Homemade NY Bagels

Back in September, we moved from NJ to Florida. While we vacationed down here a lot, moving is a whole other kind of beast. Moving aside, we missed a lot of our NY foods, particularly bagels. They just don’t have the same taste or texture here as the ones in NY do.

So, we decided to make them. We started with plain bagels and after weeks on end of taste testing them (believe me – my waistline wasn’t happy eating multiple bagels a day!!), we finally found a way to make them taste and feel like NY bagels!! I cannot tell you how excited I was when we finally nailed it.

We actually prep and proof the bagels now every Saturday night so we can have fresh bagels Sunday mornings. And of course we love to top them with cream cheese and lox, but they taste great with any kind of toppings. What’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

This recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addition, but has a few small edits that we think helped make it a little bit more… NY. 🙂 Now, the only thing left to do is perfect the shape… 😉

Homemade NY Bagels

  • Servings: 6 bagels
  • Difficulty: hard
  • Print


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (between 100-110°F)
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 4 cups (480g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface and hands
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar (or barley malt syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Nonstick spray
  • Egg wash: 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup (60g) honey (or barley malt syrup)


  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 nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise slowly overnight* (or, if you’re in a pinch, at room temperature for 90 minutes). It should be doubled in size.img_1795
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F and line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats (don’t use aluminum foil).
  6. Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. 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. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with kitchen towel and rest for a few minutes as you prepare the water bath.
  7. 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.img_1806
  8. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel. 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.
  9. 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. Enjoy! img_2067

*Overnight Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 4, but allow 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.

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: 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.

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. I use Saf instant Yeast and love the flavor it brings.

Bread Flour: Bagels require a high protein flour. Bread flour is a must.

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.

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.

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. 

Recipe slightly adapted from: sallysbakingaddiction.com

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