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homemade bagels in basket

New York Style Bagels Recipe

A bakery classic, that's surprisingly easy to make at home! These classic New York style bagels are chewy, soft, and airy. Perfect for breakfast and lunch!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8 bagels


For the bagel dough:

  • 2 cups lukewarm water, at about 110°F
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For boiling the bagels:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup honey * see notes for substitutions

Bagel topping:

  • 1 large egg white + 1 tablespoon water (optional)
  • your choice of topping, I used untoasted sesame seeds - you can also use poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, everything seasoning, sea salt, etc.!


  • In a large bowl, whisk together your warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the water is foamy on the surface.
  • Add your flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix everything together until it starts to come together into a rough ball of dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl. Cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise for around 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.
    Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Turn your risen dough onto an unfloured work surface (bagels are easier to shape if they stick slightly to your work surface - don't be afraid to add flour, but only if absolutely necessary). Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by cupping your hand over the piece of dough and rolling it around in circular motions on your work surface.
  • To make the bagel shape, you have two options. You can roll each ball of dough into a rope and loop it into a ring. Or (my preferred method) take each ball of dough and make a hole in the center using your finger. Then gradually stretch the hole until it's about 1 & 1/2 inches wide. Place your shaped bagels onto your parchment lined baking sheets, leaving a bit of room between each bagel. Cover and set aside to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the boiling water.
  • In a large pot, combine water and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Carefully drop your shaped bagels into the boiling water, taking care not to overcrowd the pot! You'll have to do 2 to 3 batches. Boil your bagels for about 30 seconds on each side.
  • Drain and transfer the boiled bagels back onto your parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between each bagel. Continue the boiling process until all of the bagels are boiled.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together your egg white and water. Brush each bagel with the egg wash. You can skip the egg wash, but it does help the toppings stick to the bagel more easily, and it helps with browning as the bagels bake. Sprinkle your choice of topping onto the bagels or leave plain.
  • Transfer the bagels to the center of your preheated 400°F oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.


* Adding honey to your boiling water helps give the bagels an extra golden and beautiful crust as they bake. If you don't have honey on hand, or would just prefer not to use it, you can use maple syrup, or even plain granulated/brown sugar. I've found that sugar doesn't yield as nice a crust as honey, but it's find to use in a pinch. Also, the flavor of maple syrup can be a bit strong. So if you do use it, just keep that in mind.
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