Homemade Everything Bagels

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!

everything bagels

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.

stack of everything bagels

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!

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

bagel dough in a metal stand mixer bowl with dough hook attachment

2 images of bagel dough in a ball on the counter and a ball of dough in a purple bowl

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.

2 images of balls of bagel dough on a silpat baking mat

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. 😉

shaped bagels on a silpat baking mat

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

bagels in a water bath in a pot on the stove

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!!

everything bagel spices in a colorful bowl

bagels after water bath on a cooling rack with spices

Last step is to bake the bagels until golden brown perfection.

everything bagels

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

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everything bagels

Homemade Everything Bagels

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 8 bagels
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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 (500g) bread flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 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

Water Bath

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. The dough is very stiff and will look somewhat dry.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. 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.
  7. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


  1. Overnight Instructions: 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, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature. Continue with step 5. I don’t recommend shaping the bagels the night before as they may puff up too much overnight.
  2. Freezing Instructions: 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.
  3. Yeast: Use instant or active dry yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise time may be up to 2 hours. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  4. Bread Flour: Bagels require a high protein flour. Bread flour is a must.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Adapted from a mix of recipes I’ve tried: King Arthur FlourCook’s Illustrated, and Complete Book of Breads.

Keywords: everything bagels, bagels

Bagels with cream cheese


Comments are closed.

  1. Can’t wait to make these. But I completely forgot the brown sugar! Will honey or granulated sugar work as a sub?

    1. Hi Jess, regular sugar or honey work as a replacement for the brown sugar in this dough.

  2. I’ve been baking since I was a kid, and I can say with complete honestly these bagels were the best thing I’ve ever baked in my life. I am a bagel connoisseur, and eating these bagels truly was a hole-y experience. They are soft and delicate on the inside, and sweet and chewy on the outside from the honey bath. 1,000 times better (and fresher!) than anything you could get in a bagel shop. I ate 2 of them right out of the oven and didn’t even have a chance to add cream cheese. A few words of advice: I ended up making 10 bagels from the dough, and if I were to do it again I might increase that to 12, they were pretty big still. A wondering: my bagels nearly got burned (very dark in color) on the bottom side, is there any way to avoid that?

    1. Hi Alisa, I’m so glad that you enjoy these homemade bagels. Truly one of my favorites. The darker bottoms can easily be fixed with your next batch by making a few adjustments in your oven. First, try baking the bagels on a lower oven rack to help promote more even baking. Second, make sure you’re not using a dark metal pan. Finally, you can try lowering the oven temperature and baking for longer (which ALWAYS helps) so the bagels can cook a little more evenly all around.

    2. This is a bit of a late comment, but I picked up a pair of shiny aluminum Nordic ware baking sheets recently, makes a huge difference.
      I’d been having issues with things on my old dark sheets.

  3. These bagels were very good. This recipe is not difficult. I will definitely make them again.
    Thank yu.

  4. I really want to try this recipe soon, but all I have on hand is all-purpose flour. Will that not work? Do I absolutely have to use bread flour? 🙁

  5. You are right, second time is much easier. Love them.

  6. Renee Leet says:

    Can I mix the everything seasoning into the dough?

    1. I can’t see why not!

  7. I have made this 2 times, measuring the flour on a scale and it is wayyyyy too wet. Second time I added an additional cup or more of flour. Dough is very difficult to work with.

  8. OMG! So much fun to make and so delicious. I made them using the overnight instructions…fresh warm bagels in the morning!

  9. Hi Sally! I loved this recipe and my
    bagels came out great. However, they were a little tough. Any suggestions for how to fix this next time around? I baked them for 20 minutes. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alex, Next time, try lowering the oven temperature and rotating the pan halfway through bake time. Also, if you find the bottoms are more tough, wait for the bagels to somewhat dry before baking as that would be the water from the boiling step that is burning on the bottoms.

  10. They looked great but the bottoms stuck to the parchment paper. I had to pick it off and cut some spot cause the paper was so stubbornly on. Maybe too wet after soaking them in the bath water? Maybe next time spray the paper with cooking spray?

    1. Hi Maurels, coating the parchment with a light spray of nonstick spray will help for next time. I’m glad you enjoyed these and thank you for reporting back!

  11. I’ve made these a handful of times now and they are incredible! My favorite topping to use is shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeños! One question on the dry toppings though, every time I try to do a different variation – freshly minced garlic or dried minced onion, the toppings seem to burn. Any suggestions?

  12. Arlene Rosen says:

    Looking forward to making these. Can I use my hand mixer I don’t have a standing mixer
    Thank you

    1. Hi Arlene, the dough is too heavy for a hand mixer. You can stir it together with a wooden spoon though, then knead by hand.

  13. I made these with 1/4 wheat flour and 3/4 white flour and they were great! I do think the wheat flour made the dough a little more dry and crumbly so the surface wasn’t very smooth but cracked, so next time I’d add a little more water but the taste was delicious!

  14. Steve Goldstein says:

    Taste great, but they’re still looking more like pretzels.

    Kinda flat looking

  15. Shari Manning Rosen says:

    Just finished making a batch of bagels and they turned out great. I just had one for lunch with some lox and it was delicious. I will definitely be making this recipe again. The recipe is easy to follow and I was very impressed.

  16. Hi! Is there anything I can use to replace the egg wash because of allergies? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Preet, A brush of water or milk works in its place.

  17. Max Mollenkamp says:

    This was my first attempt at bagels. They came out pretty flat. Should I let them proof for a bit before boiling them? Or did I go wrong somewhere? I also have a question about egg wash. Whenever I make something with an egg wash, it makes its way underneath and forms a gross burnt, crusty egg layer on the bottom. How do I stop that?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Max, For the collapsed/flat bagels– there are 4 things I would look at if you decide to try the recipe again. First, make sure that you’re using enough flour in the dough. You may want to add another couple Tablespoons to create a stronger dough. Second, make sure the dough isn’t over-proofing during that first rise. The dough will deflate if it rises for too long. Third, don’t overwork the bagel dough at any time. Fourth, make sure you aren’t boiling the bagels for too long. See if slightly shortening the time in the boiling water helps– it should. (Try 30 seconds each side.)
      For the egg wash try using less (just lightly brush the tops) so that it doesn’t drip down too much. I hope this all helps!

  18. Hey Sally! My first batch came out flat too – I think it was because you list 4 cups of flour as 500g but it’s actually 600g. With only 500g the dough is too wet.

  19. Hi Sally – can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend! Just one question, if I plan to make them the night before, do I let the dough rise till doubled in size (as in step 4), then put it in the fridge for the night before another 45 minute rise the next morning, or do I put the dough in the fridge immediately after putting the dough in the bowl the night before (omitting the rise but allowing it to rise the next morning)? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anna, After placing the dough in the bowl and covering it, you can place it right in the fridge. It will slowly rise overnight, but will then still need about another 45 minutes at room temperature in the morning. Enjoy!

  20. Hi, I made this recipe a little while ago and my family and I love bagels. I read the recipe and followed the recipe as written but I ran into one small issue. I boiled and then baked them for 25 minutes like you said but I found my bagels a little under cooked and not crusty enough. I put them in for longer and longer and longer, that it started to get tiring. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Adjust the temperature? The boil time? Anything? Other than that the bagels were great and I want to make them again.

    1. Hi Sofia, so glad that you tried these homemade bagels. You can simply bake the bagels for a little longer to ensure they’re cooked through and so that they’ll have a crispier crust. I recommend another 3-4 minutes.

      1. Thank you so much! I tried that along with boiling them for a half a minute longer and it worked

  21. Hello! I just made these bagels today and they are amazing! The recipe was super easy to follow and the video helped out a lot. I don’t have a mixer so did it by hand which wasn’t too difficult at all. I will never buy bagels again. Can’t wait to try different variations of it.

  22. I agree with the previous reviews that the dough is too wet with only 4 cups of flour. I spooned at least 5 or 6 heaping tablespoons while it was mixing in the stand mixer and it was still a lot moister than I expected. Some extra flour while kneaded it by hand helped. Otherwise great tasting bagels.

  23. Hi Sally, just finished making Cinnamon Raisin & Everything Bagels. Both were delicious! But I’m wondering why my Everythings didn’t come out smooth. Do you have an idea why?

  24. Amaranthim Talon says:

    I just made these, and they are amazing! I used molasses in place of honey I’m the boiling water. Worked out perfectly.

  25. Hi Sally- my three girls and I are big fans of your recipes! I recently saw some rainbow-colored bagels (they split the dough and then die it in pieces). Do you have any suggestions for this? I have no idea about how that would affect the resting time or anything else for that matter- any tips?? Thank you for all your inspiration!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cat, We don’t have a recipe for rainbow bagels but I have actually tried to make them in my own kitchen 🙂 When I tried to add the color to the dough after it was made the result was in overworked dough that was too tough. I have had luck adding color to the dough in step 3 of this bagel recipe when kneading the dough by hand. To do this you can make a few separate batches of dough, each a different color, and then stack and shape them (there are tons of videos online to show you how to do this). Let us know if you try it!

  26. Wupadoo! Tried these, first time ever – nailed. Fam went nuts.
    So easy, and so amazing. Thank you, Sally.

  27. Christine Tsao says:

    Fantastic recipe. I was super successful with it and had not tried a bagel recipe before. Nice and fluffy with a thin, crispy crust when toasted. Thanks so much!

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