How to Make Soft And Chewy Bagels

Bagels make some of the best sandwiches.

Soft and chewy, topped with seeds. They are simple to make. If you have never tried making bagels, then this is a great recipe to start with. You can make them the way you like by rolling them thinner for a more crispy crust or making them fatter to have a softer bagel. 

This recipe makes 6 large bagels. Multiply as needed to make more or divide the dough into smaller pieces to make more smaller bagels.


450g (15.9oz) strong white bread flour

3g (0.1oz) diastatic malt powder. You can make them without it if you can not find it.

9g (0.3oz) salt

2g (0.07oz) dry yeast or three times the amount of fresh yeast

1 egg for brushing

260g (9.2oz) water at around 20 – 22C (68-71F) if your kitchen is of a similar temperature. If it is warmer, then reduce water by 1 – 2C (33-35F) and vice versa.

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


Malt syrup or honey for boiling

Seeds of your choice for topping

Semolina for sprinkling


  1. Add the water, yeast, salt, and malt powder in a bowl and mix until all well combined and dissolved.
  2. Add the flour and mix until no dry flour left.
  3. Tip the dough out on your table and knead for around 5 – 7 minutes. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients in a mixer and mix with the dough hook on medium-low speed for around 5 – 6 minutes.
  4. Ferment for 1 hour. Your kitchen may be warmer, so your dough may ferment more rapidly. In that case cut down on the fermentation time. The opposite applies if your kitchen is cooler.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
  6. Roll each piece to around 25cm (10in) long.
  7. Wrap a piece of dough around the broadest part of your hand with the two ends overlapping in your palm. Then roll them against the table to seal the two ends together.
  8. Place all the bagels on a tray sprinkled with semolina. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  9. The next day boil your water and syrup or honey until bubbling vigorously.
  10. Boil as many bagels you can fit in your pan at once for around 1 minute. Do not boil them any longer as they will rise too much.
  11. Let them drain on a rack. If you do not have a rack, then a colander will work in a pinch. 
  12. Brush the bagels with egg and press the bagels in your preferred topping and place them on a baking tray sprinkled with semolina and lined with parchment paper. Handle the bagels gently as they become more fragile after boiling.
  13. Bake at 250C (480F) no fan for around 15 minutes. Your oven may be more or less powerful than mine, so your bagels may cook more quickly or take longer. Keep an eye on them to get a perfect bake.

Let cool down and enjoy!

Watch the video here

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