Here’s a complete recipe and video tutorial for hot & fresh homemade everything bagels. Skip the store-bought because bagels are easier than you think!
This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.
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. Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.
- 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
- 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 & 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 (360ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
- 2 and 3/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast*
- 4 cups (520g) 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
- 2 quarts water
- 1/4 cup (85g) 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 6-7 minutes. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger—if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading. 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 below 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 Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 4, but allow the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature for 60-90 minutes. 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.
- Freezing Make Ahead 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.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer | Baking Sheets | Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mats | Large Pot (such as a large 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. 1 standard packet is about 2 and 1/4 teaspoons, so you will need a little more than 1 packet of yeast. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
- Bread Flour: Bagels require a high protein flour. Bread flour is a must. Here are all my recipes using bread flour if you want more recipes to use it up. All-purpose flour can be used in a pinch, but the bagels will taste flimsy and won’t be nearly as chewy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Halve or Double: You can halve this dough recipe by simply halving all of the dough ingredients (do not halve the water or honey for the boiling step). No changes to the recipe instructions. For best taste and texture and to not overwhelm your mixer with excess heavy dough, I do not recommend doubling this dough recipe. Instead, make separate batches of dough.
- Adapted from a mix of recipes I’ve tried: King Arthur Flour, Cook’s Illustrated, and Complete Book of Breads
Keywords: everything bagels, bagels
Reader Comments & Reviews
My wife does all the baking so I was a bit nervous trying this but they turned out tasting great! I made a second batch and substituted 4 egg yolks for 2 oz of water to make egg bagels! Awesome! Now I just need to work on my shaping skills. Any advice for rolling the dough into balls without having creases?
These are so amazing and super easy to make. This was my first time attempting to make bread and I nailed it. Thanks for providing such great instructions : )
Do you think I could double this recipe? Thank you! We are obsessed
Hi Shannin! For best taste and texture, I recommend baking two separate batches.
Omg! This recipe is amazing!!!! I will never buy bagels again. Shortly after making them and trying one, I ran to the store to get more ingredients to make more! I want to try and make a pumpkin spice one next :). I wish I could post a pic of the finished product.
Only alteration I made was to add a tsp of sugar to yeast and water.
These bagels are AMAZING! Our first attempt at EVER making bagels and they came out PERFECT. Wouldn’t change a thing. Can’t wait to impress my co-workers tomorrow.
I have been following your site for years because I love baking cookies, but I saw this recipe and it looked straightforward so I decided to try it. I live in NYC – Land of the Best Bagels – and these might make it up to that level! I had some trouble shaping the bagels into circles because the dough wouldn’t scrunch together, do you have any advice on this? Thank you!
I’m so thrilled that you tried these even with living in NYC! Mine are never as pretty and smooth as those from the bakeries – but I just embrace their rustic style 🙂
I’ve made this recipe three times now. I always let the dough rise overnight in the fridge, and I bake the bagels on slightly oiled parchment paper on top of a pizza stone.
I never thought I’d be able to make bagels this legit at home. After 30 years living in California, this ex-New Yorker can finally retire her bagel envy!
This recipe was awesome! I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now, but was afraid it would be challening to get it right. But they were very easy! It’s just my husband and I so I cut the recipe in half thinking 8 bagels would be way too much, but I’m already wishing I made a full batch! They tast great and were very easy.
Hey Sally, loved this recipe. I made these and they tasted delicious, but were a bit flat. Any idea what went wrong? In the photos yours are so round and fluffy. Mine were a bit more like Montreal bagels.
Hi Dan! Did they puff up during the boiling water step? They should be nice and plump after that. Make sure your yeast is active as well and that the dough is rising properly.
Egg wash replacement? I plan on making these for brunch next week but my friend has an egg allergy – i’m struggling to come up with anything to make the toppings stick but without changing or overpowering the flavours…
Hi Louise! A brush of water or milk works in its place.
Hi – I tried your bagel recipe recently and am amazed how good they are and how easy they were to make. I was preparing to send the website link to my daughter for her to try and it struck me that something had changed when I printed out the recipe (last week) and today. I have been baking for decades and and always viewed with suspicion recipes that gave exact times for kneading and that is what is now missing from your recipe. No longer do you recommend an 8 minute knead of the dough nor do you recommend the use of a mixer. Seems like some kind of explanation might be in order. Nonetheless the bagels are excellent and worth a try. Happy new year!
Hi John, after additional recent testing, I recommend kneading the dough by hand as this bagel dough can be pretty heavy for the mixer to mix for a full 8 minutes. 2-3 minutes is OK, then finish up by hand. The recipe is exactly the same otherwise. Thanks for trying and sharing the bagel recipe!
Best bagel recipe! Have tried a few and this one was the easiest and the most authentic tasting. We all loved it! Thank you!
Hi! What percentage protein is the flour you use? I’m in India, and the highest protein flour I can seem to find is 12.5%. I’m trying to look up bread flour online, and it seems to vary from 12%-18% by brand.
Hi Nandini! I typically use King Arthur Flour brand and it’s 12.7% protein.
Just wondered about putting cranberries in them? When would you add to the dough?
Hi Joni! In step 3, as you beat the dough for 8 minutes– add some cranberries during the last minute. 🙂
Probably THE best bagel recipe I have made !! Turned out perfectly
I made this recipe yesterday for breakfast today. As others have said, my bagels were not perfectly shaped, BUT they taste delicious. Crunchy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. I had bought some bagels as a back up, just in case, but I’m going to take those to work and allow people to help themselves, because MY bagels are so much better! Thank you for this awesome recipe and the great directions and hints.
Thanks Cindy! Some of my bagels are oddly shaped, but hey they taste great! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
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….
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.
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!
These were AWESOME! Thank you for the recipe!
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.
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!!
just tried these for the first time today, they came out Amazing! thanks for the easy recipe:)
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!
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!
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.
I just made these with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sprinkled with some garlic powder and salt. They were AMAZING, so easy and came out perfectly. I can’t wait to try out more combinations. Thanks for the recipe! <3
Can I add cheese to the dough? If so how much do you think I should add?
I’m sure you could, but I’ve never tried it. Maybe 3/4 – 1 cup shredded.
I made these bagels the day they were published. Everything went very well EXCEPT….as mentioned, the dough was very stiff when it was mixing in the KitchenAid with the dough hook. It was SO stiff that my mixer had trouble mixing the dough, and literally the work bowl unlocked itself from the base (the mixer was struggling!) and jumped out of its locked position and landed on the counter! It was quite startling and dramatic. So I put it back on, re-locked it, and tried again. Same thing happened. So I got out my OTHER KitchenAid to see if it was a motor problem, but lo-and-behold it kept happening. So I finally just stopped the mixing (it had been about 4 minutes into the process when this occurred) and proceeded with the recipe. The bagels were FABULOUS and DELICIOUS, but I am concerned that this will happen again! You DID say “don’t be tempted to add more liquid” so I didn’t. Any thoughts?
Glad you tried and loved the bagels! At that point, you can lower the speed or begin kneading by hand.
I have a question about the boiling step. Do I place the bagels in the water, let it come to a boil, and then cook for 1-2 minutes? Or do you just mean to place them in the water for 1-2 minutes and don’t have to wait for the boil. Thanks…gonna make these this weekend with my kids! Love your stuff 🙂
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-high. Then drop the bagels in.