new york bagels

Happy Sunday! Have a bagel!

Why in the world should you ever make your own bagels? Well, have you ever plucked, sliced, smeared, and devoured a warm, crackly-crusted bagel from a fresh batch…one that’s never spent hours trapped in a bakery case or been mistreated by being subjected to a refrigerator, freezer, or stuffy bag?

I seriously recommend it.

These are authentic, New York-style bagels. They are malty, crusty, and chewy, and definitely unsuitable for the weak-jawed.

This is their story, from the very beginning to just before their untimely, cream-cheese-y demise in someone’s powerful maw.

bagel dough, just mixed

bagel dough, after about an hour

4-ounce pieces of bagel dough

bagel dough, shaped into boules

bagels, poked

bagels, hand-stretched

bagels, stretched a little more and proofed

the malt syrup bath being prepared

plain, everything, and cinnamon sugar

bagels, baked

everything, plain, and cinnamon sugar bagels

bagels, schmeared


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Bagels (from Professional Baking)

makes about a half dozen 4-ounce bagels

8 ounces (250 grams) water

0.5 oz (15 grams) fresh cake yeast (0.2 ounces instant or bread machine yeast–6 grams)

1 pound high-gluten flour (500 grams) (I can also vouch for King Arthur all-purpose flour)

1 ounce (30 grams) malt syrup

0.25 ounces salt (8 grams)

0.13 ounces (4 grams) oil


malt syrup for boiling



1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

melted butter


1 part kosher salt


2 parts each: sesame, poppy, dry minced onion, dry minced garlic


Mix all ingredients in a mixer fitted with dough hook for 8 minutes on low speed. Lightly oil a bowl and let dough rise in it, covered, for an hour (assuming an 80 degree room.)

Cut into 4-ounce pieces. Shape into tight balls and pinch bottom seam closed, then let rest, covered, for 15-30 minutes, until soft and easy to stretch. Poke holes in the centers, then stretch, stopping to let them rest for a few minutes if the dough is resisting. Once the holes are stretched to a good size, cover and let proof for 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, get their bath ready. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/4 cup malt syrup per gallon of water. Preheat oven to 425.

Boil bagels for about a minute per side. Pull from water with a large spider, and gently shake off excess liquid. If you have a perforated pan, use it so you don’t have to flip the bagels over halfway through baking. You don’t need parchment, just spray lightly.

Dip tops into everything mix just after boiling, then spray with water to soak the mix a little, so it doesn’t brown too quickly. To make cinnamon sugar bagels: boil, then let sit on pan for a moment to dry out a bit. Dip tops into melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar.

Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

24 responses to “new york bagels”

  1. Courtney says:

    Just wanted to say these are great instructions! Your pictures make everything so much more clear. Cannot wait to try and make a batch of bagels :) Have a great day!

  2. Liz says:

    Oh, this is a fabulous post! I’m planning to make bagels for the first time in the next few weeks. Your detailed instructions are wonderful…as are your bagels! Thank you!!!

  3. Robbie says:

    I loooove bagels and these look delicious!! I’ll definitely try the recipe!!!
    Lovely blog as well :)

  4. What a great set of instructions. And I even have access to NYC tap water LOL

    • Jen says:

      you have the secret ingredient!! now you’ve gotta make them :)

    • dwinkle says:

      For those without NYC water, use a PH tester to make sure it is slightly alkaline, 7-9. If it is acidic, add a little baking soda. If it is alkaline, add vinegar. This is true for most breads, particularly anything crusty or chewy, and goes double for pretzels and pizza.

  5. Your bagels look amazing! I love the step by step photos :) These are on my list of things to make and this post is definitely inspirational.

  6. Tiffany says:

    Happy Sunday… have a bagel! LOVE it! :D

  7. Michelle says:

    I’ve had two recipe woes with Bagels but yours look amazing… Any tips for when I try them? My issue seems to be that they do not rise well :( After looking at your pictures I am ready to try again though!

    • Jen says:

      definitely use fresh cake yeast if you can get it. you shouldn’t have any problems with the rising, plus i think the flavor is better than with dry yeast. if you can only get dry, go for the instant or bread machine yeast that comes in a jar–you can just add it along with the rest of your ingredients without soaking. i never have any luck with active dry–it never seems to come to life for me after soaking. hope that helps!

    • dwinkle says:

      Make sure you are using high gluten flour. The gluten is the gooeyness that allows the bubbles to expand without bursting. Also, rise slow, and not warm – 80 degrees max. Let the dough take it’s time. You might want to try bottled water, many things in tap water can affect rising doughs.

  8. I never had a real bagel, just some ready made one bought abroad (in Germany or other European Countries)… I wanted to try and make them for some time now, and finally I have a real recipe! Thanks!!! :)

  9. Never seen how bagel was made before. Looking at your step by step photos made me hungry! Thanks for sharing the entry and recipe, gonna try making one myself!

    • dwinkle says:

      The proper way it to make a rope of dough and tie the ends, but it’s tricky to learn and easy to screw up. Jewish style “water bagels” have the dough boiled in malted water before being baked, essentially turning the outer dough into pasta and giving it a nice shine. This also makes the bagel airtight, giving it a longer shelf life.

  10. What an interesting post! I’m like most people and have never made bagels before. They look absolutely mouthwatering. I sure wish I had that plateful right now with my morning coffee!

  11. Christy says:

    I would like to invite you over for breakfast…Please bring your bagels.

    Thank you.


  12. Oh My God these bagels look so perfect!!!
    You gave me enough reason to make them myself and the best part your step by step pictures make it so easy to try…
    Love them.

  13. Tabatha says:

    I am so excited to try this. I love bagels so much and it gets quite expensive buying the store bought ones, if I buy the ingredients in bulk, I will be able to last myself for ages in bagels. ;]

  14. CAP says:

    Oh, I just realized this is an OLD post, but wondering if you still get messages – anyway, can you tell me how many cups in a pound of flour?  Thanks!

    • eatyourvegetables says:

      a google search is giving me a range of 3 1/3 to 4 1/2 cups. since 1 cup of (king arthur all-purpose) flour generally weighs about 125 grams, I’d say this recipe takes 4 cups flour. or maybe start with 3 1/2 and add more if needed? (the dough should feel ridiculously stiff out of the mixer, but it softens up a lot after proofing) Jen

  15. Amanda says:

    so excited to try this!! do you have a good schmear recipe to go with it?

    • eatyourvegetables says:

      not a recipe, but one of my favorite ways to eat a bagel: schmear the cream cheese along with lots of minced green onion and a little bit of fresh garlic (garlic powder or salt works well too.) mmmm :)

  16. dwinkle says:

    For onion or garlic bagels, I like to put minced garlic and onion in the dough, as well as on top. Same can be said of sun dried tomato, cinnamon raisin, I’ve even seen people add diced sweet potato.

    Once cooked, they freeze well if you like them toasted after defrosting, and you can even freeze the dough shortly after forming, defrost, and then bake.

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