Before developing my recipe and process for making bagels at my bakery I toured the famous bagel houses of New York and Montreal. Each with their own style quite apart. This recipe is akin to the NY style with a dense chewy crumb. 

The keys to getting the bagel right are in the stiffness of the dough. This is what lends the chewy dense crumb of a great morning bagel. The stiffness is also criticil if you going to boil them since it makes them less fragile and prone to deflating while moving into the pot. A bit toothsome but also yielding with a subtle sweetness from a dash of sugar or honey in the dough. 

You can also skip the boil for a simpler process and similar outcome. The crust is a bit softer and a touch sweet from the malted barley in the boiling liquid and It has the totally round shape from not baking on the a sheet tray art first buoyed by the water. But it’s taste and texture are largely the same.

The finished bagels freeze incredibly well in a heavy freezer bag and the dough also keeps well in the fridge up to 4 days. But you better make a double batch if you want extra around because these dissappear fast!


Make about a dozen bagels  – Whole Wheat or sifted                       20 minutes active time                                  Minimum 2 hours start to finish but works best as an overnight dough.


  • 1lb 5oz whole wheat flour(or 1lb 6oz sifted)
  • 1/2 Tsp instant Yeast
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar(or 3 Tbsp Honey)
  • 15oz water at 90 degrees


  1. Scale dry ingredients and mix together before adding the water.
  2. Warm the water to 90 degrees and mix with the dry.
  3. The dough should be a bit stiff and require a little hand kneading to fully incorporate all the flour. Like a soft clay consistency
  4. Knead for 2-3 minutes in the bowl
  5. Allow to double in size or place in fridge to use the following day
  6. Portion dough into 3 oz squares and then roll into 10 inch strands
  7. After you roll each strand wrap around your hand with the seam under your palm and roll until even and sealed
  8. If you just want to bake them and skip the boil top them now
  9. If you are going to boil top them as they come out of the boil.
  10. Place on a baking sheet dusted with flour to proof(rise)until risen 50%
  11. Boil in a single layer 1 minute per side and then place on baking tray with silpat or parchment
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees

adding malted barley powder(1tbs) to the boiling liquid

On the Left is the boiled bagel on the right the baked one. I would say the difference is small but the boiled one does have a slightly softer crust. They are both incredibly delicious and satisfying.

Mmmm…bagels. Enjoy!