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
Hi, I have been baking from your site all COVID Holiday!
Morning bagels are gone! It’s just after lunch and I’m starting another batch. We will mix it up a little! Great recipes. Thank you!
I tried this and they came out great. I’ll be doing them again soon.
Just made these bagels and they are incredible! Like many of your bread recipes, they are so easy to make and taste better than store bought. I even used the malt barley syrup as recommended!! I will definitely be making them again and again. Thank you for making your recipes, instructions, notes, videos so easy to follow! It’s like you are next to me in my kitchen helping me!
I did the overnight rise and baked them first thing in the morning. So easy and better than anything available in the grocery store!
Can’t wait to try these bagels. I just got the first batch out of the oven and looking forward to a first taste later today. They look beautiful! I do have a question though – do you think in would be okay to store the honey water I used for boiling in the fridge tonight so that I can make another batch tomorrow morning? Just trying to conserve on the honey which is at a premium these days.
That shouldn’t be a problem.
Thanks for your quick response Sally! And the bagels taste great and the texture is perfect! I gave most of them to a friend who hasn’t been able to eat much ’cause she’s going through chemo. She loves them! Making a second batch this morning with my saved water. Would love to surprise my celiac husband with some gluten free bagels – any suggestions for making these GF? We’re having to live apart now due to Covid and him being a medical worker. Some yummy GF bagels would be a special treat.
I made the bagels and they were great. I did have a slight problem, not sure if maybe I let the boiling water cool? My first boiled bagels were great – fluffy. the last two were flat, dense and almost “fallen”. Did I accidentally let the boiling water cool or any other ideas? (I have a picture).
Hi Pam! So glad you enjoyed the homemade bagels. For the collapsed 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.) I hope this all helps!
The bagels are delicious. As good or better than store bought. Very easy to make.
Outstanding. Phenomenal color, great chew, Fantastic recipe. Wish I could post a picture of the final product.
This recipe is great and worth five stars! The bagels were delicious!
I made these this morning and they are perfectly delicious and beautiful!!! I didn’t have bread flour so I used all purpose. I’m new to the bread making thing so I want sure if all bread doughs are supposed to reach the window pane stage, but after 5 minutes of kneading like the instructions said the dough wasn’t stretchy and no where near the window pane stage. I figured not enough gluten had developed, so I kept kneading till it got there. Prob at least 12 minutes. Phew my arms were tired. Correct or not they were delicious. Wondering… had I used bread flour would I have had to knead less since there’s more gluten?
Great recipe Sally. Went well with the kids. Have you been to or heard of “Scratch Bakery” in Portland ME? They make sour dough bagels that are unbelievable. Do you have a recipe?
I’m so glad your kids enjoyed them, Michael! I have not yet tried to make my own sourdough, let me know if you find a good recipe!
Made these this morning for my wife and me – used whole wheat bread flour because that’s all we had – and came out awesome!! Thanks so much for the recipe!
I only had all purpose flour but they still came out delicious!
made these today. they are AMAZING! game changer. will never buy store bought again!
Hi! can i use wholemeal bread flour on this? does it matter what type of bread flour you use?
Should be fine! The bagels will taste pretty dense.
Hi, made this recipe & the bagels came out delicious! Thanks for sharing. What else can I create with this dough?
This recipe is incredibly forgiving. I started the first rise and then had to push back the bake time (we were delayed) so I put it in the fridge for a few hours. Then brought it out only to have something come up and have to leave so back it went for an hour. Finally (!) I took it out, let it come to room temp, portioned the dough and then prepped it for boiling. And did I mention it was a double batch? In the end, they baked up perfectly and with a chewy crust. Thank you for such a great recipe!
Hi Sally! I love all of your recipes that I have tried and your site is my go-to for any type of new baking adventure. I really want to give these bagels a try, but due to shopping limitations right now, I am unable to find bread flour. I have semolina, whole wheat, cake flour and all purpose on hand though. Do you think any of those would be okay? Thank you!
All-purpose flour works in a pinch! The bagels won’t be as chewy.
My dough is waaaay too dry. Is there anything I can add to fix it??
Hi Mary, The dough is very stiff and will look somewhat dry – that’s totally normal (see recipe step 2).
Can this recipe be converted to 16 mini bagels??
Yes you can make mini bagels. The bake time will be shorter but I’m unsure of the exact time.
just wanted to say how much i have loved everyone of your recipes so far. now if i want to make something i immediately check if you have a recipe for it.
thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipes
Could you use fresh minced garlic on the top of the bagels? I was thinking it might bake in the oven and have a similar result to dried garlic since i don’t have dried garlic flakes.
I can’t wait to try this! I made a different everything bagel recipe today and it was a big, stinking fail. Did you have issues with the garlic and onions in the seasoning burning? That’s part of what caused my fail earlier.
Hi Scotti! Those toppings do brown quickly, but you can tent foil over the bagels to protect them and/or lower your oven rack.
Wondering if i could add jalapenos or cheese to them right before baking?
Omg, I just finished making these and, like everyone else has said, they’re SO good. For anyone curious–I replaced the sugar/honey with maple syrup because I had it on hand, and they still came out perfectly! Sooooo happy to have such an easy and delicious bagel recipe on hand, and it worked great doing it all by hand!
I am a low carber and came looking for a nice bagel recipe to use with Carbalose flour. I havent had bagels in forever. This was excellent-easy and fast. I simply replaced the reg flour with carbalose, added 2 tbsp of wheat gluten and and additional tsp of yeast. They are delicious. I found that for this flour, the boiling made no difference-I did half boiled and half not. I am delighted to eat bagels again.
I’ve made a couple of batches of these and both times they’ve come out flatter than I would like. They aren’t puffing up like the pictures or like any other bagel I’ve seen. I’ve tried using different yeast and also longer proofing times, But it seems that after the water bath they flattened up instead of puffing out. Not sure what I’m doing wrong here any suggestions? Thanks!
Hi Aaron! It’s strange that the yeasted dough isn’t puffing up in that instant heat. I’m unsure which yeast you are using, but make sure it’s dry yeast (not wet or cake yeast). I like using instant yeast for this dough. And make sure you aren’t adding too much flour, which weighs down the dough.
I really enjoyed making and eating these bagels! Delicious! Have you ever made these bagels gluten free? If so, what type and brand of flour would you suggest?
No, I haven’t. So glad you enjoyed these!
After visiting NYC my husband and I have been on the hunt for some authentic bagels. The store bought ones here in Australia never stack up. These were the closest to authentic we have had!
My children love bagels so I thought I would try these. An absolute hit. I’ll never buy bagels again. I made 1 batch on Thurs night and they disappeared so fast I made 2 batches on Fri. Thanks for the recipe.