Bagels are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and so easy to make, and are a staple in all my books, the basic recipe’s in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but more here…

Preheat the oven to 450° with a pizza stone on the top rack. (Yes, this is different than the book.)

Also have ready a cookie sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel that is dusted with flour.


Form several 3 ounce balls of dough, as you can see they are about the size of a head of garlic. I used the Master recipe here, but you can also use the Bagel recipe, Montreal Bagels, Whole Wheat or any other non-enriched dough from the book for this. Cover the balls loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 20 minutes or until they no longer feel chilled.

While they are resting bring to a boil:

8 quarts of water

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Have ready:

Sesame seeds, poppy seeds or any other toppings you may want for your bagels.  There were strong opinions expressed on Twitter about the toppings for bagels, let us know what your favorites are.


Once they have rested, dust the ball in flour and poke a hole in the center using your thumbs.


Continue to stretch the hole and add more flour if the cut part of the dough gets sticky.


You want to stretch the hole quite a bit,


because it will shrink back like you see above.


Place the bagels in the water, get as many as will fit without crowding. Boil for 1 minute, then flip over and boil for another 30 seconds.


Scoop out the bagels with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off.


Place on the towel covered cookie sheet. Continue the last 3 steps with the rest of the bagels. If you are doing more than 2 boiling batches, you will need to get those first two batches in the oven and then continue with the rest.


Carefully lift the boiled bagels and dip them on both sides with your topping. If you are using something that may burn easily like onions or garlic then only coat the top of the bagel and dust the peel with flour. If you are using seeds then you don’t need the additional flour on your peel.


If you are using seeds then you don’t need the additional flour on your peel.


Slide the bagels into the preheated oven, add the water to a broiler tray to create steam. bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Serve them slightly warm with anything you like!  A bagel cutter can be a helpful and safer tool for cutting bagels than using a knife.

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329 thoughts to “Bagels”

  1. My first attempt at making bagels with the New ABin5 recipe was very easy and came out very well. The only problem I encountered was that the bottom middles did not bake very well. I ended up flipping them over and baking for an additional 5 minutes. I only made 5 to start with to make sure I knew what I was doing. It was several days later before I made up the rest of the bagels. This time, I tried to make the holes larger so that the post boiling holes would be wider and not require extra baking and flipping. This helped but it resulted in a much skinnier and flatter bagel. I don’t know if the flatter result was due to the extra stretching or perhaps the age of the dough. I would like to take these bagels with me to an overnight family gathering about 4 hours away. I don’t want to transport the dough or mix it up when I get there. If I were to prepare the bagels through the boiling and then drained on wire racks, added the toppings and then froze them and wrapped in parchment paper and plastic wrap, should they be okay to thaw and bake the next day? If I bake them all the way and then freeze them, how long should they last in the freezer? Thanks in advance for your help! I have really enjoyed exploring recipes in the book. I love that I don’t have to keep a starter going every week and can wait until my schedule fits to start a new batch.

    1. Hi Melissa,

      This is such an interesting question. Boiling them stimulates the yeast and it needs to be baked right away, so you will need to bake them all the way and freeze them if you want to make them ahead of time. You can slightly under bake them, so they are baked, but just not as dark as usual. Let them cool and then freeze them. You’ll want to put them in a couple plastic bags and they’ll freeze for a couple weeks. When you are ready to bake, just take them out of the freezer and pop them into a preheated oven and toast them for about 10 minutes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Would it be possible, similar to the previous post, to take the dough out and shape it, place on a baking tray with parchment paper into the fridge, and then to boil and bake the next day? Could I leave the shaped bagels in the refrigerator for more than a day (would it have risen too much)? Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!

    1. Hi Karen,

      Due to the size of the pieces of dough it really would be too long to leave them for more than several hours. If you do a refrigerator rise, make sure you let them rest on a surface they won’t get stuck to, otherwise you may distort the shape when lifting them off to boil. I would suggest a silpat or other nonstick material like silicone.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks, Zoe, sounds good! I’ll probably just follow the recipe. However, if I double the size (make into 5 or 6 ounces), do you think that might work?

      2. Hi Karen,

        We suggest an 8-12 hour refrigerator rise for a 1-pound piece of dough, so you may be able to get away with slightly less for 6 ounce piece, but much more than that may alter the shape and how dense they are.

        Thanks, Zoe

  3. My biggest pot is an 8 qt pot. Can I do the water bath with less water by decreasing the sugar and baking soda proportionally?

  4. Where can I find videos for the gluten free recipes??? I have the book and it refers to, but I’m not finding anything online. Please share with me. Thanks!

  5. Hi Jeff – I made the bagels but was disappointed – they tasted like bread rolls in a bagel shape. I followed the recipe. Used non-diastatic malt powder and bread flour. I refrigerated the dough overnight but it was still very wet and hard to handle even after adding more flour to each ball. I tried another more traditional recipe that used a starter and high gluten flour and the bagels tasted “like bagels”. Can the high gluten flour be used in the artisan method? Would that make a difference? Thanks for your input.

    1. You can, and it’ll be closer to a traditional bagel– I have recipes for dough made with high-protein (“bread”) flour in:

      1. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (page 198)
      Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day (page 75)
      2. The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (page 77)

      Click on the book-cover links on this websites home page to purchase…

      1. Hi – I was referring to a high gluten flour I purchased from KAF which has a 14.2% protein compared to bread flour which is a bit less. Can I substitute the higher protein flour in your bagel recipe or would I need to adjust flour or water amounts?

      2. Right, that’s even higher in protein than bread flour, which is what I tested with in the recipe pages I referenced below. I’m not sure how much difference that would make, but it’s quite possible that you’ll need to increase the water a little beyond what I specified in those recipes. High protein flours like these absorb more water than all purpose.

  6. Hello! Firstly I LOVE YOUR BOOKS!!!! They have literally transformed our bread eating life… for years now. I think at least …. 8- 9 years of awesome bread!!! And I am thrilled and also laughing at myself to say that after around 9 years only in the last couple months we discovered BAGELS. For some crazy reason, even though I had marvellous success with your bread, I had this idea like Bagels, well bagels must be hard to make. I mean BAGELS? They are like God’s gift to bread.. Bagels that stir memories of my young life as a student in Montreal dreaming of working in the St Urbain 24 hr bakery just to learn how to do it ( which I obviously never did) … eating those hot bagels right out of the brown bag at 3am straight out of the oven after a night out with friends… OMG.. A good bagel needs NOTHING… nothing at all. It is a food group on it’s own I think.

    OK. Enough poetry. The sad truth is, the bagels of today in Toronto ( where we have some awesome Jewish bakeries!) … well honestly they don’t all hit the mark. Some are like bread in a bagel shape. No. That is not a bagel. And they are crazy expensive. Like $2 for one bagel? Really??? All this fed into the notion that they must be an INSANE amount of WORK to make a bagel.. Totally out of reach, right?
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Why did it take us so long to break the bagel code, with your book right there under our noses???? I guess the truth is, I just didn’t believe it could be possible. Finally, my 15 yr old son just made them one day- just like that, after school. WHAAAAAT?? What did you just do?? My lord, these bagels are better than ANY bagels I have had in a LONG time!!! He just smashed that glass bagel ceiling to bits with one thrust of the pizza peel! BAGELS ?!?!?!?! Did you just make bagels!?!??!?! I was stunned.. And then we got wildly inspired….
    AND so now, I want to know everything there is to know about ….. malt powder… 🙂 I know, it’s a pretty specific detail here… all that wild inspiration zoning in on malt powder… But it seems that NON Diastatic Malt powder is REALLY hard to find in Toronto… We did get our hands on some malt syrup, and some barley flour.. and I have found Diastatic Malt powder on the Canadian Amazon. BUT this NON diastatic malt powder has stumped me…… I should say, honey and malt syrup have already blown the lid off our kitchen and caused shouts of delight – we just used what we had and could find, and we are delighted and not going to be buying bagels from any bakery any time soon… But I am still on the hunt for that teeeeny edge of elusive flavour and sweetness that my soul is printed with from the dark streets of Montreal…. Can you help explain the different uses of malt powders and syrups? How they can be interchanged and what an experimenting person might like to know to save some time?

    THANK YOU so much for all the fun and thrill you have brought to our kitchen and also be extension to all our friends who have benefitted from the fresh bread coming out of our home for years and years. I am most certainly a Bread in 5 Evangelist… I tell everyone about it.. and you can bet the bragging has begun about the BEST bagels ever. 🙂 Amazing work and gift to busy families everywhere!


    1. Okay, first of all thank you so much for all the kind words. But you’re talking about the malt that goes into the boiling liquid? In that particular case, it really doesn’t make any difference whether you have diastatic, or non-diastatic malt. This is really just for flavor and sweetness and the effect it has on the crust. And I have a feeling you’re using Canadian or purpose flour, which is a little higher in gluten, and I bet that’s contributing to the great results you’re getting

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