cinnamon raisin bagels

There are a whole lot of foods that I’m not sure are even worth the trouble of making at home, though I suspect this list varies by what you have accessible in your neighborhood. I feel fairly certain I won’t be making any falafel sandwiches in our new kitchen, especially now that I’ve discovered our proximity to the $2.50 perfection at Mamouns. I’m not even sure I’ll ever make pirogi again, after finding my fluffy, light pirogi nirvana this weekend at the Ukranian National Home. And in general, I’ve never seen a whole lot of purpose in making bagels from scratch in New York City — save a one-time baking frenzy — and certainly not when we lived less than two blocks from our bagel ideal, Murrays. (I’m a little lost for a decent bagel in the East Village — anyone? I think we’ve been spoiled.)

making the spongerinsed raisinsmalt syrup16 bagels

But all bets are off when you’re at a cattle ranch 90 minutes from the nearest city in Northeastern Oklahoma, where I’m pretty sure your best bet to land a decent handmade, water-boiled bagel is to tackle them in your own kitchen. Plus, when you’re visiting someone who had just recently discovered her fervent passion for bagels with cream cheese and lox, it is your New Yorker duty to come armed with fresh, delicious cream cheese and lox from Russ & Daughters. And so we did. But then we demanded she make her own bagels.

bagels, proofing

Okay, fine, we helped. We used the bagel recipe from Peter Reinhart that we’d fallen in love with — and gotten my dad’s Bronx stamp of approval on — a year and a half ago, but this time swapped half the batch with a cinnamon raisin variety. (I thought this might be an easier sell to her four young’uns, who may need a Starter Bagel before easing on into the smoked fish, onion and caper-stacked everything bagel classic. Okay, fine, I’m lying. I was the one who demanded it.)

forming the bagelsbagels, almost ready to retardchecking to see if it's ready to retardboiling the bagelsbagels, from the ovencinnamon raisin bagel + cream cheese

Now, it’s not that I expected it to be difficult to make a cinnamon raisin bagel like you’d buy at one of New York’s finest bagelries, but I had not expected it to taste so utterly, completely spot-on; better than, even — easily surpassing the best ones we’ve ever bought. They were delicious straight from the oven, but after that wild rain worked their humidity on the boiled crust, they were even better toasted. And slathered with cream cheese. And eaten hours after the Sunday bagel rush has passed, but completely worth the effort and wait.

I think the Oklahoman approved.

i think she approves

One year ago: Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Two years ago: Barley, Corn and Arugula Salad

RSS Changes Hey, Deb! Why’d you shorten your RSS feed? Only begrudgingly, and because widespread content theft had unfortunately left us with no other options. Read more about this change over here.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

Yield: 12 super large, 16 regularly large or 24 miniature bagels

Want to make a plain or seeded variety? Original recipe is over here.

This can be a two-day or one extended day project. We started with the sponge early in the morning, and rested the dough in the fridge only three to four hours instead of overnight and found the results lacking for nothing. That said, the more time you give your dough to rest, the better developed and deeper the flavors.

1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature

1 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar
2 cups loosely packed raisins, rinsed with warm water to remove surfact sugar, acid, and natural wild yeast

To Finish
1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
Melted butter for brushing (optional)
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (optional)

1. Day one: To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

2. To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough. In the last two minutes of mixing, add the raisins. (I ended up adding a bit of flour with them, as mine were still wet and made the dough a little sticky.)

3. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should 77 to 71°F. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

4. Immediately divide the dough into 12 (4 1/2 ounce) pieces for super sized bagels, 16 (3.375 ounce) regular-sized bagels, or 24 (2.25 ounce) perfectly smaller bagels. Form the pieces into rolls.

5. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

6. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter for a supersized bagel, two inches for a large one or just slightly more than one inch for a miniature. The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible (try to avoid thick and thin spots.)

7. Place each of the shaped pieces two inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

8. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float. Return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

9. The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels, see head notes), preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.

10. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute, flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.)

11. When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on two middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately five minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only one pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.

12. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving. Optionally, when they come out of the oven and are still hot, you can brush the tops with the melted butter and dip them in cinnamon sugar to create a cinnamon-sugar crust, if desired. But who’d want to eat something like that?

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196 comments on cinnamon raisin bagels

  1. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been wanting to make homemade bagels for a while now (doughnuts too) and now I’ve got the recipe from a real New-Yorker! :-) Thanks from a Pacific North West girl! :-)

  2. Yum! Sounds like a fun weekend project, nearby bagel shops or no. I should have clarified an earlier dumb question I posted…ahem…I meant to ask…did you meet Marlboro Man??

    1. deb

      Jenny — We did. And he seriously the nicest guy in the whole world (that’s not Alex).

      The only thing we were bummed about is that we ran out of time for him to cook Alex a proper steak. What a fun post that would’ve been, huh? Perhaps next time. Ree says we should come back “when the baby has rubberband wrists” and leave the baby at their house for the week while we sleep, sleep, sleep. We are SO taking her up on this, and that fresh, local (.001 food miles!), grass-fed steak.

  3. I had my very first content theft incident last week and I almost lost my mind – you must get a lot more of it and it’s totally infuriating. Even if people ‘don’t realize’ that they’re doing something wrong, haven’t we all sat through enough gradeschool lectures on plagiarism?

  4. I see that you are only publishing summaries on the readers now. I think its great. I always click through to read your posts anyway. :)

  5. If you’re close to Mamouns I liked Bagels on the Square which is just on 6th between 3rd and Bleecker. There was a Mamouns in my college town too and it was the BEST 1 am postparty food ever. I was thrilled to find it right there when I went to grad school too!

    I think the new feed is good– not so short that I don’t know if I want to click or not, but short enough to leave me wanting more.

  6. Oh man, I miss NY bagels. I need to make some of these bagels so that I can experience the sensation of the perfect bagel once again. I’m so excited that these bagels turned out spot-on perfect for you!! That definitely looks like an approving Oklahoma smile :)

  7. Rachel

    But PW’s steak ain’t grass-fed!
    From the horse’s mouth:
    I wonder if you and MM ever thought of raising and selling organic grass-fed beef? That’d be so awesome. if not, why not?
    No…that’s more for niche operations. Ours is more of a commercial (though still family-owned) ranch. Also, corn fed beef tastes better (in our humble opinion.)

  8. Anita

    if you’re near Mamoun’s, you must must must try The Hummus Place – it has the best falafel (and hummus of course) in the neighborhood! just a few blocks up from Mamoun’s (east, I think – next to Kati Roll) on the same street.

  9. I’m with you…there are lots of foods that don’t need making at home in manhattan, but I feel like are worth tackling just in case a girl finds herself in oklahoma…

    As far as East Village bagels, I sometimes buy them at East Village Cheese on 3rd ave, and sometime just get the “local” ones they sell at Whole Foods. You could also try Moishe’s on 2nd ave…

    1. deb

      Anita — Guess how many meals we’ve had from there? It’s almost embarrassing, as we’ve lived here only two weeks and were out of town for four of the days. THREE. I heart that place. I’d just discovered this hummusiot thing a couple weeks ago, courtesy of this article, and it only made me more eager to move closer to one. Obsessed.

      Rachel — This was not a comment on their ranching operations, nor would I dare go near the convo of other people’s businesses with a ten-foot pole. I was just remarking on the fact that a) all the cows we saw on the ranch munched on grass all day, and b) all of the steaks in the freezer in the house came from one of their cows, that had grown old on the ranch.

      Susan — I would never deprive RSS-ers images! It’s totally one of my pet peeves. The first several images are viewable in RSS, or they are set up to be and show up in my Google Reader. The post should break at the same place it does on the homepage.

  10. Marcy

    Please tell me you eat the lox on the cinnamon – raisin bagels! My sister and I always always do that even though it grosses everyone out. And yes, it should be BELLY lox on the cinnamon-raisin! There is no other lox for me–ever! People who don’t try it don’t know what kind of sweet-savory heaven they’re missing!

  11. Deb, I totally understand about switching from full to partial RSS feed because of content theft. However, do you think you’d consider making the first image of the post viewable on the rss? This way, people would get a better idea of the post contents and you’d get a bit more of a visual kick.

  12. I am a long way from bagels too and need to overcome my fear of sponge. This looks like a great place to start! Also, love that picture of Ree, what a cute and funny shot.

  13. Boy do I miss real bagels. Can’t wait until I move back to NJ/NY area in a month, get me some real bagels! In the meantime however, these are one of my favorite flavors and looks like it could tide me over until the move. I would put some raisin walnut cream cheese on these for sure!

    1. deb

      Amusingly, that David’s bagels opened shortly after I left this neighborhood many years ago, and closed shortly before I got back to it! I guess it was not meant to be.

      Marcy — We did not. But we do not judge you.

  14. Liz

    Just to let you know that as far as changing the RSS feed settings go – you will NEVER lose me as a reader. You are worth one, two, three (however many) clicks it takes to get me here! :O)

  15. I live in New York and I’m still going to try these, thanks! Not that I really understand the technical side of your RSS Feeds at all but I did understand the stealing part. Good on you for protecting your work from thieves.

  16. I am not sure where you are in the east village, but it might be worth a walk (in the warm weather) to Essa Bagel on 21st and 1st. Way better than Murray’s :-) I love it! Thanks for the recipe :-)

  17. naiad

    I usually don’t comment, but I can’t help but point a lost soul in the direction of worthwhile bagels! As always (at least in my experience), the best bagels are made in kosher bakeries (particularly the ones in Montreal, but I digress).

    As someone else mentioned, and I second and third: try Moishe’s! 2nd between 6th and 7th, I think. I go there often for the mini hamentaschen, which are delightful, and the cookies are pretty great too… Moishe himself is almost always there, and very friendly and more often than not covered in chocolate or apricot paste (and accepting of the weird blonde goy who comes in for the hamentaschen and bagels and wishes him a very happy Passover).

    Well, there’s my two cents. Go and be smitten! :-)

  18. michelle

    I was originally frustrated at not having the full post in my google reader. But, i read your explanation and I totally understand. I’m still a loyal reader and that click didn’t hurt me a bit!!

    Thanks for all of your wonderful posts!

    1. deb

      Eily — Whoops, fixed. The note was from the last time I made them, when I forgot it in the recipe and added it in the boiling water. This time, I actually did it right, thus note no longer relevant. But thanks for the catch!

  19. Kara

    I think David’s Bagels on First Ave between 13th and 14th is pretty good – and steps from your apartment if you are in Stuy Town (which I feel like maybe you are – can’t remember if that was in a past post or I’m making it up).

  20. Kara

    whoops, see that david’s is closed. sad! i moved out of the e.v. for a two-year stint down south in august, so i guess it closed after that. sigh.

  21. I LOVE homemade bagels! I’ve done chocolate chip ones for my daughters, but I would prefer these cinnamon raisin. I may try subbing some whole wheat flour- just to make them a bit healthier! I just can’t justify spending over about a dollar for a bagel at those bagel shops.

  22. A

    I love making dough, but I usually stick to loaves of bread and pizza because bagels intimidate me too much.

    These, however, look too good to not attempt!

  23. Dawn in CA

    I am confused by the portion of the recipe in step #10, where it says to “top” the bagels as soon as they come out of the water. You refer to a note, but I did not see one. Am I missing something? Is the butter/cinnamon sugar step after the oven supposed to take the place of “topping” the bagels after boiling? 20 years in No. Cal. and I have yet to find a decent bagel shop, so you can imagine how important this information is. :) That said, I probably won’t be topping mine with anything — I like traditional bagels. Thanks!

  24. seriously, I can now have a Smitten Kitchen-approved bagel from my very own kitchen? Also in NorCal and not impressed with the offerings… I was always scared to make my own but you make it sound soooo worth it.

    1. deb

      Dawn — Another mistake. Will fix, thanks. Gosh I need to hire that editor already, don’t I?

      Susan — Just glad it’s working. It was a big sticking point for me to make sure there were photos before I made this change.

  25. OMG, thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m a New Jersey-born girl living in the land of no bagels (i.e., Flower Mound, TX), and I am at the point where I could easily kill for even a semi-decent bagel. Now, thanks to you, I can avoid the murder charge and indulge. These look so deliciously yummy! I can’t wait to give it a shot (and the humidity here should help, right? … I knew it had to be good for something). THANK YOU!

  26. kriswithmany

    That stinks with the plagiarizing. I’m sure to click through on interesting recipes still (all of them? LOL). Great recipe – I’ll have to try it soon. OK tested now :) (I’m in OK too!) LOL

  27. Yum yum yum! I’ve been wanting to for ages to try making my own bagels — especially now that I don’t live in the East Village anymore. My new life is full of pleasures and wonder but there is no East Village Cheese and no David’s Bagels here! I was so dismayed to see the David’s on First just below 14th was closed on my last visit — but there’s another location not a five minute’s walk north along First, at 19th or so. I love them!

  28. Deb (not the author)

    Did I just read that you need to hire an editor?? I’ll be your editor – and soux (is that how you spell it?) chef as well!

    Also – if you can walk for a few minutes, try out Ess-A-Bagel on 21st and 1st. Its worth the short walk and they have all the different kinds of smoked fish. My favorite is an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and baked salmon. =)

  29. I’ve made the Reinhardt recipe, and not ever having been to New York, I still to this day am not sure if I don’t care for NY bagels or if I did something wrong (and I made it twice!). It was a lot of work, that’s for sure, and hunting down ingredients like malt syrup was not easy even in my relatively large town down south. I’ve heard rumors that there is a Jewish deli in town owned by former New Yorkers, so I plan to investigate this NY bagel idea further. Also in NYC, hopefully, eventually, I can dream. Yours do look pretty close to mine, although mine were plain, so now I am even more puzzled.

  30. kathleen

    The only problem I’m having with my bagels is they are not plump enough, they rise great,then I put them in the boiling water and they plump up but while baking they kind of fall. When they are cut in half they are a bit too thin. Any suggestions? I tried making them thicker but I had the same problem.

    1. deb

      Sometimes when things are over-risen they expand and then fall, but otherwise, I’m rather stumped as to why they’d be flat.

      Malt syrup — Forgot to add that it is available at Whole Foods, if there’s one in your town. Ree found it there too!

  31. These look Fun! I tried to make bagels too!

    the thing that is tough is to make them dense (how I like them). The puffed up like BALLOONS when I dropped them into the water.

    I ams till on the search for an authentic bagel. grumble grumble.

  32. Vanessa

    Yay! My mom always used to make homemade bagels and it was such a treat for us kids to “help” pick out flavors. Once you get the hang of the technique there are so many ways to have fun with different varieties. I’d add that they freeze pretty well too so its easy to make a big batch go a long way. Of course that won’t be as good as fresh, but if your only choice is a chain bagel place, I’d rather have defrosted homemade any day.

  33. jojo

    I’m curious as to whether you’ve had Montreal bagels and what your thoughts are. New York v. Montreal bagels is a debate some of my die-hard friends have had. I love having some NY bagels when I visit the city (I’m from Toronto) and Ess-a-Bagel is the last place I tried. I had a few Montreal bagels about a month ago and they’re very different. Can’t go wrong with a bagel… I really don’t have a preference.

  34. Jean Marie

    Kirstin re: DC bagels. My sons and I made it our mission to try and find a decent bagel in DC last summer (they go to college in NYC). If you want to make a trip up Rockville Pike, go to Izzie’s. They are excellent and half of the patrons have NY accents! We’re partial to the everything bagels but they are all good.

  35. Mmmmmmm, bread. Gotta try these for the boys, I guess, to keep their carbs up… they’ve already finished the cinnamon rolls. Made them Friday, gone by Sunday. They will LOVE these.

  36. Sancho

    Your bagels look awesome! I’ve just moved away from Montreal and will be missing my morning bagel, but this looks like a great substitute.

    Re: RSS. That’s too bad about the content theft. My beef with having to click through is that I don’t feel comfortable visiting several individual sites at work, so I will have to wait for smitten kitchen until I get home :(
    It’s worth it though if it keeps you writing!

  37. Megan

    You know how on sports talk radio shows when people call in, they lead off with “First time, long time” to identify themselves as first time callers but long time listeners? Well, that’s what I’m doing now. I am obsessed with your blog. And always always pressure others to read it as well (when I assume they also become obsessed and pass it on)

    What the heck is instant yeast? And is it different from the packets of Flieschman’s or whatever that they have in the yogurt section of the grocery store???

    1. deb

      Welcome! There are three types of bread yeasts: fresh (comes in cakes), active dry (what used to be the most commonly used) and instant (aka rapid rise, quick-rise or bread machine) yeast. The last two come in similiar-looking packets, often three per package. They work a little differently, and in different volumes. Instant is more stable, doesn’t need to be proofed, etc. I could go on but I’d bore everyone but me. Just look out for it at the store and you should see it too.

  38. Becky

    To Marcy, no. 13-I love cinnamon-raisin bagels with lox and cream cheese! I can come out of the proverbial closet now that I read your post! Thank you! I thought, seriously, I was the only one in the world to enjoy that culinary combination. My husband is a native New Yorker, and we lived in Manhattan while he was in graduate school. Not to upset my in-laws, I ate bagels and lox the “proper” way at all family events. I tried to be demure about it, but really wanted to break away from the pack and eat the cream cheese and lox on a cinnamon-raisin bagel. Well, three kids later and now relocated in the Chicago area, I just decided one day to make a cinnamon-raisin bagel and lox, but only in front of my family. One of my daughters shrieked at me when she saw this aberration! I had smeared cream cheese and lox on a cinnamon-raisin bagel(with onion and dill) and it blew her mind since she is truly her daddy’s daughter! (BTW-have you ever tried smoked whitefish salad on said bagel? AWESOME!!!)

  39. Are you kidding?? You live across the street from NYC-Mamouns?! I live (literally) across the street from its New Haven, CT counterpart… New-Haven-Mamouns! Their dirt cheap falafel sandwiches just cannot be beat.

    My two cents regarding homemade bagels: homemade bagels are the best thing I have ever made homemade. They are the most worth it. A fresh bagel with lox and cream cheese…. oh my goodness, just thinking about it sends me off the edge. Homemade bagels are perfection!

  40. deb

    Deb, thank you from the bottom of my heart, on two levels.

    First, thank you for a wonderful homemade bagel recipe. I’ve lived in the Chicago area since January of 1979, having grown up on Long Island. Chicagoans might think they know a bagel, but in truth….THEY HAVE NO CLUE. My three grown children think that bagels are those ‘things’ that you get from the franchise bagel place, or from the grocery store…*shudder*. I have a warm fuzzy place in my heart for lox/smoked salmon and cream cheese on a GOOD bagel, please with a thin slice of tomato, and some capers, and perhaps a bit of finely chopped red onion. Sigh.

    (Deb, please tell me that you have heard of a cream cheese and olive sandwich. I’ve lived in Illinois for thirty years, and everyone thinks that I have lost my mind, or am plotting murder, when I mention my favorite Sandwich from childhood.)

    Second- I am an oddball…I cannot eat lox, tomato, capers, onion etc., on a cinnamon raisin bagel. That piece of perfection is saved for a good slathering of real butter after toasting. So- I greatly appreciate the link to the non-fruit/cinnamon bagels.

    I am going to introduce my children, ages 35, 31 and 26, to a real bagel this weekend, on Mothers Day (seems somehow wrong, shouldn’t THEY be cooking for me?). I can’t wait.
    Love your blog Deb!

  41. Here’s a quick suggestion for people using Google Reader – they have a “Next” button that you can add to your bookmarks toolbar. It allows you to view all of your subscriptions at the actual page rather than in the reader. You still just click one button to go to the next subscription. It’s super easy to install and even easier to use. Just sign in to Google Reader, click Settings at the top right, then click Goodies. Under “Put Reader in a Bookmark” just click and drag the “Next” button to your toolbar. Done!
    This way you don’t have to worry about partial feeds and navigating in and out of your reader. Of course, this only works for people using Google Reader…

  42. I’ve had exactly the same problem with unscrupulous people stealing my content. Apart from the fact that it’s unfair, I am a style journalist and so they are stealing my livelihood as well as my thoughts. Grr. It seriously upset some of my readers when I shortened my feed, but tant pis: those thieving monsters left me with no choice.

    And so pleased re recipe. The moment I stop this road trip in CA, lift my head out the trough of delicious food here & return to NYC, I’m gonna make them! English girl makes bagels: that’ll be fun! LLGxx

  43. Joanna

    I second the Ess-A-Bagel nominations by Melissa and Deb. I don’t even care that much about bagels in general, but I’d go out of my way for one of these!

  44. banana

    David’s bagels was my go-to spot when I lived in the East village. I’m sad to hear it closed since I’m coming back to NYC at the end of May. Althought it’s not quite east village, Ess-A-Bagel is great and pretty close on 21st and 1st ave.

  45. Anna

    Add Hong Kong to the list of places where one cannot find a decent bagel (or many really great baked goods.) But my oven only goes up to 220 Celsius, about 428 Fahrenheit. It seems I’m destined to be without good bagels.

  46. Lara

    These bagels look fantastic! But Wait!!! How did I miss this before- you posted a homemade bread recipe (light wheat bread) a while back…I went out and bought the flours and the powdered milk (things I don’t normally have around the house) but I have not been able to complete the project because I can’t find instant yeast! I have looked in at LEAST 7 different grocery stores with no luck. Every time I open my cupboard and see that box of powdered milk it reminds me to look for that yeast. I have seen (and probably have) bread machine yeast, rapid rise, and quick rise- are these considered instant yeasts?? If so, I know what I am doing this weekend!!

  47. Mmm… I’ve made Peter Reinhart’s bagels before, but not the cinnamon raisin variation. I might have to try these next time I have some time to kill…

  48. Samarahuel

    Yeah, you need to make your own bagels at home when you live in Germany too. They have tasty pretzels and serve their bratwurst on good, hearty rolls, but I have only seen bagels in a picture here, and they didn’t even look good. I have been waiting for the right time to realize your recipe, and this is a great variation I will use when I do, at the end of this month. I’m taking them camping Memorial Day weekend, toasted on a cast iron skillet and spread with cream cheese and jam for breakfast.

  49. Leighann

    @Lara comment# 69—scroll back up to Deb’s comment# 54, it explains the “instant yeast” thing. It has lots of different names just to confuse us all! :)

  50. Megan

    Hi Deb,

    This is like the 10th recipe Ive co-opted from your site. Im really excited to cook the bagels tonight (they are in the fridge right now. I too have a tiny kitchen with no dishwasher but hopefully that will change one day.

    I did make two alterations to your recipe because I was too absorbed to go to the store yesterday. Instead of malt syrup, I used molasses and Instead of raisins I used craisins (How could I be out of raisins?!!!! but still have a 3lb bag of craisins?!)

    Thank you for inspiring me in the kitchen.

  51. I’ve just recently made bagels myself. They were great. I was wondering, how do you like The Bread Baker’s Apprentice? I have the book (along with MANY others) on my online wishlist. Would you rate it?

    1. deb

      Julia — I love it. I’ve also made his Italian Bread and Light Wheat Bread on this site. And have tried even more recipes that I haven’t blogged. I also have Beranbaum’s Bread Bible, and I’d say between the two of them, there’s nothing you can’t make.

  52. I must make my own bagels because there are no decent bagels to be bough in Calgary, and most of the ones you find in Canada are (you guessed it!) Montreal-style which I hate because they’re harder, denser and all-hole! Not enough bang for my buck! I’ll be trying thi recipe soon :)
    Thanks Deb!

  53. Renee

    Tried the bagel recipe this weekend and …whoa… extended the eating interval of the 2 bottomless pits in my house [teenage boys] from 2 hours to 4, AND they liked the homemade bagels better. I have to admit, I haven’t found any in Central California that tasted even close the ones I got hooked on in NYC. In fact, I haven’t had bagels that good since I worked for a publishing company (a lifetime ago) with offices in SF and NYC. We, in SF, traded sourdough for Zabar’s bagels in the interoffice pouch… until we got caught.

  54. Dee

    Great recipe! Could you please clarify something from step 3: “The dough should 77 to 71°F.” I’m assuming that you need to check the temperature of the dough, but I want to make sure before I plunge in. It’s rainy and cold here, wish I could savor one of these bagels right now!

    1. deb

      Dee — When bread is well-kneaded, it’s temperature goes up a bit. You can entirely skip this step if you’re confident in your kneading skills, or at least not worried about them, but I left that in there from the recipe’s original instructions because I know some people like this kind of specific tip.

  55. What a great kitchen project! Although, not originally from NY, I visit quite often and I must say, I do miss a real NY bagel. I have yet to make bagels from scratch. Yours are impressive and look very delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  56. Rebecca

    I live in the EV and make the (slight) trekk to David’s Bagels on 19th and 1st ever since the one on 14th and 1st closed. I mean really, it’s not that far! Those Thai folks make a great bagel (and this is coming from a Jewish gal!)

  57. KatyaCookie

    OK, I’ve been an avid admirer and lurker up until now, but I just had to speak up and say THANKS ! For for the nod to Ukrainian “Perogies” (yes, I’m a Ukie), which so many other nationalities claim to be theirs (KatyaCookie <~~~~Looking Most Indignant). They are actually called Vareniki by most Ukrainians (from: Variti, meaning to Boil or cook in water – thus, little boiled things). Pirogi are actually little deep fried or baked savory things, sort of like an empanada.
    “Pir”, from the Polish word for “Banquet” and “Rohy”, meaning, “Horns”. Pir-Rohy; Banquet Horns as they were usually reserved for special occasions. This, and the origin of the bagel (booblik) usually inspires much debate amongst cooks. ANYWAY, I JUST LOVE your Blog and am most addicted. Your photography is so inspiring. You are a true gift to the cooking and photographic arts world. I look forward to more of your creations :o)

  58. Konna

    Living overseas has forced me to make homemade bagels and everyone who has had them says they are the best. :) I now live in Quito, Ecuador and haven’t had the fortitude to try making them at 10,000 feet! (There is a bagel place down the street….unheard of in South America!……so that also might be making me hold back!) You have inspired me to get my recipe out and dusted off……Thanks!

  59. I grew up in northern NJ and totally miss my jewish water bagels!! I’ve tried a bunch of recipes at home… but they never seem to taste right!! I’ll have to give this one a try for sure :)

    Sorry to hear about your RSS feed theft :( why do people have to suck so much!

  60. GraceF.

    What a great recipe! I know that it is cheating, but is there anyway to use a breadmaker for the dough? I’m lazy… LOL!

  61. Looks and sounds like you really had fun on the Ranch. I have always wanted to make my own bagels. Have you tried shaved turkey on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel? I worked at a nursing home for awhile, and my residents would go crazy for them. I haven’t found the courage to try it yet. Maybe cinnamon raisin bagels will have to be made after Thanksgiving to use up the leftovers :) Thanks for the recipe! I look forward to christening my new kitchen with a yummy new recipe.

  62. Jami

    These look AMAZING! I’m in the middle of the original recipe, but do I *have* to wait until tomorrow to finish baking these? I imagine it contributes significantly to flavor, but I just can’t wait!!!! Sighhhh… :)

  63. Marcie

    Deb #59 A cream cheese and olive sandwich (on rye toast) is one of my most beloved snacks in the entire world! My mom loves them too, which is obviously where I get it from.

    There’s a bagel shop on my way to work on the Upper East Side that sells olive cream cheese, but at $4.50 a pop, I limit myself to 2 Monday’s a month. It makes starting the week easier.

  64. There really aren’t decent bagels in the east village. Murray’s is my absolute favorite too and every so often I tell myself I am just going to stop eating mediocre bagels altogether and not have any unless I walk over to Murray’s and back. (Somehow this never works out for me). The ones at East Village Cheese on 3rd Ave. used to be ok (not Murray’s-level, but ok) but I haven’t had one in a while. Your homemade ones look GOOD.

  65. Becky

    I read your blog regularly Deb for inspiration, insight and primarily for the fact that your musings, photography and wonderful wit just make your blog a pleasure to read.

    Although I have only made bagels once with my son when he was a little boy (he chose the recipe and the project!), I admit I am a little freaked by the process. I think it is something I need to take up with a therapist-fear of yeast! It is a lot of responsibility: once it is alive, I could potentially end up killing it. However, I adore bagel flats even more than bagels and can only get them in NY when we visit the in-laws. I was wondering if there was any way you could deconstruct a bagel recipe and teach us how to make them, Deb. What do you think they do? Just punch down a portioned out amount of bagel dough? I posted yesterday, and probably should have asked then. I would be INDEBTED FOREVER AND WOULD REALLY TRY TO MAKE THEM!! IS THAT REMOTELY DO-ABLE? Your hand-holding approach to making more difficult recipes less daunting is another reason I love reading your blog. And I thank you for that.

    (My in-laws live in Great Neck and swear the best bagel flats are to be found at Best Bagel-40 Middle Neck Rd. I have no clue how they make them and am too intimidated to ask when we pick them up. But I just love the ratio of crust to dough and actually that is why I prefer flats to bagels generally…I am strictly a crust person to tell the truth, I admit that I do dig out bagels when they are too doughy and then load ’em up that way, and probably another abomination of mine: I have to have bagels heavily toasted.)

  66. Ariel

    Malt powder = dry malt extract? I brew my own beer and have plenty of DME on hand, but wanted to make sure it was the same thing. Thanks!

  67. I think I lost all concentration as soon as you said homemade bagels…mmmmm. I couldn’t be sure until I saw the Oklahoman with her scrumptious bagel and cream cheese and locks. Oh MY!

  68. So, when first I saw this recipe, I started drooling. Actually, I found the original over at PW, and came here, and continued my bagel-drooling. I was contemplating whether or not it would worth all of the effort and time and chances of me screwing it up…. and started to seriously consider making my own bagels…

    Until I shared this w/ my mom, who was all “WTF? You live in NY! You want a bagel? Go to the dang bagel shop.”

    Well, she’s right. Nothing like Sunday morning, brown paper bag filled w/ hot-fresh-out-of-the-oven bagels the size of my head. Ahh.. and 12 for $4? Whatev. Totally easier!


  69. Becky

    I think “flats” came out in the early-nineties or so. We lived in NY through 1985 then moved to Chicago. We did not start eating them until sometime after that during family visits. According to Serious Eats, “Tasty Bagels” in Brooklyn created the flat, but according to the “historians” at “Best Bagels” they did! Who knows? However, I have only eaten flats from Best Bagels and I adore them. Other bagel bakeries may have them, but I like the sandwich size of Best’s flats and they easily cut in half for half-sized sandwiches. They call them “flats” there, never “flagels.”

    A good picture is found here:

    So, if you ever get a hankering to make them Deb, I would be much obliged!

  70. One of the harshest things about moving from NYC to LA is the bagel opportunity. So bad! Horrible! Non-existent…though you can buy half baked H&H bagels at the half baked Barney Greengrass in, yes, Barneys!

  71. jwg

    That’s just wrong! When did this nonsense about bagels being sweet even start? Bagels should have wonderful things like onions and garlic or even sun-dried tomatoes or cheese but not sweet stuff. You can’t put lox or whitefish on a sweet bagel.

  72. I live in Alabama and I’m not even sure that I’ve ever had a good bagel, but I figure since I love the frozen ones, that fresh HAS to be better! Thank you for the recipe, but I was wondering if you could sub other flours, like whole wheat or rice flour? Thanks!

  73. Any thoughts on halving the recipe? I know that with yeast it’s not always so simple. I’d have no trouble eating the whole batch, but I can’t actually get 2 baking trays in my sorry excuse for a fridge.

    1. deb

      There’s no reason this, or any yeast recipe, cannot be halved. (I think it’s egg recipes that get annoying, because who wants to halve an egg?)

      Elizabeth — I have only tested this with the flour mentioned, but if you try it, let us know how it goes. I am sure others would like to know.

  74. Ok. I have no idea how you knew I was having a specific craving for cinnamon-raisin bagels but.. spot-on I’d say. And I live in Sweden, where the only chance of a good bagel is making it yourself. Just one question – when the bagels pass the float test, do they *need* time in the fridge, or can you get on with baking straight away? I’m getting hungry…

  75. deb

    The time in the fridge slooowly proofs them while they develop a better, deeper flavor. So, good for flavor but if you skimp on the time in there, as Ree and I did in hopes to get this done in one day (only 3 hours instead of 8), it should still work well, with only a little flavor sacraficed.

  76. Oh, turned out I couldn’t wait after all :) No matter – they turned out *really* lovely, so beautiful! I can’t wait to taste one :)

  77. Mary

    Oh, my goodness! Thanks for mentioning Mamoun’s, because just for a lark I clicked on it and went to their site and realized it was the same Mamoun’s I used to hang out in during the wee small hours of the morning in New Haven! It brought back so many memories! All that Turkish coffee – I don’t know how I ever got to sleep!

    Also, that’s just a charming picture of Ree Drummond.

    Your website causes sorry amounts of salivation.

  78. Nina

    Love this recipe and can’t wait to try it this weekend.
    Can you tell me at which point in the recipe I can freeze the bagels. Do the finished cooked bagels also freeze well? Would be great for weekday lunches.

  79. deb

    Nina — You can freeze them at any point. I always freeze cooked bagels. They’re then perfect from the toaster.

    Kris — As I mentioned a few comments up, I haven’t made this with any other flours. My rule of thumb, however, when swapping whole wheat flours is to start with a one-third swap and if you feel it can handle more without getting to gritty or dense, try half then two thirds in future batches. You also might want to invest in a bag of Vital Wheat Gluten, which will make your standard whole wheat flour closer to bread flour. (Can also be used to make any all-purpose flour closer to bread flour.)

  80. Laura

    First, on the content theft, I volunteer for another site and we fight that fight all the time. People seem to think that because it’s *easy* to copy they *should* copy. Why they can’t post a link to your page and add their own comments is beyond me. So do what you need to do to keep your content AND keep blogging!

    Second and more importantly! I made the bagels and was disappointed. Where did I go wrong? I love the flavor, that’s spot on, but the surface is not smooth and shiny and the outside doesn’t have that bit of a crunch. Also the ones without raisins (my 4 year old is my assistant chef and she doesn’t like raisins) were deflated like the flagels discussed above. Did we not knead enough? Did I not boil enough or boil too long? I used King Arthur bread flour and did NOT ad vital wheat gluten (tho I have some), should I?

    Maybe “crispy” isn’t the word but the ones I made were soft through and through. My friend and I described these as “midwestern bagels”.

    I’ve made the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for bagels and those achieve the shiny crispy crust (without egg, we have an egg allergy). The CI bagels don’t taste as good as yours.

    Given the raves above I have to assume “operator error” and not the original recipe.

    1. deb

      Laura — Try crisping them up in the oven before you serve them — it might get that crust back that you wanted. Not sure why yours flattened out, there are so many places where a yeast recipe can go wrong (over rising, not rising enough, etc. etc.) it’s always hard to guess from afar.

  81. These instructions are so much better, clearer than the ones I used the first time I made bagels (and got small hockey pucks for my efforts). I’ll have to add this to my To Try list, which is getting larger all the time!

  82. Oh, Mamoun’s. So…so…good. I went on a hunt for it in Washington Square Park once in the wee hours, and it was so worth the aimless wandering. Ah, life pre-internet! Or at least, pre-Internet in your pocket/sans friends to viably call at 2am to ask for more detailed directions.

  83. For bagels in the East Village, the best spot used to be David’s on 1st btwn 13th and 14th, until Hot n’ Crusty’s landlord kicked them out because he didn’t eant the competition (BTW – can you think of a more gross name for a chain of food establishments?). Luckily, they have a store on 1st and 18th too. Not technically in the hood, but still the best bagel in the area – has good cream cheese too, and my boyfriend swears by the whitefish.

  84. I think you read my mind – after I tried your other/older bagel recipe a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to try again (I live in AL, far from good bagels). I made these this evening, but omitted the cinnamon, used dried blueberries instead of raisins, and added pureed frozen blueberries to the sponge. They turned out great – thanks for the inspiration!

  85. Rachel

    I hope everyone who said these bagels “look” good, try and make them. These turned out amazing! It was my second effort to make bagels and so much more superior to the first recipe I had. The praise from my family has been flowing all week as we get to eat fresh homemade bagels for breakfast.

    The recipe intimidated me, but it turns out they were much easier then I anticipated and I liked being able to make them within two days (letting the bagels sit in the fridge until I was ready to boil and bake them).

    Thank you for the recipe… truly, they are amazing!

  86. Ana

    I’m an EV resident born and bred. I find the closest and best bagels are at Ess-a-bagel on 1st ave on the corner of 21st street. They have some of the best lox you will ever have, and their bagels are proper massive NY bagels. I’ve never had a better bagel.

  87. Cathy

    Hmmmm…… I left NYC after 5 years there and I am now in the Uk and miss miss miss bagels. I am going to try these!!!!! thank you so much.

  88. Elana

    I’ve got 10 good sized bagels proving in my fridge as I type (I halved the recipe) ready for baking when I get home from work tonight – I’ve been thinking about my cinnamon raisin bagels all day!!

  89. Kari

    I’m a grad student working on end of semester papers, and I’ve taken to working nocturnally during finals week. When I was walking home yesterday at 6 a.m., I could SWEAR I smelled cinnamon raisin bagels–in Iowa City. It was the weirdest thing. I must have looked very strange too because I started sniffing all around as I walked.

    I did not find the source, but this recipe is now on my summer to-bake list. Thanks!

  90. Lauren

    I know this post isn’t about Falafel, and you’re probably sick of everyone saying “YOU HAVE TO GO TO ______ FOR THE BEST _______!!!” But I just have to say it: have you tried Taim for falafel? It is, in my humble opinion, the best falafel in Manhattan and I truly feel like I have eaten my way through all of the falafel the city has to offer. If you haven’t tried it, please do! Oh, and I love your blog :)

  91. Kris

    I have achieved Bagel Nirvana(tm). Thank you for this recipe and the great step-by-step instructions.

    It was touch-and-go for a while. Last night, while I was kneading the daylights out of the dough, I was skeptical. It was sticky, so I kept adding flour. I was afraid I’d have dense, hard-as-a-rock bagels. As the minutes ticked away til I could do the float test, I was sure it would be a disaster. But my little bagel floated right to the top! Victory in my time! And I just baked them up this morning. Amazing. I have lived in an essentially bagel-free country for about 4 years now, and I just called all my American friends here to tell them about the glory of these bagels!

  92. Emelia

    Oh, how I miss the culinary delights of the East Village – Mamoons really is the best! People would laught at me in London if I told them you could get falafel for $2.50!
    In my opinion I would try Bagel Zone on Avenue A between 3rd and 4th Street, might be a bit of a walk for you but its great, lovely atmosphere! Also Russ and Daughters on Houston, pretty much opposite 1st Ave and just down from Katz does the best Lox and Cream cheese.
    Now I am in London and away bagel central in NY I will def be trying these!

  93. Great recipe! I made these today in my tiny student kitchen and they came out great, despite my forgetting to let them rise one more time before retarding (for the 20 minutes before the float test). Thankfully, I reread the recipe one more time before going to sleep and pulled them out of the fridge. It ended up taking about 30 minutes for them to pass the float test, but they eventually did and came out great, so everything worked out fine in the end. Thanks for such great, clear instructions! I’m just now getting the courage to try more difficult recipes, and this was an awesome one to test the waters with.

  94. Sweetie

    Thanks for pointing to this great recipe!

    I’m a new baker and made them this weekend with success- and I’m also spoiled by NYC bagel standards. I will say that the recipe tried my patience during steps 4-8 where there are 2 x 20-minute waiting periods followed by more working of the dough.

    The only change I made was to follow your note, SK, in the original Reinhardt bagel recipe where you suggested adding the malt syrup to the boiling water in order to intensify the color. I also used a yolk wash before putting them in the oven and AP flour. ( I’ll definitely switch to bread recipe to see this recipe at its best!)

  95. Bria

    Love your blog, read it everyday!

    I made these bagels this weekend (i jumped straight from never making even a loaf of bread before to bagels…crazy i know)

    They were a lot of work, but your steps and pictures made it simple and easy to follow! They were absolutely delicious.

  96. I have these resting right now anticipating transformation from rolls to bagels. Ten more minutes! I’ll be putting them in the fridge overnight as there’s no time left in the day to boil and bake them. I used approx. half whole wheat flour and half white and added gluten. I’m not sure if I’ve killed the recipe already or not though because my sponge sat for about five hours instead of just two. It also didn’t really start off like pancake batter but more like a cross between cake and muffin batter. We’ll see! I’m also hoping to freeze some unbaked as I have too many for two pans, which is all my oven will hold. I guess I could do a second batch after the first two pans come out but it might be nice to have some ready to defrost and bake fresh in the freezer. I weighed my kneaded dough and found it to be 72 ounces, which, on dividing by 24, should have given me 3-ounce pieces. I ended up with 20 3-ounce pieces. Obviously baker error as I used a non-digital kitchen scale.

    Long and wordy comment interrupted by the oven timer! Time to form the bagels!! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  97. Sarah

    Hey Deb–first time commenter, long time reader! I love your recipes!

    I made these and they turned out pretty great–I maybe boiled them too long though, they are pretty chewy! I do have a question about your flour though–did you use vital wheat gluten, or is there actually a high-gluten flour? The interwebs turned up mixed results (some say they are the same thing, others say add some of the former to AP flour). I ended up using, I think, vital wheat gluten for the sponge and then AP flour for the rest, since the sponge turned out REALLY gummy.

    All in all this was one of my more ambitious baking adventures–and it turned out a success! Thanks for posting it!

    1. deb

      High-gluten flour is available through King Arthur and other baking supply shops. Vital wheat gluten isn’t a flour, but an additive to regular flour that will raise its gluten content. If you used it as flour, it would definitely explain the chewiness — it would be like using straight gluten instead of flour.

  98. I pulled these out of the oven 15 minutes ago and just devoured my first one. Deb, you are a goddess. I was converted to the church of Smitten Kitchen a long time ago but this, THIS is amazing. Even after I messed up the recipe (when I see the word yeast I naively assume it is active dry yeast) somehow, miraculously, with a little extra patience, everything came together. And these are absolutely delicious.

    Thanks for writing one of the few blogs out there that consistently offers fantastic recipes that aren’t too complicated for a novice like me.

  99. Ed & Co

    We’re expats from the East Coast of the US. We just made your beautiful bagels on a rainy day in Geneva. Thank you SO much for the recipe and the pictures. This absolutely made our day!

  100. Michael

    I have a questions for Konna. I live in Quito Ecuador now as well, and cannot find Bagels. Can you tell me the name of the Bagel place that you live near? If I cannot find one, I may end of making homemade bagels as well.


  101. Kelly

    Wow- I am not a baker, and I followed your instructions (make in a day) and am floored by the results! Thank you- thank you! My daughter and I had a great time today together and it really helped that we were so successful thanks to your recipe and tips. Bon Appetite!

  102. Lore

    A friend of mine baked bagels from this recipe for my birthday because I was missing ‘my’ NY bagels so much in Europe and they were wonderful… just the right texture!

  103. KatieFace

    WHAT were you doing in Oklahoma? :) I’m originally from Tulsa, which I assume was the nearest city you were referring to. I hope you enjoyed the rolling plains while you were there!

  104. I finally took the baking challenge and made my own bagels today! and I am so glad that I did!! These are so delicious and fantastic, they blow any store bought bagel out of the water! Bagels always seemed so daunting but I am happy to say bagel making challenge complete!!! Thank you!!

  105. ADTirey66

    I am boiling the water to make these this morning– a little nervous since I stupidly used live yeast instead of instant yeast. This stuff happens all the time since I live in Switzerland and apparently can’t read French as well as I thought. You’d have thought the fact it was refrigerated would have tipped me off… :) They look great, though. Any lack of success will definitely fall on the baker, not the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  106. ADTirey66

    Just an update– success! These were really yummy, and the perfect balance between sweet and savory. I’m thinking I’ll be eating another one with turkey and fromage frais for lunch! Thanks, Deb.

  107. Oh wow. I just made these and wow, they are delicious!! I’m so excited to be making these more often and freezing them for some special breakfasts! Thanks for the amazing recipe and descriptions.

  108. Alejandra

    Hi, I´m from Colombia and used to be an aupair in Chicago, my host family used to have for breakfast a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and got me hooked on them. Then I came back home and no more bagels for me. Cant describe what I felt after making this recipe, it was oh so delicious, and brought back so many memories. Thank you, thank you, thank you soooooooo much they were amazing!!!!!

    Though I have to admit I put more cinnamon on them cause I just cant get enough cinnamon flavor on me… you got on me another fan.

  109. I tried twice making these and had trouble when I got to the testing stage of floating them in water. Both batches, the bagels just sunk to the bottom and never popped up. I still put them in the fridge and ended up just baking them off the next day, skipping the boiling part. They were still good, but then, the weren’t really bagels either. I just wasn’t sure why this was happening? Thanks!

  110. HeidiLu

    What am I doing wrong?! I’ve tried these twice now and both times they’ve come out wrong. They look fine until I pull them out of the oven… the bottom part of the bagel that is in contact with the pan is “soggy” and tastes and feels like raw dough. I put them back in the oven for a few minutes but it didn’t help. I didn’t add the raisins or the malt powder, but I can’t imagine either of those would ruin the whole bagel! Did Anyone else have this issue??

  111. Ellen

    Delicious. Didn’t have barely syrup but they still taste like some of the best bagels I have ever had. I chose not do to cinnamon raisin. I did 1/2 everything and 1/2 jalapeno cheddar. Followed the rest of the recipe, except let the sponge sit overnight, because I ran out of time and therefore made this a 3 day process. WIll be making again and trying out different flavors. I did have to turn the temp of the oven within 3 minutes and finished cooking them at 410 for a total of 15 min or so.

  112. No doubt NY has the best bagels and I’ve been deprived of them since living in PA. Whenever my father visits me its mandatory he bring at least 2 dozen. When I tried to make my own (several times) they just weren’t the same. I blamed it on the Water. This is a different recipe and will try it. Cinnamon Raisin is my favorite!

  113. Nicole

    That fact that you and Ree are friends and made bagels together means the world truly is a magical place. I wonder why I don’t see more of you on her site (she does recommend other blogs) and vice versa.

  114. Chris

    So, I made these this morning/ last night. At the last minute I realized I had wax paper and not parchment, so I used it. The bagels turned out fantastically (I and my roommates thank you for the recipe). The only problem is that the paper stuck to the bottoms of the bagels, and I wasn’t able to peal it off of a few of them. Is this because of wax paper is there someting else I need to tweak before I make them for my fiancé/ family this weekend?
    Also, any suggestions on how to make a crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping that is Panera Bread-esque? The cinnamon/sugar and butter/honey I used didn’t seem to do the trick.
    Overall though, these came out great. I was so glad they were better than what I could get at the store/ bakery.

  115. Dominique

    Allrighty, where to start… these bagels are nothing but amazing. Sure, a lot of work and waiting were required, but hell was it fun boiling those things! I’ve tried your apple cake, your double chocolate layer cake and now these. I love your site, it’s so enjoyable. Thanks!

  116. Tanja

    OH MY!!!! THANK YOU for posting this- I’ve been baking a few every morning (Keeping the dough refrigerated for up to 2 days as per the recipe) this week and am SO incredibly in love! Being a NYC girl transplanted over the past decade to various places with no good bagels my bagel snobbish heart is rejoicing over these!

  117. Thomas

    I know this is three years later, but my sponge doesn’t resemble pancake batter at all. It’s more like super super wet dough. Not sure if it’s going to rise. Followed the directions precisely. Thought it was worth asking.

  118. Audrey

    I’m with Thomas–my sponge wasn’t watery at all–it was just like a very wet dough. I added more water to get it more batter-like, and it’s risen, but it’s certainly not foamy (as it would be if it were very watery). I did follow the directions precicely too! How is everyone else’s 4 c flour to 2.5 c water making such a runny batter? I even live in a very humid place…or maybe Thomas and I live in Bermuda Triangle of breadmaking…weird…

  119. Anna

    Congratulations and thank you for this complete recipe. I’m French and I really love bagels. So your recipe helped me doing really successful raisin and cinnamon bagles enjoyed by all the family! sometimes I just had to adjust the time or temperature. Anyway, keep sharing your recipes. thanks a lot

  120. Tony

    As above, my sponge was dry using this recipe but rose and dropped well. I have a very, very cold kitchen so i have to encourage everything to rise. I didn’t water the sponge anymore but I allowed the warm washed raisins to remain a bit wetter than suggested. My Kenwood Major mixer did not want to know this mixture, it was just pushing it around by the time I added the 3rd cup of flour, so I added the raisins and last of the flour by hand, kneeding for a good 15 minutes.
    Now one of my Daughters is a cinnamon and raisin fan, so as a treat, I split the batch 9 – 7 bagels. The 7 I allowed to proof for a couple of hours, then boiled and baked as directed. The other 9 are sitting in my very cold kitchen having a slow proof. (not much difference between my fridge and on my worktops)
    Now, The first 7 are incredible, really incredible, thank you. I can’t wait to see what tomorrows batch will taste like.
    An excellent well laid out recipe, easy to follow, just don’t be put off by how stiff the dough feels.
    In London’s East End, we have a tradition of plain Beigels only, very Yiddish. The last few years has seen an increase in supermarket New York Style bagels. I can’t stand them, horrible bready things. For someone who only ever eats beigels, I am so pleased to come across someone who really cares about what they put into their mouths.It feels like old school successfully meeting new school.
    Thanks again.

  121. Karen

    Deb (or anyone else, for that matter)- have you weighed the ingredients as you make them? I’d be very interested in a by-weight version of the recipe because it would be easier to halve (I live alone and, though I’m sure I could eat 12 bagels in a sitting doesn’t mean I should).

    Thanks! You are a gift to cooks, Deb.


  122. Stephanie

    These are the best bagels EVER!!! I am a big baker, but I have never made bagels before it just seemed like it would be too much work, so I have always purchased them from the store. With the rising prices of food I opted out of buying 6 bagels for $3.79! My middle son says to me ” But mom you don’t make those.” That is what started the bagel search and it was well worth it! They didn’t look the prettiest, but they sure tasted GREAT!!! Thanks so much for the recipe you have made one little boy very happy along with his 3 siblings and of course who could forget Daddy.

  123. Nadine

    Oh, these are AMAZING! Thank you so much for the recipe. I love how your recipes seem to answer any questions I have before they come up and make it all really easy. As with every one of the 7 recipes I have tried so far, everything with these bagels went exactly as described and they tasted better than I could have imagined (and certainly better than anything I have been able to find that I could buy in the last couple of years).

  124. So I managed to mess two things up and still get tasty bagels, but maybe the answer to the lady who had flat ones—I used active dry yeast without thinking about it, and misread the amount of water in the sponge part of the recipe, so made it way too stiff. I did get the right amount of water to mix back in but it was really hard going and I don’t think it was that uniform, still had small clumps of stiffer bits of dough. They still tasted amazing and just home (I’m a displaced American in London and can’t get bagels like in NY) but were comically slightly deflated and maybe one of those things is the reason why.

  125. Regan

    First Cinnamon Rolls and now Bagels. You keep ruining store bought for me with easy to follow tutorials that let me make things way way better than store bought without fail – and since you are always clear an accurate about the timing they don’t even feel like tons of extra work as I can easily plan my day around it. My husband told me i’m not allowed to buy bagels anymore, only make batches of these on the weekend and freeze them for the rest of the week. My sponge was also wet doughy and not batter-like but it did double in size and it came out delicious.

    I mean I made a half batch because he’s not a huge cinnamon raisin fan and then I had to wrestle the ones I was freezing for breakfast away from him. And he ate 1/4 of our toddler’s bagel *before* The Cuteness was done eating it.

  126. Justine

    HI Deb- I have been making this recipe for sometime, and it’s really my lifesaver since you can’t find a decent bagel where I live as an ex-pat in Barcelona! Being an original New Yorker, that’s a bit heartbreaking. So I finally settled to point of “when you want something so bad, you better do it yourself!”

    My only problem is fresh yeast here is the most popular and I can not for the life of me find malt syrup, so I’ve taken to using brown sugar. First question- I am using 25g of fresh yeast cakes to 500g of flour. The conversion for bread flour I read (which I buy at our local patisserie) is about 1oz to 136g. That makes about 4C of flour weigh about 540g. When I use this conversion, my dough seems way to tacky, and also I think it’s also because I have to proof the fresh yeast, which requires another 1/2 cup of water in the “dough.” So I’m adding quite a bit more flour. Is there a solution for adding fresh yeast in the recipe?

    Because of that second yeast proof, the dough seems too tacky, and often sticks to my hands, and won’t maintain it’s form while transferring to trays, or even -after- retarding in the fridge before boiling. BUT, they pass the float test…. *Help a distraught New Yorker!*

  127. deb

    Hi Justine — I have tried and tried but cannot get one clear read on a fresh-to-dried yeast conversion. I have lots of good suggestions from solid sites/books/breadmakers, but few of them match. You might just have to take a guess and keep an eye on it — it’s done when it’s doubled, etc., and the other visual cues. Good luck!

  128. Priscilla

    Just made these and they are delicious! As an expat in Cuenca, Ecuador, decent bagels are impossible to find. I’m so happy!!!

  129. Hi Deb, just pulled my bagels out of the refrigerator to boil (they went in there last night) and they won’t float! I used active dry yeast instead of instant, my sponge wasn’t as foamy or as big as it should have been…do you think that was my mistake? I kneaded by hand and I think should have kneaded for longer (did about 15 minutes). They did not float at the “float test” stage either but I kept going with high hopes! Poor bagels. They could have been so great.

  130. Hillary

    Making these now, and they are in the fridge to rest. However, they seemed a bit droopy throughout the process. The dough was pretty wet at the kneading stage, so in addition to the last 3/4 cup of flour, I think I must have added about another 1/2, maybe less, in order to get it remotely shapeable. When I did form them, they drooped again. I just had to reform them from the fridge again – they felt like a good firmness when I touched the dough, but had spread across the baking sheet, resembling a bunch of fat belly-buttons.
    Do you think its a gluten-lacking issue, or will they be fine when baked and boiled? Yours look quite perky in the pics..

    1. deb

      Jack — Ugh, we’re so bummed. But they say they’re going to reopen nearby. I hope nothing has changed. (Meanwhile, I live below 14th Street and there are two (!) bagel places set to open within blocks of my apartment in the next six months. Two!)

  131. jaime

    hi deb! what’s the best way to store these short term? i want to make them saturday and bring them to brunch on sunday. also, you’re my favorite…thanks for being awesome :)

  132. Haley

    I’ve made this delicious recipe several times— I love it! Most recently, I was visiting family and they didn’t have bread flour, so I used all-purpose instead. Even though the bagels didn’t float after checking every half hour for 2 hours, I still put them in the fridge, boiled them the next day, and baked them. They turned out delicious. I was relieved I didn’t have to throw them away.


    Okay I just did the day 1 portion of this recipe and have a couple of questions:

    1) I used a stand mixer with a dough hook. You say you can use it on low to mix everything, and then use it to knead. So basically, it’s just in there with the dough hook on low for a very long time, right? How do I know when the “kneading” time has begun?

    2) What do the degrees mean (the 77 to 71)?

    3) Obviously even after I created a large hole, once on the pan they closed up a bit. Is that an issue or to be expected?

    4) My tester floated immediately. Is this a sign of something suspect?


      It’s me again with another question from day 2: the inside chew was PERFECT. Like, NYC perfection. However, my exterior did not form the hard shell like texture a proper bagel should have. I did a few experiments (boil normal, bake longer; boil longer, bake normal) but still nothing has created that hard exterior/chewy interior combo. What’s the secret there?

      I added 3 TBSP of the malt syrup to my water boil. I did not do a test of just water and baking soda. Could that be it? Or maybe I boiled too long, and a minute is what would give the results I want?

  134. Laura Edwins

    I made these bagels a few weeks ago, using honey instead of the malt syrup. I also used 1/2 raisins and 1/2 craisons (for a little fun), and opted for the 2 minute boiling per side boiling time. They came out great! Chewy and authentic.

    My only complaint was that mine were a little lumpy or “homemade” looking. I think the step where you first roll them into balls is crucial to keeping them looking clean and polished.

    Also a word a warning this dough is EXTREMELY TOUGH. So tough that my Kitchen Aid stand mixer couldn’t cope (even on low) and smoke started coming out out of it. I had to finish the kneading by hand (and next time I would do it all by hand to avoid breaking my mixer)!

    I opted for the 12 “jumbo” bagels, but if you’re a New Yorker, I would say more like 12 standard/normal bagels. Wouldn’t say these are jumbo, they fit in my toaster just fine. I found this recipe easier to follow that the other bagel recipe here on the site, and will give this another go with Everything Seasoning later this summer.

  135. Diane Peters

    If you wanted to freeze the bagel dough, at what stage should you freeze it? My inclination is to freeze some and put some in the frig at the final “overnight” stage. All recipes should come with freezing & re-heating instructions! Ha!

    1. deb

      I don’t know *how* chewy they came out for you, but I can tell you that we consider chewy bagels a good thing. But is should also have a nice crust, so it’s not just softness all the way through.

  136. Annie P.

    I made a 1/2 recipe and got 18 mini-ish bagels which are Just Divine. I did the 2 minute/side boil and the texture was to my liking. Thanks, Deb!

  137. Megan

    I just made these, and followed the recipe exactly, but when they came out of the oven they were quite flat. Any idea why?