Here’s a complete recipe and video tutorial for hot ‘n’ fresh homemade everything bagels. Skip the store-bought because bagels are easier than you think!
I dedicated the past month to homemade bagels. There are only so many ways to successfully make bagels, so I used a mix of kitchen-tested recipes as inspiration. I tested several recipes before figuring out what I like best. Never in 1 million years did I think I could EVER make New York bakery-style bagels in my own kitchen. It’s possible!
These everything bagels are:
- hot ‘n’ fresh
- extra chewy
- soft in the center
- golden brown
- complete with a salty, crunchy crust
Incredible plain, toasted, with cream cheese, as a turkey sandwich, topped with a fried egg, avocado, and so much more.
Homemade bagels aren’t 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!
How to Make Homemade Everything Bagels
The first step is to prepare the bagel dough. There’s only 5 ingredients.
- Warm Water: Liquid for the dough.
- Yeast: Allows the dough to rise. I recommend an instant or active dry yeast. Red Star Yeast is my #1 choice.
- Bread Flour: A high protein flour is necessary for making bagels. We want a dense and chewy texture, not soft and airy like cinnamon rolls. Bread flour is the only solution!
- Brown Sugar: Bakeries use barley malt syrup to sweeten the bagel dough– it can be a little difficult to find, but brown sugar is a fine substitute. Read more in my recipe notes below.
- Salt: Flavor.
The bagel dough is a little dry, dense, and shaggy. This is perfectly normal and exactly what you’re looking for. It will come together as you knead it. I recommend kneading by hand because the dough is VERY heavy and could do damage to your mixer!
After the dough rises, 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.
How to Shape Bagels
Shaping everything bagels is easier than it looks. Poke your finger through the center of the ball of dough. Make a hole about 1.5 – 2 inches large. That’s it! As you can see, mine aren’t totally perfect looking. Perfection is overrated and the bagels taste the same no matter how awesome they look. 😉
What is the Purpose a Bagel Water Bath?
The bagel water bath is the most crucial step in bagel making. Boil the shaped bagels for 1 minute on each side.
- Boiling bagels give the crust its beautiful shine. But looks aren’t everything. This shine is actually a result of the dough’s starches becoming gelatinized. Cooks Illustrated teaches us that these starches cook to a crisp, shiny coating in the oven.
- Boiling bagels cooks the outer layer of dough, which guarantees they’ll hold their shape when baking.
Honey: Add a little honey to the boiling water. Honey provides extra caramelization on the bagel crust. Barley malt syrup works too– see recipe notes below.
Everything Bagel Seasoning
Before baking, let’s top the bagels. Brush with a little egg white, then coat in everything bagel seasoning. This is a blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt. 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!
Highly recommended: Top homemade soft pretzels with this seasoning!!
Last step is to bake the bagels until golden brown perfection.
After you make the homemade everything bagels, you’ll realize how simple they are! The instructions look overwhelming, but I’m extra thorough so you have the best success. Save your money and make bagels at home!
More Homemade Bread Recipes
- Everything Bagel Pull Apart Bread
- Easy Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
- Homemade Biscuits
- Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
- Soft Pretzel Bites
Homemade Everything Bagels
Here's a complete recipe and tutorial for hot 'n' fresh homemade everything bagels. Skip the store-bought and bakery because bagels are easier than you think! Don't skip the water bath and egg wash-- both provide an extra chewy and golden brown crust.
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 and 3/4 teaspoons Red Star® Quick-rise™ yeast*
- 4 cups (480g) bread flour*
- 1 Tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar (or barley malt syrup)*
- 2 teaspoons salt
- coating the bowl: nonstick spray or 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 quarts water
- 1/4 cup honey (or barley malt syrup)*
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes
- 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
- egg wash: 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
- Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water and yeast together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. The dough is very stiff and will look somewhat dry.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 4-5 minutes. The dough is too heavy for the mixer to knead it!
- Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. (Just eyeball it-- doesn't need to be perfect!) Shape each piece into a ball. Press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole about 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter. Watch video above for a visual. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with kitchen towel and rest for a few minutes as you prepare the water bath.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Water bath: Fill a large, wide pot with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Drop bagels in, 2-4 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side.
- Combine the everything bagel seasoning ingredients together. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel. Dip into the everything bagel seasoning. Place 4 bagels onto each lined baking sheet. 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.
- Slice, toast, top, whatever you want! Cover leftover bagels tightly and store at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Overnight: Prepare the dough through step 4, allowing the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The slow rise gives the bagels wonderful flavor! In the morning, continue with step 5. I don't recommend shaping the bagels the night before as they may puff up too much overnight.
Freezing: Baked bagels freeze wonderfully! Freeze them for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then warm to your liking. You can also freeze the bagel dough. After punching down the dough in step 6, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then punch the dough down again to release any air bubbles. Continue with the rest of step 6.
- Special Equipment: stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, large baking sheets (I love these), big pot (I use my 5.5 quart dutch oven), pastry brush.
- Yeast: Use instant or active dry yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise time may be up to 2 hours.
- Bread Flour: Bagels require a high protein flour. Bread flour is a must.
- Barley Malt Syrup: This ingredient can be 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.
- Everything Bagel Seasoning: Use store-bought everything bagel seasoning if desired. You can mix and match these seasonings, add more/less of any, leave 1 out, etc. These are just basic measurements to follow.
- 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 10-15 minutes.
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This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast®. All opinions are completely my own.