with getting the bagels to look smooth and perfect, they tended to have a cracked look when I was forming them, maybe I used too much flour for dusting. Either way, they came out looking nice, very rustic!

  • Katrina
    February 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Just faboulous!! Thank you for the recipe and all the other instructions!! I just finished making them and I’m having one as I type this. I followed all the steps just as you had them but I did get creative with the toppings – I put garlic and cheddard on top. I will need to work on perfecting the shape so I’ll definitely be making this again!!Thanks!

  • jeanine
    February 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just made these and look like a bunch of ugly little buggers, but they taste absolutely incredible. I added in about 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of granulated sugar, and about 2/3 c of sultana raisins. Ate one hot out of the oven with just a little bit of butter. Mmm.

    I have a second batch of dough rising right now, made with some whole wheat flour and chopped rosemary, likely to be topped with some grated cheddar cheese partially through the baking.

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I’m really excited to experiment with it some more!

  • Erica
    February 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    After reading the recipe and realizing I could probably make these I decided to go for it. The dough is almost done resting and I’m super excited. I haven’t had a good, fresh bagel in a long time. Grocery store bagels just don’t cut it. Thanks for this recipe!!

  • Paul
    March 3, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Thanks a million for this recipe, second batch in the oven right now. Stranded in Sweden without hope of a decent bagel, this is a Godsent…

  • RJ
    March 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    The 20/30somethings group at my church made these during their weekly ‘learn how to cook from scratch’ worship gathering but I wasn’t able to join them because of work…I tried making them at home today but I couldn’t get the dough to a point where it was “smooth and elastic” (step 4) I kneaded in a lot of flour and it was definitly firm, and I’d say elastic, but not smooth…any thoughts on how I screwed up?

  • nelinda
    March 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Your bagel recipe looks wonderful and I’d love to try it. But I only have the quick-rise instant yeast in the house. Can I use this? or do I need to by the traditional kind?

  • Ronda
    March 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Found this recipe, and love it. I’ve got a double batch in the works right now. The taste is terrific, they rise well. Thank you!

  • Rebecca
    March 21, 2012 at 1:12 am

    I made these with whole spelt flour and they are fantastic! Thank you so much! I haven’t had bagels in years and thought I’d never be able to make them myself to suit my allergies bit this recipe is easy to adjust!

  • jan
    March 24, 2012 at 2:56 am

    I made these today and we all agreed that they are the best we’ve ever had. I have only made bagels once before in my life, but have no desire to buy them again after tasting these. Thank you very much!

    I used regular unbleached white flour and used a Tablespoon of yeast.

    To half of the dough I added soaked raisins and cinnamon just before forming into balls.

    After the boiling stage I put the bagels on a rack to drain a bit. I just gently rubbed a little olive oil on the plain bagels before adding sesame seeds to the top. That worked great. To the cinnamon-raisin bagels I didn’t use a wash or oil – I just sprinkled on a cinnamon sugar mix.

    I always oil my cookie sheet before sprinkling cornmeal or polentia on it. It always tastes great and never sticks. I do the same thing when I make that 5 minute artesian bread found on youtube.

  • jan
    March 24, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I want to add that I started the recipe differently than you did, while using the same ingredients.

    I put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a bowl and mixed those dry ingredients together and then added the warm water. (The kind of warm you test on your wrist and in which you would be willing to bathe a baby.)

    I am 60 and have baked bread for years. You don’t need those extra steps unless you have some reason to mistrust the yeast. I also always keep my yeast in the freezer until I use it.

    If you have made bread before, it is normally not difficult to knead by hand, but this WAS more difficult. I’m sure that is what you must accomplish in order for this to be successful.

  • Ingrid
    March 27, 2012 at 2:26 am

    I just made your bagels – have never made bagels before, and generally hate baking with yeast. OMG they came out well! And it wasn’t hard at all, I procrastinated quite a bit before attempting the shaping and boiling, but it didn’t seem the dough got any worse off. With some Parma ham, Parmesan, lettuce and a mixture of olive oil and maple syrup – I’ll always have bagels in my freezer from now on!

  • Egg
    March 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. These bagels are the best I’ve ever tasted. I can’t believe I ever liked shop-bought bagels!

  • Lisa C
    March 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! A million times over.. I thank you. Four weeks ago I stumbled upon a recipe for bread machine bagels posted on I always wanted to make my own bagels but was too scared. It seemed so easy but after 3 consecutive failures in weekend baking I decided I should try it by hand before I call it quits. I’ve never made a bread dough by hand (aside from my Irish soda bread but that doesn’t have yeast.. Big deal) I got a bread machine because I thought it was too complicated.. You’ve now shown me how wrong I was. Theses bagels came out perfect! Absolutely perfect! And coming from someone who grew up and still lives in Bergen county NJ (we take our bagels even more seriously than NYC) it means a alot. They were crunchy on the outside and just the right amount of dense and chewy inside. I just hope my boyfriend doesn’t get too upset when he finds out the bread machine he got me for Christmas isn’t getting as much use.

  • Lisa C
    March 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Ohh! I meant to ask! How would you go about tweaking the recipe for cinnamon raisin bagels?

  • RJ
    April 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Lisa, I made a batch for my mom with about 2Tbsp cinnamon in with the dry goods and a couple handfuls of raisins in when the dough starts coming together…easy peasy and she loved them

  • torben
    April 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I made these in Denmark. I am now official not in trouble when my jewis mother inlaw comes visit. Thank you

  • Justin Barnes
    April 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Expat from DC, living in the Kingdom of Tonga. Couldn’t sleep, it’s 6am and impatiently waiting for my dough to rise. Seriously very excited.

    I used wholemeal flour – and a pinch of garlic powder, but otherwise it’s all you.

    Thanks for doing this, and sharing. <3

  • Andrea
    April 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

    OMG! I loved these. Totally amazing, I don’t think I will buy bagels again. I also think it is the first thing I have baked properly! I was so proud:) Great recipe:) I used black sesame seeds, garlic and Onion Flakes and Salt. Yum.

    I also added a single yolk to one batch and that was super great as well.

  • Mike OD
    April 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    LOVED EM thank you. enjoyed em in the botanical gardens with nutella and cream cheese. DERICIOUS

  • Alex
    April 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for this recipe!!! Easy recipe to follow, I just had YUMMY garlic bagels and cream cheese. I also, like many others, live outside of the US, and can’t get reasonable bagels anywhere. So a huge thank you. I wonder if I have time to make another batch tomorrow… :-)

  • lewey
    April 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Dear kamran
    Thank you for your recipe, I made some great bagels very delicious, however I couldn’t make the shape like your ones which are very smoothly, very round, Could you please to tell me how can I do it? Many thanks.


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