Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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?

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© 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!

175 comments

  1. Hi Sally, I love your blog and it is my go-to website whenever I need a recipe! I was thinking about making bagels earlier today, so I logged onto your website and found this recipe! I just have one question. If I were to make plain bagels, would I still need to do the egg wash? This would be with no toppings. Also, I was thinking about making cheddar bagels by adding shredded cheddar cheese to the top. Would you recommend putting the cheese onto the bagels before baking? Or midway through the baking process should I take them out and add the cheese. I don’t want to burn the cheese. Would I need an egg wash for this as well? I want to make these for a very close friend who is going through a very hard phase of cancer currently (who is like me and loves bagels!!!). Thanks!

    • Oh, I saw that another commenter said she’d like to make cheese bagels as well by adding cheese to the dough. I just want to add cheese to the top. Thanks!

    • I would still do the egg wash, yes. Just to get that crisp, shiny “crust” like bagels usually have. I recommend putting cheese on top of the bagel halfway through baking. That way (you guessed it!) it will not burn.

  2. I finally got around to making these last night – served them with split pea soup. DEVOURED!
    My husband said we have no reason to go to NY anymore. LOL!!!
    Thanks Sally and Happy New Year

  3. OMG Sally. I just made these and they came out amazing! Instead of everything seasonings I left half plain, and dipped the other half in cinnamon sugar! I’ll never go to Brueggers again.

  4. Hi Sally! so ive been making bagels for years, the kind with the baking soda solution. this time i wanted to try something new, since the bagels i make are good but never look and taste like bagel store ones. When i saw your recipe i was intrigued by the honey so i decided to try these. Firstly, i loved how easy they are to make (and i made them by hand!) and loved the consistency of the dough. i was having a good feeling about them! when the fam tried them everyone lovvvved them!! dh says they are better than dunkin donuts bagels! so this is my new go to recipe! thanks again for enhancing our lives with delicious recipes!! 

  5. Hi Sally,

    Happy New Year!!  First, I will be at your event next Thursday night at the Wayne Art Center.  I am so excited to meet you!!

    During the epic blizzard, I made these bagels for the second time…they are simply amazing! I noticed that when I roll them into a ball, the dough doesn’t stay “smooth” and some of my bagels look really funny.  Do you have any tips?  Should I mix the dough longer?

    Thanks in advance!  See you next week!!  🙂

    Krista

  6. Sally! I made these bagels this morning and cried tears of joy when I bit into one for the first time! I am a New Yorker but have lived in Boston for the past 6 years and miss my weekend tradition of Sunday morning bagels.  Thanks to you, this is possible! Thanks so much! 

  7. These turned out delicious. Any idea if you could complete the recipe through the water bath stage and then bake them the next day? Thanks. 

    • That *should* be ok, but I’ve never done it before to be honest!

      • I’ve made these twice that way (dough on Sat pm, rest overnight in the fridge, balm take it out and let come to room temp the next morning before shaping & baking). They’ve worked perfectly! I used regular active yeast, not rapid rise if that’s of any interest to you. Hope that helps!
        As an aside: My little boys won’t eat ‘those other breads’ (refrigerator bagels) anymore and these have been a huge hit with family and friends! Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. Can the seeds be combined with flour and mixed in with dough?

  9. You are a legend Sally. I can’t wait to make them. 

  10. OMG Sally. I was just rereading this post and trying to work out how to adapt it make cinnamon ones and then I see you are putting up a recipe, YAYYYYYYYYY. So excited.

  11. Made these today without any toppings and they turned out great even though they were a little flat. I made the center around 2 inches and I think that was a little big, so next time I’ll be sure to make the hole smaller. They were still a hit with my family though!

    • The flatness of the bagel may have to do with the flour being too moist (add a lil more flour then). It may be easier to work with the dough when it’s softer, but it seems to only make my bagels flat as well. It’s something I need to work on myself 🙂 I still love to eat them! 🙂 

  12. I’ve made these twice now, to great success. However, instead of boiling them with honey/malted barley syrup, I boiled them in equal parts BEER and water. Bagel shop here in Philly does it that way, and it worked great.

  13. Hi Sally! Thank you for the recipe. My bagels are in the oven and they sure are looking good.
    Had no eggs today so instead I brushed them with milk and then topped with lots of sesame seeds. For the fillings I’ve got some Philadelphia cream cheese, smoked ham, pickles, tomatoes and gouda cheese. This can only be heaven on earth.

    Oh, and I want to see my boyfriend’s face when he comes home from work (he LOVES your Hawaiian pizza, we have it EVERY Saturday with a hint of BBQ sauce).

    Regards,
    Linda

  14. Is this doable without a hook thing or a bread machine? My child labourers are capable of kneading for hours. 🙂

    • Ack! Sorry, never mind – I just saw the last note. I should have known you would already have answered the question. Child labour it is! (“And then we are going to boil them in honey and water -” “WHAT!!!” They’re already obsessed with this recipe, so I was worried we couldn’t make bagels after all).

  15. Thank You for the Everything recipe, esp for telling me the combo of spices! It’s the next type I’m going to make. The only kind of bagels I’ve made already is the Brooklyn “Bagel Store’s” Rainbow bagels! And that’s because I miss my NYC (their bagels are pretty expensive too, even if I did visit). Making my own, with your help is an awesome alternative!

  16. Sally,

    Is quick rise yeast the same as instant yeast?

    • Yes. “Quick yeast” or “fast rising yeast” is the same as instant yeast.

      • Can’t wait to try these. Everything bagels are my fav! Thanks for always getting back to your readers!!!

  17. This is the third bagel recipe I’ve tried.  It’s the only one I will use from now on!  They were perfect!  Have loved everything I have made from your website.  Thank you!

  18. just tried these for the first time today, they came out Amazing! thanks for the easy recipe:)

  19. Sally,

    How long do you think these will stay, if not fresh, edible, before they are too dry?  There are just two of us capable of eating full sized bagels and I’m trying to decide if I should make a half batch or a full batch since we don’t have enough freezer space if we have too many.  I would hate for any of them to go to waste!

  20. These are truly amazing!! I made them today and they couldn’t have been easier. I made some with pepper jack cheese and jalapeños and then made a turkey sandwich with one. It was so so good! I love your blog!! 

  21. Thank you for this recipe Sally! Made bagels for the first time with your recipe today and absolutely in love! They look and taste great! So happy! Hard to find bread flour in Australia, all I could find was a 5kg bag. Bagels for days! Thank you xx 

  22. Sally, are these supposed to rise at all in the oven? Mine came out very airy and spongey. Is that how they are supposed to be? Were yours dense?

  23. “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.”

    Unfortunately for me barley malt syrup is not available in my country. Can you please elaborate on your alternative method? How much brown sugar should I put in the dough and how much honey should I put in the water bath? Are these separate methods or part of one method?

  24. Ive been eyeing this recipe for weeks now. But when I finally decided to do this I’ve runned out of bread flour. Is it possible to use whole wheat flour? If yes, is it the same as the recipe? Thanks! I am an avid fan of your works! Tried a lot of your recipe already and my family ALWAYS LOVED it.xx

  25. Barley syrup is also called malt extract and is a common ingredient used for homebrewing beer. So go check out your local homebrew shop!

  26. Thank you for posting this recipe. There isn’t a good bagel place around my new home and I love me some bagels. I figured I give home made bagels a try. I followed your directions and they came out perfectly. I’ve eaten two already today. I’m thinking I’ll be making these at least once a week. Thanks again.

  27. How long are the bagels good for? (Without freezing). About 5 days? 7? Also how long would you recommend defrosting a bagel before eating it?

  28. I have never made any type of homemade breads. I just made your bagels. OMG! Amazingly easy and awesomely delicious. I will never buy store brands again 🙂 TYVM for sharing.

  29. The recipe looks great. Would you mind also giving the measurements in grams? Thanks!

  30. Has anyone tried these with whole wheat flour?

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