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
Sally, totally new to this but followed the recipe to a tee including barley maltvsyrup, but my dough came out really wet and sticky. Any thoughts or ideas why?
Hi George! There are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.
Really enjoyed making this recipe. I cook a ton, bake a bit, but have never made bagels from scratch. That will change now!
If I wanted to add protein powder to this recipe, how would do I do that without drying them out?
Hi Alexandria, we haven’t tested these with protein powder — it would take some experimenting to ensure proper rise, taste, and texture with the added ingredient. Let us know if you do give anything a try.
Very easy recipe to follow and the results were tasty. I followed the tip to refrigerate over night and finish in the morning and everything came out as planned. The only issue I had was my forming technique needs work but that’s totally on me! I made some everything and plain then covered one in chipotle hot sauce over the egg wash and coated with cheddar cheese, it was really good. My wife and I both agreed they tasted better than the local bagel shop so this recipe will be a regular for us. Definitely try it out.
I used your easy-to-follow recipe to make 2 batches of bagels for our Mother’s Day brunch and they turned out absolutely delicious! I chose the “letting the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight” method that you listed and It worked out really well.
I made a few sesame seed only bagels along within the everything seasoning as well as a batch of cranberry cinnamon. (I substituted dried cranberries into the cinnamon raisin recipe but skipped
the extra sugar). The bagels were definitely the hit of the brunch-thank you! I can’t wait to make them again!!
Just made these today for the first time, and will definitely be making many, many more batches in the future. They taste so much better than store bought. I will probably make them slightly smaller next time and get 12 out of a batch rather than 8. I also made a second batch today and made them “mini” bagels where there were 16. We did the second batch with a baking soda water bath instead and made them into everything pretzel bagels. They were a HUGE hit, none left!
I never buy bagels anymore because these are so easy to make and taste 100 times better! I’m an experienced home baker so I have never had trouble with these. The instructions are clear and the results are fabulous! I regularly make two or three batches and freeze them.
These bagels were perfect. Easy to make, great directions. I used artisan bread topping from King Arthur Flour for the topping and they were delicious. They freeze very well, and the quantity was perfect. Thanks Sally.
Just made the bagels this morning and they are so good.Just perfect taste,texture,chewiness..I even took pictures of them. Thank you for this recipe.I will be making these again.
My first attempt at making bagels and they turned out beautifully! I am an amateur when is comes to baking. The tutorial video and explanation were perfect and easy to follow.
This recipe is amazing! It was simple and easy to follow . I would only change the amount of salt. I think the dough was a little too salty itself and if your doing the everything bagel topping it makes it way too much salt overall. Everything else was spot on!
Do you have an experience with putting the topping on after the bagels have baked at least partially? I’m not a big Everything Bagel fan but was making some for family and the topping burnt well before the bagels were completely done. I know its not a problem with the recipe as the bagels themselves are fine, just a burnt topping. I make bagels on a pretty regular basis and these probably needed another 5 minutes or so longer but I was forced to take them out as some of the toppings were turning black such as the onion flakes.
Hi Ben! It’s difficult to get toppings to stick once the bagels are baked. Let us know if you try anything!
I can’t say enough good things about your bagel recipe. I have tried others in the past; but these are really good and I use your recipe when I make them
every week. They taste as good as store bought but are a whole
lot better. And, they freeze well too. I can make a batch and warm them up at any time someone wants one. This recipe is a real winner. Thank you very much.
I was so excited to make these and did for the first time yesterday. I measured exactly, my yeast didn’t expire for another year and I used all the listed ingredients except I did not have garlic flakes. They ended up tasty, but didn’t really rise that well. I wonder if it’s because I used costco crushed garlic that I cooked, but still had some moisture? I followed this exactly except that one item — any ideas as to what could have gone awry?
Hi Charlotte! Did your dough double in size before shaping? Make sure to let the dough rise long enough before shaping and baking – letting it rise in a warmer environment may help for next time. Here’s our baking with yeast guide with helpful tips as well. Thank you for giving these a try!
Hi. I can’t wait to try this! But I have a question. When I make soft pretzels, I add baking soda to the water when I boil them, per Alton Brown. He says it’s to help gelatinize the surface and help with browning. Should I do the same here, adding it to the cooking water along with the malt syrup?
Hi Jackie, the sugar from the honey or barley malt adds extra caramelization and crisp to give them that signature bagel coating. You could use baking soda if desired, but the coating would be more like a soft pretzel. Let us know how the bagels turn out for you!
What temperature should the water be please ? You just say “warm”, doesn’t specify what good temperature range please … thanks muchly
Hi Yasmin, let me fix that– between 100-110°F (38-43°C).
Hello! I would love to see a whole wheat version of these some day. I love Dave Killer’s Epic Everything bagels because they are high in protein. I love this recipe, and to up the protein, I added black sesame seeds, flax seeds and chia seed to the topping. I put this recipe in myfitnesspal, and I am a bit concerned about the sodium (1,324 grams per bagel). Also, the carbs are 63 grams instead of 44 grams like dave’s killer bread version. The protein at 13.5 grams is perfect and matches the bagels I like buying, but I am wondering if anything can be done to reduce the carbs and sodium? I notice on dave’s killer bagels they have rolled oats, rye flour and wheat gluten added! Could it be they are using a mixture with the wheat flour? I like experimenting, but I would like your opion and suggestions on what to try. Thanks!
Hi Amy, We haven’t tried any of those ingredients for bagels but you can certainly experiment with the dough! To start, we recommend replacing only half of the bread flour with whole wheat flour, if desired. Bagels require a high protein flour, so you will definitely want some bread flour in the recipe. Let us know how they turn out for you!
These were fun to make even though a bit complicated for me. I made them plain. I couldn’t believe how great they turned out!
I have made this recipe twice and they are delicious!
I am short on bread flour and grocery is out of stock, can I half this recipe?
Believe it or not, bread flour is not necessary for this recipe. I’ve made it quite successfully several times with regular unbleached organic white flour. The bagels have been excellent and I haven’t ever had problems with their structure (the primary purpose of bread flour).
Use bread flour if you have it, but you can make these bagels without it and they’ll be great.
Hi Sally! If I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast, I can use a 1:1 replacement and do not need to add warm water anymore? So I will just add instant yeast w the flour and sugar without the water? Thank you!
Hi Kit, you can use instant yeast, but we still recommend following the recipe as is. Hope you enjoy these bagels!
Hey Sally! Can I make my own bread flour since it isn’t readily available in India. I have vital wheat gluten at hand, how much of it can be used to mimic the role of bread flour in the recipe.
Hi Sana, we actually haven’t tried our hand at making our own bread flour — we’d recommend a quick online search to see if there are any DIY options out there. Let us know what you try!
First of all, these are so good! I did have an issue with the bagels sticking to the parchment paper after letting them rest for 20 minutes, so I wanted to ask if you know where I may have gone wrong. Disclaimer: I don’t bake things very often at all. Actually, almost never. 🙂
Hi Joel, coating the parchment with a light spray of nonstick spray will help for next time. Also, be sure to use a slotted spoon when removing the bagels from the water and then onto the parchment — if there is too much water on the bagels, that can cause sticking as well. Glad you enjoyed these bagels!
Hi! I just made this recipe, but my bagels aren’t floating in the boil! Where did I go wrong?!
Yeah, I had the same problem. I missed the weight measurements here, and just saw “4 cups”. I always prefer baking by mass, which is more accurate and consistent, so I did a quick internet search. According to the internet, 1 cup of flour is 120g, so I used 485g of flour. Just shy of the recommended 520g. I let rise for 90 minutes, and did not knock the air out, so mine SHOULD have been extra fluffy, but they started on the bottom of the water bath. A few started floating after about 2 and a half minutes, but others never floated. Minimal oven rise meant some pretty dense bagels. Disappointing. Too bad. 🙁 Hopefully they still taste great!
Hi I think you used to have ml of water for the dough on the recipe but it seems to have disappeared. I’m in UK so don’t know about cups but googled it and now my dough isn’t the same as it normally is. Would you mind popping ml on please? Love this recipe and have started to make it nearly every weekend!
So is it 500g of flour or 4 cups? Each cup holds 160-170g on my precision scale times 4 equal to 640-680g.
Hi Brian, make sure to spoon and level your flour to prevent over-measuring. The gram measurements will always be the most accurate. Happy baking!
I’m wondering about the oven temp at 425 degrees. I made a batch yesterday, but they were way over browned at 20 minutes. Made another batch today, and baked between 350-375 with convection and they were perfect at 20 minutes. Husband loves them. Definitely a keeper. Thank you.
Hi Candace, every oven is different, so certainly feel free use the timing and temperature that works best for you. Do you have an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven may be running a bit hotter than it’s reading. If possible, we also recommend baking on conventional (rather than convection) settings. We’re glad to hear the bagels were a hit!
I made these over the weekend and I absolutely LOVED them. I plan on making them again sometime this week. Would doubling the recipe work, or are there any adjustments that should be made when wanting to double?
Hi Charlotte, we’re so glad you love these bagels! For best taste and texture, we recommend baking two separate batches.
These look amazing!! A friend just shared your recipe and I can’t wait to try it. However, my daughter is allergic to eggs. Can you recommend a substitute for the egg wash?
Hi Stephanie! Absolutely. Brush the bagels with milk instead.
While I haven’t tried this recipe yet, I used to make bagels for a restaurant in Tennessee. I never egg washed my ET bagels, just sprinkled the seasoning on the still wet bagel dough when they came out of the boil and baked them. They turned out fine
I had fun making this recipe. Instructions were very clear. My dough was not as dry as the one on the video, but the bagels still turned out well and most importantly, delicious! Thank you!