Homemade Everything Bagels with Step-by-Step Photos

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Hello hello! So, I’m all sorts of hyped up to share some Seattle photos with you on my photography blog today. I was in Seattle on my book tour two weeks ago and, as usual, that city was fabulous. Lots of pics!

Today’s recipe post is going to be a little different from the usual. We have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of photos to study. All this because I really, really want you to try making bagels at home.

First, I’m going show you all the step-by-step photos of the recipe. Then, the written out recipe will follow. Lots of tips and tricks in your scrolling future too!

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Everything bagels, one of my favorite varieties, took over my kitchen last month. And I’m thrilled to finally share how I make them. There are only so many ways to make bagels at home and have them turn out just right. I used a mix of kitchen-tested recipes as inspiration when I started my bagel making adventures. I tested several recipes before figuring out what I like best. These bagels are super chewy with signature bagel flavor and a crisp exterior. Mmm, so good! Incredible plain, toasted, with cream cheese, as a turkey sandwich, topped with avocado, a fried egg, etc.

My homemade everything bagels truly are some of the best I’ve ever eaten. I can’t believe I’m saying that. Never in 1 million years did I EVER think I would be able to make New York-style, bakery-worthy bagels in my own kitchen.

This is madness, I tell ya!

Homemade bagels aren’t too difficult as long as you take your time. By the 2nd time you make them, you’ll breeze right through all the steps, I promise.

Step Photos (a lot of them)

Here we go. Here is a photo of the first step. We’re using Red Star® Quick-rise™ here, but you can also use their Platinum Superior Baking Yeast®. Both help yield the best of the best bagels in this shortcut bagel recipe. You know I’m a fan of Red Star® and have been in all my years working with yeast. Consistently fantastic results, every time. So reliable.

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

In steps 2 and 3, we are making the dough. It’s a stiff, dry dough that will take some time in the mixing bowl. We are using a high protein flour— bread flour. High-protein flours require a little more time and effort to develop the gluten. So, about 8 minutes of mixing.

A high protein flour, like bread flour, is necessary for making bagels. It’s bread. So, bread flour. #rocketscience

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

In step 4, we are shaping the dough into a ball. After that, we are placing the dough into a greased bowl. See that right picture? That is the dough after 1 and 1/2 hours of rising. It is puffy, but not quite double in size. The exact bagel dough you want to work with.

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Now it’s time to shape the bagels. First, divide the ball of dough into 8 equal parts. It does not have to be perfect! Some can be a little smaller than others. Smooth them out as best you can.

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Making the bagel shape is so easy. There are plenty of ways to do it, but I just do it a super easy way. And my bagels still taste the same. Ha! Ok, so all you do is poke your finger through the center of the ball of dough making a hole. Then, poke two fingers through and widen the hole by moving your fingers in a circular motion. You want a hole that is about 1.5 – 2 inches wide.

As you can see, mine aren’t totally perfect looking. Like I said above, perfection is overrated.

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

The water bath, step 8, is the most crucial step in bagel making. The water bath is imperative for a couple reasons:

  1. Helps give the bagel its beautiful shine. Pretty. But looks aren’t everything. This shine is actually a result of the dough’s starches becoming gelatinized. These starches cook to a crisp, shiny coating in the oven. I learned this from my favorite baking bible book by Cooks Illustrated.
  2. Helps set the shape of the bagel by cooking the outer layer of dough– this allows the bagels to hold their shape in the oven.

For the water bath, we’ll combine water and honey. Honey? Yes. Honey will provide extra caramelization on the bagel’s crust as it bakes. Barley malt syrup works too– see recipe notes about this ingredient.

Water Bath for Homemade Bagels

Simply boil the bagels 2-3 at a time, for 1 minute on each side.

Water Bath for Homemade Bagels

In step 9, we’re going to top the bagels. First with an egg wash, then with the everything topping mixture which is a blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt.

Everything Bagel Seasoning

Feel free to use more of one seasoning than another– or leave one out if you don’t like it. Or use all poppy seeds, all sesame seeds, all coarse salt, etc. You can make so many bagel varieties from this homemade bagel recipe.

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Last step!! Bake those bagels at a high oven temperature until golden brown.

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

After you make the homemade everything bagels once, you’ll realize how simple they are. The instructions look overwhelming, but that is because I am incredibly thorough (nerd alert, as per the usual) so you won’t be confused or lost during the process. I encourage you to read through them completely before beginning.

SWEET, SWEET CARBS.

Homemade Everything Bagels

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons Red Star® Quick-rise™ yeast1
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tablespoon light or dark brown sugar (or barley malt syrup)2
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup honey or barley malt syrup2

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds3
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds3
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion3
  • 1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes3
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • egg wash: 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or bread machine (see notes)
  • Three large baking sheets (I own and love these)
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Large, wide pan (I use my 5.5 quart dutch oven)
  • Pastry brush

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough: Measure 1 and 1/2 cups warm water in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Whisk in the yeast until completely dissolved. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment4, beat the flour, brown sugar, and salt for a few seconds on medium speed. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the water/yeast making sure to scrape out any undissolved yeast with a spatula. You want all the yeast in the dough.
  3. Switch mixer to low speed and mix until all the flour has been worked into the dough. The dough will look shredded; that's ok. Once it appears this way, increase the speed to medium and beat for 8 minutes straight. The dough is incredibly stiff and will be somewhat dry; do not be tempted to add more liquid. During the 8 minutes, if the dough splits or breaks apart-- stop the mixer and fold the dough back together with your hands-- then continue to beat until smooth and cohesive.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or spray with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Loosely cover the bowl with aluminum foil or a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 and 1/2 hours. You want the dough to be larger and puffy, but not quite doubled in size. This could range from 70 - 100 minutes. Use your best judgement.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place a wire rack over a third baking sheet. Set all three aside.
  6. Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, gently punch it down if you notice any air bubbles. Turn it out onto a clean surface. It will still be a little stiff-- not sticky. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Just eyeball it. Makes no difference if one is slightly larger than another. Shape each piece into a ball and place 4 balls onto the two lined baking sheet. Then, hold up one ball then press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole. Poke two fingers through and widen the hole by rotating your fingers in a circular motion. You want the hole about 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter. Cover the shaped bagels with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest as you prep the water bath.
  7. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  8. Water bath: Fill a large, wide pan with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-high so that the water remains simmering. Drop bagels in, 2-3 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side. Transfer each bagel to the wire rack. They will look a little shriveled-- that's ok!
  9. Topping: Mix together the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt in  a bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel, then sprinkle each with the everything topping mixture. OR you can dip the top of each bagel directly into the everything topping mixture (that's what I do).
  10. Place 4 of the bagels back onto each of the lined baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You want the bagels to be a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow bagels to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Slice, toast, top, whatever you want! Enjoy your homemade everything bagels.
  12. Make ahead tip: These bagels freeze wonderfully! Freeze them for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm to your liking.

Recipe Notes:

  1. If not using an instant yeast, expect around a 50% longer rise in step 4.
  2. Barley malt syrup is a little hard to find, but truly gives bagels that traditional malty flavor we all know and love. Most natural food stores carry it. I offer alternatives such as brown sugar in the dough and honey in the water bath; I've made bagels with these alternatives AND with barley malt syrup and honestly love both versions.
  3. If you don't care for one of these seasonings, feel free to swap it out with another that you love. Or use all poppy seeds, all sesame seeds, all coarse salt, etc. The dried minced onion tends to burn so I don't recommend using more of that.
  4. Bread machine: Place the dough ingredients into the pan of the machine. Program the machine to dough or manual, then start. After 9-10 minutes, the dough will be quite stiff. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then continue with the recipe. By hand: If you do not have a mixer, you can mix the dough together in a large bowl then knead by hand for 15 minutes.

Adapted from a mix of recipes I've tried: King Arthur Flour, Cook's Illustrated, and Complete Book of Breads

Did you make a recipe?

Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Save your money and make bagels at home!

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

Coming tomorrow: homemade cinnamon raisin bagels!

This post is sponsored by Red Star®. All opinions are completely my own. Thanks for working with me, Red Star®!

Here is a complete step-by-step instructional tutorial (and recipe!) for homemade bagels. I love the everything flavor!

148 comments

  1. I just got on the baking train recently. This was my first time trying some bagels…I ran into an issue with the dough being incredible dry though. I added the 1.5 Cubs of the water mixture but then had to add more as the dough was still floury, wasn’t coming together at all. Do you know what could have caused this? I want to make pretty bagels! 

  2. These were AWESOME! Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Just made this in preparation for our New Year’s brunch tomorrow and they were amazing! My dough came out sticky, so I was worried, but they are great! They are definitely not perfect circles, but I call that character! I paired them with the Barefoot Contessa’s homemade veggie cream cheese and they are to die for! I’ve tried other bagel recipes before and they were duds and this was perfect. Thank you so much!

  4. Hi Sally!

    I followed your recipe to a T but they were way too sticky from the get-go, I followed through with it and they still tasted good but they were impossible to transfer and shape. Any ideas on what I did wrong? Should I have used a little extra flour when I noticed the dough wasn’t dry after beating?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Meredith! That’s always what I do when I find the dough is simply too wet and soft to even work with. More flour, little by little.

  5. Just made these…followed recipe to exact standard. No problems. Amazing. Used a ninja blender with dough paddle and it was done in less than 2 min, then I let proof for 90 minutes. I must confess they were ugly, but tasted better than our local bakery. My final take is that bagels are much easier than I imagined and Sally’s recipe and step by step guide give me the confidence to try other flavors. Thanks.

  6. The bagel recipe was great. Removing bagels from freezer the night before and put them in the refrigerature ,next morning to warm: my question is what temperature and for how long? 

  7. Would really like to see a place on your website to save this recipe and make personal notes. Like a recipe box. Just a thought… Have made these several times and is now one of my go-to recipes.

  8. I love these bagels, but they got really hard after 24 hours (even covered). Any recommendations for how to prevent this? Reduce cook time?

  9. Hi Sally, just want to let you know that I made these bagels tonight and they turned out amazing! I am a 66 yr old seasoned Jewish bread maker, with challah being my specialty, but I have never tried bagels! The everything ones are my favorite also and my daughter’s. Your recipe was just perfect and I followed it exactly. The only glitch was that I think my oven runs a bit hot so the 1st batch almost burned after 20 min. So for the 2nd batch I turned it down to 400. But even being almost too brown the 1st ones were so delish! I love your website and all your wonderful recipes. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. I’m fairly new to baking and this was my first attempt at bagels. I live in a place where they are very hard to find and when you do, they are more bread shaped like bagels. This recipe was fantastic. Easy to follow and the end result was (nearly) perfect!! Thank you….

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