Homemade Bagels NY-Style

Bagels are exciting; not only because of their unique taste but also because the baking process involves boiling the bagels before baking them. It’s this process that creates the wonderfully chewy interior crumb while leaving the outside browned, crisp and shiny.

Homemade NY-Style Bagels
Homemade NY-Style Bagels

There are two different shaping methods –

  • ‘Rope and loop’: Makes a rounder bagel and the overlap of the rope ends makes it unmistakably homemade
  • ‘Stretch and poke’: Better looking and no danger of the loop opening up when boiling

Ingredients (yeast version) – 6 bagels

  • 7g dry yeast
  • 350g strong high-protein bread flour (around 14% protein is good, I used Marriages flour (13.8%))
  • 150g wholemeal bread flour
  • 275g lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 10g salt
  • 1 egg

Ingredients (sourdough version) – 6 bagels

  • 200g sourdough starter
  • 300g strong high-protein bread flour (see description above)
  • 75g wholemeal bread flour
  • 75g light rye flour
  • 135g lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 10g salt
  • 1 egg


  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds

How to make bagels:

  1. Combine all ingredients (except the egg) to form a firm dough – might need a little more water depending on the flours you use
  2. Knead for 10 mins for a firm and elastic dough (wetter isn’t better when it comes to bagels; the dough should be quite firm)
  3. Slighltly oil a large bowl and also coat the dough with a little oil, place in the bowl and cover with cling film
  4. Yeast version: rest for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size
    Sourdough version: rest for 4 hours (this may vary depending on the ‘ferociousness’ of your starter and the room temperature)
  5. Divide into 6 pieces
  6. Shape each piece into a roll, then form a ring (these should be roughly hand-sized)
  7. Link the crossed over ends with wet hands
  8. Place on baking paper
  9. Cover with a damp kitchen towel as you work
  10. Yeast version: rest for 30 mins
    Sourdough version: rest for 1-2 hours
  11. Preheat the oven to 220°C (gas mark 7)
  12. Boil a large pot of water
  13. Lower to a gentle simmer and lower the bagels in approx. 3 at a time or as many as fit comfortably. They should be floating at the top.
  14. Leave 1 min on 1 side, flip over to boil for another minute on the other side
  15. 2 mins each side makes a really chewy bagel
  16. Remove and drain, don’t use a paper kitchen towel as it will stick!
  17. Place on a ligthly oiled baking sheet
  18. Prepare some egg wash
  19. Brush each bagel with egg wash and sprinkle on the seeds (see toppings above)
  20. Bake for 10 – 15 mins until golden brown
  21. Cool on a wire rack

You can store the bagels in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Best eaten fresh!!

Don’t worry about larger holes in the crumb – they are perfect for trapping an extra bit of cream cheese!