Bagels (a dedication to the late Murray Lender)

Most Americans were introduced to bagels through the frozen bagged bagels by Lender’s. In all honesty the bagels in a bag weren’t all that great, but they made the doughnut shaped breads a household staple. People no longer had to search for a Jewish bakery to find them. Today Murray Lender died and in honor of the man who put the bagel on the American map, we are sharing our recipe for making bagels at home. They are crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and so easy to make.

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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315 thoughts on “Bagels (a dedication to the late Murray Lender)

  1. Jeff and Zoe,
    Just want to say thanks for the great book and for all the help you give on these pages. My husband was super impressed when I told him Jeff had already answered me before we started making our bagels-on a 1 1/2 year old blog post none the less! Anyhow, we haven’t tried doing chocolate chips yet, but the plain and poppy seed bagels were great! Thanks again guys!

  2. Love the bagels!!!! I used a`steamer basket and steamed mine for 2-3 minutes and they came out totally smooth. And TASTY.

  3. I just made a batch of pretzels yesterday and a batch of bagels today…. mmm, mmm good!

    I was thinking about making a cinnamon & raisin bagel. I’m guessing that 1.5 TBS of cinnamon would be needed but wondered if you had a recommendation for the amount of raisins and if I would need more water than called for in the recipe?

    Thanks for you time and your advise. I’m amazed that I can bake thanks to your hard work. Thanks again!


    1. Hi MarcPhoto,

      You are in luck, we have a cinnamon raisin bagel recipe in HBin5 on page 74. It uses about 3/4 cup for 10 bagels.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  4. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I have 2 pounds of HB5 master dough. I want to try making bagels again, but I am procrastinating. I made bagels before, and it seemed so much simpler using a baking sheet without steam. Couldn’t I do it that way with your dough?

    It’s because my baking equipment, except for the stock pot, are parve. So I can’t boil the bagels in a dairy stock pot and then bake them on a dairy stone. I do have an unglazed tile I could use for a stone, but the heat is uneven–causing hot spots. Besides, i have 2 wonderful stones. I do have 2 dairy baking sheets, and could switch to that.

    I do have a really small parve saucepan, but that would mean boiling one bagel at a time.

    Suggestions on how to make this work? Thanks,

    Judy M, TN

    1. Hi Judy,

      It sounds like everything is resolved and you are on your way to making bagels, yes? Let us know if you have any other questions about it!

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Hi Zoe,

    No, the whole bagel thing was a complete mess! I have either a 10qt or a small saucepan I can use. The 10qt (half filled) wasn’t heating up very well on my new cooktop, so I tried to boil one bagel at a time in the smaller saucepan. I didn’t want to invest in another saucepan till I found that I could do this; I just bought a silicone skimmer spoon.

    They fell apart almost immediately! I didn’t boil any of them any longer than one minute on each side. After 4 breaking up, I just baked the unboiled bagels in the oven. So they are really just rolls with holes.

    1) What went wrong in the boiling? The dough really wasn’t as firm as bagel dough I had made in my bread machine.

    2) We haven’t even gotten to the baking step, but why can’t I use baking sheets instead of my stone? That would be MUCH easier for me.

    Hope you can answer these questions for me. So frustrating! I tossed a bunch of slimy dough that fell apart while sitting on the towel after boiling.

    I’ll ask my grilling question separately.

    Thanks, Judy M, TN

    1. Judy: For the white bagel recipe from ABin5, make sure you’re using bread flour. For the bagel recipe from HBin5, be sure you’re not using whole wheat pastry flour or other soft flour. Other than that, I can’t figure out why your bagel-boil leads to disintegration. You need to have a not-too-wet dough– maybe just increase the flour? And don’t boil on too high a heat– you don’t need any agitation.

      But I’ve never had this problem, so I’m a bit stumped.

      Baking sheets will work, yes. Not quite so nice a crust, but should be decent. Jeff

    2. Hi Judy,

      Did you use the bagel dough in ABin5 or another dough? The bagel dough is a bit stiffer to hold up to the boiling, although I’ve had good luck making it with the master recipe as well. Did your batch of dough seem a bit wetter than normal when you were mixing it? If the dough is too soft it will break up in the water. It is also best to start with dough that is well chilled.

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  6. Hi Zoe, I used the dough from HB5, for the cinnamon raisin bagels. It was a bit on the dry side, actually. And I only boiled it just under a minute before it began to break apart. Really chilled dough, I had the dough for almost 10 days.

    I hope we can figure this out.

    Oh, we had a craving for salami sandwiches tonight so I just made the AB5 deli rye and the pumpernickel breads. I just love being able to have such fresh breads!

    Hope you are enjoying a 3 day weekend and helping to honor our service men and women.


    Judy M.


    1. Hi Judy,

      The only thing I can recommend is that you try the bagels with a dough that is not quite so old next time and see if that makes a difference. The dough definitely loses some of its structure over the course of its life and it may not hold up as well after 10 days.

      Thanks, hope you too had a wonderful weekend! Zoë

  7. Ok, Zoe, I’ll give it another try someday. But I think I’ll only boil them 30 seconds. I am skittish.

    Is it really crucial to bake them on the baking stone? Why wouldn’t a baking sheet work?


    Judy M

    1. Hi Judy,

      I think 30 seconds on each side should be enough, give it a shot with one and see how that works.

      You can bake it on a cookie sheet, but like all the breads it will have an effect on the crust. You may need to flip them over after half the baking time?

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Thanks, Zoe!

    I want to give the bagels a shot on the baking sheet, without steam. I will probably get a softer crust, which may be fine with me. I’ll let you know.

    Oh, I do want to get back to you and Jeff about the pumpernickel bread from AB5. I had used the KA caramel coloring, but it still wasn’t coming out dark enough. We couldn’t figure out why. Now I know it’s because I measured wrong. I was using my scale to measure the cocoa and expresso coffee. This time, I measured by measuring spoons (and then weighed the ingredients) and saw that I didn’t add enough.

    I’ll get back to you on the bagel experiment in the future. Thanks so much for your help.


    1. Judy: Yes, the home-use scales are mostly too inaccurate for small quantities, so I’m not surprised at what you found. Jeff

  9. Made these today and they’re still in the oven. I think mine were a little bit on the larger side (I made 1/2 a recipe and got 8 bagels). Also, let the dough sit 5 days. Anyway, they were still a little raw in the middle after boiling for 2 minutes on each side. My past experience with non-ABin5 bagel recipes is that the dough is really dense and not at all raw after boiling. (Yes, I used bread flour). Is this typical? Should I make them smaller? Boil longer? They look good…though they’re sticking wildly to the stone despite cornmeal (a heavy dusting). Next time, would likely use parchment.


    1. Jami: Stored dough behaves more predictably when you make the bagels smaller, not larger as you tried.

      Don’t increase the boil time, just decrease the size. Or increase the baking time if you really want large ones.

      Parchment would be a good idea if you’re having sticking trouble. Jeff

  10. Hi, I am working with your first book and I am in love with it! We’ve been enjoying the Master Recipe in several forms for days, and my husband had what he declared ‘the best reuben EVER’ on the Deli Rye bread which I made this morning. Thanks so much for these innovative, foolproof techniques and recipes!
    I decided to try my hand at bagels with the Master Recipe today, and since my family loves everything bagels, I picked up all the fixins at a local store and had at it. I bought minced onion and minced garlic as well as seeds and sea salt. The bagels turned out very well–however, the garlic and onion seemed to burn a bit in the oven. I was wondering if there was a specific type I should use, or if perhaps covering the bagels with parchment paper for the first 1/2 of baking could resolve this? I’d appreciate any advice–thanks!

    1. Lisa: Do you mean dried, jarred minced onions and garlic? Those don’t have water content, which means they won’t stand up to oven heat. Mince your own and briefly saute them in oil or butter of your choosing, then apply– see if that doesn’t solve. Jeff

      1. Hi, Jeff. Thanks for your suggestion. I did use dried, minced garlic and onion, since that seemed to be the closest to what our local bagel shop does, and I was trying to keep things consistent for a certain particular 13-year-old :). I will try using the fresh sauteed veggies next time.
        One more question regarding bagels, which I’m making with the Master Recipe dough, not the Bagel or Montreal Bagel dough. I find that the bagels puff very nicely when boiled, but they lose some of that puffiness between the time they are removed from the liquid and when they go into the oven. Also, I notice that they don’t ‘rise’ much when baked. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong? Have you found that oven spring is improved by using AB in 5 dough that is specifically for bagels? The Master Recipe ones taste great and everyone loved the bagels, but I’m curious to know if I could get a fluffier finished product with the other doughs.
        Thanks again for making homemade bread so accessible and enjoyable! Lisa

      2. Lisa: You get most of your rise in the boiling– you may find a more fluffy, risen result if you switch to Bread flour, the recipes in ABin5.

  11. My favorite pizza is just a very traditional one: mushrooms, onions, and sometimes a bit of ground beef. Since I am trying to keep my weight down, I often use low fat cheese. It doesn’t brown as well but I can rationalize that second piece!

  12. I made a batch of bagel dough from the first book, made pretzels earlier in the week and then bagels today. I was out of sugar so I used the cream of tartar and baking soda from the pretzel recipe.. so what is the difference why sugar in one and cream of tatar in the other. Also I was wondering if it is possible to get some of work done the night before. I have 4 bagels that have been formed that I will boil and bake tomorrow and see how it goes… but I was wondering if I could boil the night before and then bake?


    1. Katie: bagels typically have a slightly sweet crust, but not pretzels. Really a matter of preference, if you liked the switch– go with it!

      Haven’t tried night-before boiling– if you experiment with that, wrap them well. They may stick to everything though– that might be the limitation. Jeff

  13. I absolutely love it. I will feature it as Article of The Week, hope you don’t mind – just a thumb and link to your site.

    Still haven’t use all recipes from your book but I love all of them so far! 🙂

  14. Hi, I have purchased Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, when I make the dough for the master recipe found on page 54, it is not turning out properly, or at least I don’t think it is. It is VERY WET to the touch and when I have a chunk setting for rising, it doesn’t, it is getting a little costly to be wasting all these ingredients, can you please offer some advice?
    Thanks in advance, Helen

      1. Hi and thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I have to admit I have not watched any videos yet. Will give that a try, I made a new batch of dough last night from the other book, the first one, master recipe and after I set the lid on it to let it rise, I realised I hadn’t followed the directions correctly concerning the yeast being added to the warm water,I just threw it all into the container like the other recipe calls for, lol, so now I am out of yeast and have to start all over again lol, Oh my goodness I will get it right yet!!! ha ha.
        Thanx for being here :o) Will watch some videos, ttfn, Helen

      2. everything is good Jeff. I found all your videos, thanx so much for getting back to me, have a great day everyone :o) Helen

  15. This has nothing to do with bagels. I was late to the pizza party and since your other books were so foolproof I decided to up my game as a fool. I’m traveling for work and bought an electric fondue pot to cook in. You know the kind, it has a magnetic connection to the power that’s easily knocked off and heats but applying bursts of full power to the elements. Max temp 400 degrees. OK, Jeff & Zoe, beat this! So I mix up the dough in a ziplock bag, forgot whether I added 6 cups or seven, measured with the coffee cupp that *looks* like a real 8 oz, rose till I woke up in the middle of the night and stuck it in the fridge. Next day take out something smaller than an orange, stretch it by hand (’cause there’s no work surface) till it starts to go haywire and throw it in the preheated pot. Maybe an irregular 7×4″ crust of widely varying thicknesses. At least there were no tears. I decided to bake one side then flip it so the baked side would help heat the toppings. I did that, covered it with wet sauce (Trader Joe’s bolognese) and lots of cheese – 3 different areas – 1 parm/mozz, 1 fontina, 1 asiago/rosemary olive oil. I had already cooked chicken sausage to add later. I threw some garlic on as well. The first side cooked well but then once I topped it it started to melt the cheese and stagnated. I let it sit 10 min so the heat could build up but no progress. Sure enough I knocked out the magnetic power control. So I ramped up the heat and the cheese melted in earnest and I decided to end the process when I smelled some burning. The cheese wasn’t browned but it was thoroughly melted and the crust was to die for! Unbelieveably great. I doubt I’ll be invited as guest chef in Naples but it’s a great way to have good food while traveling. Thanks again for another smash hit, foolproof, delicious technique!

      1. Yeah, well, it’s not better than doing it right, it’s just amazingly good considering how primitive the tools are. I wouldn’t recommend trying it unless you had no other choice. But I’m grateful to you & Zoe and wanted to let you know.

  16. In the past, I spent days preparing bagels for my husband, and it became quite a laborious task. This has cut my time down tremendously. Thanks for the great post!

  17. OHHH!!! I love bagel, but I’ve never make them…because I didn’t know how they should be boiled!!!! So, thanks for sharing. I’m adding to my must try pile!!!!

  18. Hi,

    I’m wondering about making gluten free bagels. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for what recipe I should use?

    1. Melva: Given that you have to boil them– I think this would be a tall order for that dough– I don’t think it has the structure to hold up to that. But you can always form a ring-shaped roll from one of our GFs and bake it…

  19. I love making the Vermont cheddar bread. I substitute the cheddar w/Asiago instead. It makes a much more flavorful loaf and the more cheese I add, the more intense the flavor (1 1/2 cups is usually perfect but I’ve added as much as 2). I plan on making Asiago bagels now. I love your book! Why would anyone use any other bread book? Yum!

    1. Hi Ellen,

      Thank you, I love your addition of Asiago, I imagine it is a very flavorful loaf!

      Cheers, Zoë

  20. hi, I’m new at making bagels and would like to incorporate some spinach. Could I stick a few leaves in the little balls when I roll them up before I stick them in the water? Karen

    1. Karen: It might create pockets– probably better to use the spinach in the initial mix. But anything’s worth a try!

  21. Hi,
    I’d like to make the Montreal bagel recipe in AB5 (pg129). Two questions: would you know if the dried malt extract (powder form) is similar to malt powder called for in the recipe? Also, I don’t have bread flour. Can I use all purpose? I do have gluten flour. Should I add that to the all purpose.

    30 years ago I lived on St Denis in Monteal and would walk to Fairmont to get a dozen bagels. Somehow, by the time I got back, I’d only have a half dozen left. Must have been a hole in the bag… ; )

    Merry Christmas and all the best to the Bread in 5 gang for 2013!

    1. Hi John,

      Yes, your dried malt extract should do the trick. You can make the bagels with the all-purpose and just add a couple tablespoons of the vital wheat gluten flour.

      We used to have the same experience with the Fairmont bagels, but we’d hardly reach the door before they were half gone.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  22. I’ve been successfully making bread using your first 2 books for about a year, and they’ve opened up a whole new world to me and my family. Thanks loads.

    I tried bagels today for the first time (p. 122, ABin5). They taste good, but I would like a different texture – denser on inside, and not so crisp on outside. Overall, I want a chewy, rather than a crisp crust, and these are REALLY hard on the outside. Also, they were a bit wet on the inside after being in a 450 oven for 30 min.

    I used unbromated, unbleached “premium” all purpose flour that is high in protein, supposed to be suitable bread flour (5 g protein per 1/4 cup). Let sit almost 20 min before shaping, boiled immed after shaping – 2min, flip, 1 min. Perhaps I should have let them remain on towel longer before into oven? (about 1 min). I also flipped the bagels halfway through to brown both sides. Pizza stone was at the bottom of the oven, BECAUSE I LIVE AT 7500 FT, AND ALMOST EVERYTHING BROWNS TOO FAST ON TOP WHEN PLACED IN THE MIDDLE OR TOP OF OVEN.

    Is it flour? Altitude? Not draining on towel long enough? Flipping in oven halfway through? Wonder if I baked them without steam if they’d be chewier vs. crispy crust?

    1. Hi Mary,

      I would try boiling them for less time, cut by about half. You can eliminate the steam and perhaps lower the temperature by 25 degrees to get a softer crust. try not flipping them and see if that makes any difference, it may not, but at least it is less work! 😉

      Hope this results a bagel that is closer to what you are looking for.


      1. Thanks for your reply, Zoe. Implementing your suggestions resulted in a texture closer to what I was visualizing. And it WAS far simpler not to turn the bagels once they were in the oven! I’ll continue experimenting – Joyful New Year of Baking to all!

  23. I am having trouble making the bagels. This the second batch I ruined can I just shape the remainder of dough into two one pound loafs and bake a round loaf. Ps I am using the bagel recipe from”artisan bread in five minutes a day” BTW I love it!

    1. Hi Mari,

      What seems to be going wrong, maybe we can help you and your bagels?

      To answer your question, yes, you can divide the dough and make loaves with it. You may need to allow the dough to rest longer, because of the extra gluten in the bread flour.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. My bagels come out puffy after boiling but once I place them in the oven they completely flatten and the crust is super hard and the inside is raw 🙁 not sure what I’m doing wrong! Does the size of the whole matter perhaps I am making it to big?

    1. Hi Mari,

      If the hole significantly larger than what you see in this post? You can try making them smaller. I would also try boiling them for a shorter amount of time.

      Are you using an oven thermometer?

      Thanks, Zoë

    2. Hi Mari,

      If the hole significantly larger than what you see in this post? You can try making them smaller. I would also try boiling them for a shorter amount of time.

      Are you using an oven thermometer? The hard crust may be an oven temperature issue.

      Thanks, Zoë

  25. Thank you Zoe for replying I forgot to mention that I also attempted to make pretzels with the same dough and yielded the same result. I hope you can help me out! I love the book and am pleased with the results of several of the other recipes I have tried

  26. I want to make the Montreal Bagels. The recipe calls for malt powder. King Arthur Flour sells two types diastatic malt powder and non-diastatic malt powder. Which one do I need for the bagels

  27. I made the Montreal Bagels. My first time to ever make bagels. They are wonderful and your recipes are easy to follow.

  28. Hi guys,

    I am making the bagels tomorrow for the fourth time! My husband absolutely loves the bagels, and I can’t keep them in the freezer at all. (I made a triple batch two weeks ago). My question is, when I boil the bagels, they puff quite a bit, but deflate when they are taken out of the water. They rise again during baking, and the texture is perfect, but they seem to shrivel and shrink a lot afterwards, to the point where I feel like I have half the original size bagel the next day. Any suggestions? I am using the bagel recipe listed here with Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour, I have also used both a stone and baking sheets with parchment paper and the results are the same.

    Also, in an unrelated matter, I absolutely love the master recipe and have shared it with several friends who can’t believe it’s so easy. My question is though, when I bake the bread, it seems to explode! I do gluten cloak and score the top before baking and the top of the loaf is gorgeous, but the sides seem to break out of their boundaries and I’m left with an awkward shaped loaf. This happens regardless of the shape of the loaf, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether I use bread flour or all purpose. (I can send photos if that would help). Please let me know if there is something I’m missing, Thanksgiving is coming up soon and I’m slated to bring bread!

    1. Hi Mekendry,

      You can try boiling the bagels for a slightly shorter time, so they will form a skin in the water, but won’t collapse when baking.

      The master recipe sounds like it just needs to rest a little longer before you bake it. Try letting it rest 20 to 30 minutes longer and see if that helps.

      Thanks, Zoe

  29. Thank you so very much for your books. I love them and have been baking constantly from them for several months. You have truly changed the way our family eats. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it!!

    My bagel question is, what is the best way to store them (overnight, to eat the next morning)? Do I just leave them out or wrap them in some way?

    1. These stale quickly. Two choices, wrap in plastic and freeze (I usually quick-microwave and toast), or wrap in plastic and leave on the counter if you’re using them next AM. Any airtight container works, doesn’t have to be plastic wrap. Unfortunately, they’re small, with lots of surface area and will dry out if you expose to air overnight.

      Best is fresh, of course.

  30. Hi Jeff and Zoe, I have been using your master dough recipe to make my bialy’s for awhile now, but finally just got your newest book and tried the bagel dough recipe for bagels and bialy’s. I have made bagels many times before from other recipes, but was scared and skeptical it would work with such a wet dough. And to be fair, I made some changes (as I typically do to everything!). I used half King Arthur high gluten flour and half whole wheat flour and used barley malt syrup instead of powder keeping all the weight measurements the same. Normally I may adjust the water for the different flours, but in this case I did not. My dough sat in the fridge about 3 days. Today was baking day and the verdict is…..I am now a beleiver! They worked perfectly, looked perfect, and the taste!! YUM! Thanks….now on to try other loaves and breads.

  31. I can’t believe how easy this is.

    I did bagels this morning and pretzels last week. I was unhappy with the floured towel for the pretzels because it took a soak in the kitchen sink and two washes to get all the flour-paste back out — and the pretzels stuck anyway. So today I sat my bagels on a wire rack before seeding them and transferring to the peel. It worked very well.

    I’m looking forward to playing with the recipe. When I lived in Mass. I would get garlic bagels from Stop and Shop that had the garlic in the dough instead of on top. There were seeds in it too, possibly poppy seed.

    I loved those bagels because I love garlic but hate scorched garlic.

    DH wants cinnamon-raisin. I told him that I could indeed do that.

  32. Greetings Zoe and Jeff! I am really enjoying the ABin5 concept, and have made the master recipe for the first time. So far, my wife and I have enjoyed the Boule and this morning, we had Baguettes with butter and jam. I especially like the illustrated techniques for shaping the different varieties. Thank you! I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and have been eating soft pretzels all my life. I’ve been making them in my own kitchen for a few months now here in southern New Jersey because my local supplier went out of business, and I NEED my pretzel fix. Philly soft pretzels are made to be consumed when bought, so a few hours later, they are hard as a rock. To get the same basic consistency with a longer shelf life, I use a 70/30 all purpose/bread flour blend. Pretzel salt is a must, it doesn’t disappear during the baking. There is also 2 1/2 Tbs butter or margarine per 4 cups flour. For the bath, 4 cups water to 5 teaspoons baking SODA in a cast iron pan (non-aluminum)just below the boiling point. The dough will actually change to a slightly yellow color, and firm up to a spongy texture. I use a couple of slotted spatulas and put the pretzels on parchment. Any excess water will steam away when it hits the pizza stone anyway. I salt them and put them in the pre-heated oven asap. My previous recipes didn’t call for steam, but I will try it next time. My favorite variation is the Jalapeno dough pretzel, yum!
    My favorite bagel recipe, like a previous poster, contains minced garlic, garlic powder, and brown sugar in the actual dough. Would that work in your version of bagel dough? Honestly, I don’t think I own a pot that holds 8 quarts of water. The recipe I’ve been using has 3 quarts water and 1 Tbs sugar at a boil. Same reaction as the pretzels, they float, turn light yellow, and are a bit stiff and spongy when it’s time to transfer them to the parchment. At this point, I like to brush on a whisked up raw egg, and add my toppings. It gives the bagels a beautiful shine, and the toppings stick very well. Would that work with your bagel dough as well? I love the website, and will be trying English muffins and skillet pizza soon. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Your Philly pretzels sound great!

      You can add the garlic, garlic powder and brown sugar to the bagel dough and I think it will be fantastic! I may have to give that a try myself. The egg wash will work just fine on the bagels.

      Thanks, Zoë

  33. Hi there i was reading about bagels at the king Arthur flour web site. they recommend using a very hi gluten flour and a special kind of malt powder.the high gluten apparently makes a very chewy authentic bagel. I was wondering if you have tried this? can i swap the flours in your recipes? do you have a high gluten recipe? ( i have all your books) thank you thank you laura

    1. Hi Laura,

      Bread flour is a high gluten flour, which is why we recommend it for our bagel recipe. If you use the King Arthur brand you may need to increase the water by a 1/4 cup, because their flour tends to have an even higher protein content.

      Thanks, Zoë

  34. I want to make bagels half white half wheat. I plan on using bread flour, but should I use whole wheat pastry flour or plain wheat? Thanks.

  35. My husband and I have become quite addicted to having these bagels for breakfast. We have our own “bagel factory” every couple weeks and freeze a couple dozen at a time. To increase what we can make at one time, do you think it would work to use two stones on two different shelves of the oven?

    1. Yes, but– the top shelf bagels will brown faster, so you’ll probably have to switch the trays at some point (do it in baking sheets or you’ll have a hassle).

  36. Love the all of the books!

    I’m making a batch of these bagels for an end of Yom Yippur break-fast meal on Saturday night. The challenge that I have is that I need to make them by Friday afternoon and need a way to store them.

    What is the best way to store these bagels for 24 hours? I want them to be as fresh/soft/tasty as possible. Thanks!

    Greg in Boston

    1. Shana Tovah, Greg. OK, I have to be honest, 24 hours is a challenging time-frame, because it’s too long to leave them out, for sure. And yet… by freezing them, you do lose something. But: I make bagels and freeze them all the time, it’s a reasonable compromise, that’s what I’d do. They have so much surface area to present to the air, they can’t help but get stale at room temp.

      Defrost at room temp (about 75 minutes), and then– they’re best toasted. But not bad at room temp.

      1. Thank you so much, and Shana Tovah to you and your family too.

        I went ahead and followed your suggestion to freeze and then thaw the bagels, which worked great. After thawing them for 75 minutes, I also warmed them in the oven at the lowest setting for 20 minutes, which made them seem “fresh baked”. They came out excellently.

        Looking forward to making these again!


  37. I just made bagels with some light whole wheat dough from ABin5, and they turned out great! It was so much fun to make them, too. I read the post as well as the recipe in the book. I also watched Chef John’s video from and kind of took some ideas from that, too ( I was just wondering if there is a way to adjust either the regular or Montreal bagel dough for using just all-purpose flour. I don’t have bread flour or vital wheat gluten flour. I’m looking forward to a bagel for breakfast tomorrow! Thanks!

    1. Hi Joanne,

      You can use all-purpose flour, but add about 1/2 cup more. It will be a bit looser, but it will still work well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  38. I had tried another bagel recipe, major disaster. My son said they could be used as ninja throwing stars–hard as a rock, literally. I used your recipe, much better!! The flavor is better. However, as with other posters, I boiled for 2 min on one side, and 1 minute on the other, and the bagels sat while I got all 10 boiled. Then put them in the oven and they were very slow to bake. The bottom crust is very hard, and they are rather flat. Not at all what my children were hoping for. We recently moved from VA to Bainbridge Island and there are no bagels here except grocery store ones–really awful. In VA we had a local bagel shop that could not be beat. Their bagels had a slightly crusty bottom, and a chewy texture. The flavor of yours is great, but when they came out of the oven they were only 1/2 inch thick and really hard on the bottom. Some were a bit wet on the inside.

    So, now I see I need to put the stone on the top shelf. However, in our new house the big oven is broken and my stone won’t fit in the small working oven. How do I use the baking sheet? Preheat it? In top rack, middle or bottom? Should I use steam also?

    Also in some posts it talks about a wet mixture, but mine was pretty dry. In your book it talks about possibly needing wet hands to incorporate all the flour. I was able to get the flour incorporated with just a bit of mixing with a spoon, but it was definitely not a wet mixture. I used bread flour, some brand I was not familiar with (Stone-Buhr) because there was no King Arthur bread flour at the store.

    After cooling,the taste is great, just want them fluffier after baking. Thanks for your help. Your breads are great.

    We use the pizza dough recipe often, just need a wood fired pizza oven though, although we make really good pizzas now thanks to your recipe!

    1. Hi Susan,

      I have found that letting them rise a bit longer and boiling for a shorter time is the best bet. Try boiling them for as short as 30 seconds on each side. The trick is to get them in the oven as fast as you can after boiling, so you may need to do them in batches if you need to make a lot.

      The bagel recipe made with bread flour is a bit dry, so it will hold up to the boiling. The extra several minutes of resting, up to 15, will hopefully result in a lighter texture.

      Heat the baking sheet near the top of the oven and slide the bagels on it like you would a stone. You’ll still want to use steam.

      Thanks and enjoy all the bread! Zoë

  39. I tried this recipe with the only exception that I halved the quantities for the boil recipe because I didn’t have a large enough pot. I used the master recipe dough that I mixed yesterday (though it sat out at room temp for longer than 2 hours). I think there was a bit too much agitation with the boil, but all of my bagels came out of the boil lumpy and jagged, and then out of the oven the same way. They still taste good, but the crust is terrible looking. Any idea what I might have done wrong?

    1. Well, to tell you the truth, mine come out that way and I think it’s just fine, don’t care about that appearance. There are a number of things to try that would make for a more cohesive surface:

      1. Drier dough
      2. Bread flour (in pro bakeries, this is what they use for white bagels.

      Other suggestions in the book…

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