The Everybody Bagel

8 bagels
35 min

This easy bagel recipe incorporates flavors from around the world while retaining many signature notes from classic New York-style bagels.

So, why is it called the Everybody Bagel?

It’s designed specifically for home cooks, so you don’t have to have a kitchen with miles of countertops, a professional oven, or a giant industrial pot for boiling water. If you can make a loaf of bread, you can make these bagels.

And if you make my “everything plus” topping, these bagels include flavors from all around the world.

This recipe is inspired by everybody, and it’s for everybody. Including — especially — you.

🥯 About this recipe

I grew up in Missouri and had always been perfectly happy with the giant, fluffy bagel offerings from the likes of St. Louis Bread Company. Then, I moved to New York.

Living there for the better part of a decade made me into a bagel snob. And when I returned to the midwest, I could not find a bagel that satisfied me.

So, I decided to make my own. At first, I looked for recipes that promised to recreate the New York bagelry flavors and textures in my kitchen. The best one I found was this recipe from Chef Mark Strausman. But after a few tries, I had to admit to myself that my bagel technique was hit-and-miss. The challenges — counter space, timing, boiling — made the process too onerous for anything but special occasions.

Then, I learned about other ring-shaped breads, like Jerusalem bagels (also known as ka’ak al-Qud) and Turkish simit, which involved much more accessible processes. These breads are delicious in their own right, and for me, they also had enough bagel-y qualities to fill the hole in my heart.

Still, I wanted to crack the bagels-at-home code. So, I took elements from ring-shaped breads around the world:

  • New York-style bagels: chewy texture, longer, cool fermentation
  • Jerusalem bagels/Ka’ak al-qud and simit: addition of sugar, molasses wash, and no boiling
  • Italian taralli: addition of fennel

After months of tinkering with ingredients, proportions, and methods, the Everybody Bagel was born.

This bagel doesn’t require boiling and comes together as easily as a basic yeast bread. The recipe only calls for four ingredients (five, if you count water), but you can incorporate any toppings or additions you like.

Best of all, it hits many of the essential notes of the New York-style bagel that I miss so much, while standing on its own as a distinct style, not a pale imitation.

✔️ Ingredients

  • Bread flour
  • Instant yeast
  • Sugar and kosher salt
  • Optional wash and toppings

✏️ Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients
  2. Add water to make the dough
  3. Knead the dough and let it rise
  4. Shape the bagels
  5. Proof and bake the bagels
  6. Prepare and apply the optional bagel wash
  7. Prepare and apply the optional toppings
  8. Bake with the toppings

🧰 What you’ll need

Note: This section contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you follow the links and make a purchase. This doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps me continue running Bittertreats.

Like most breads, this recipe for bagels can be made with minimal equipment. The only things you really need are a bowl, a baking sheet, and an oven.

That said, there are a few items that will make it a lot easier to get consistent results.

  • Digital scale
  • Stand mixer
  • Bench knife
  • Pastry mat
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking mat
  • Pizza stone

In addition, I like to use a few (optional!) specialty ingredients to top my bagels:

  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Fennel seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Caraway seeds
  • Black caraway seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dried minced onion
  • Dried minced garlic

You could also try a pre-made everything bagel spice mix.

Recipe details
  • 8  bagels
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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Bagel ingredients
  • 500 g bread flour (3 ¾ cups) bread flour
  • 296 - 315 g (1 ¼ - 1 ⅓ cups) water
  • 7 g (2 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 12 g (1 Tablespoon) sugar
  • 10 g (1.5 teaspoons) coarse kosher salt
  • Drizzle of oil
Bagel wash ingredients (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ c water (plus a few tablespoons)
Everybody bagel topping (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black caraway seeds (aka: black cumin, nigella, or kalonji)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
Make the dough
Measure all bagel ingredients into the bowl for a stand mixer. Mix at level 1 for a minute or two to combine the ingredients into a shaggy dough.
Switch to the #2 setting for about 5 minutes. When you're done, the dough should be smooth and firm with a little bit of elasticity. It shouldn't be sticky or soft.
Transfer to a lightly oiled vessel (a large bowl or similar), and let stand at room temperature for about 1.5 hours, until doubled. Alternatively, let rise until almost doubled, then transfer to the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.
Shape and bake the bagels
When you are ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to warm up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 F. If you have a pizza stone, place it on one of the lower racks in the oven.
Meanwhile, shape the bagels. You can either make balls of dough and poke holes in the middle, or you can roll the dough into a long cylinder and wrap it around your hand, tear, and press to seal up the ends of the loop. Because the dough is so bouncy, the loops will contract after you shape them, so make the holes much larger than you want them to be in the final bagels.
Place the shaped bagels on a baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel to proof for about 30 minutes.
If you will be using the bagel wash and toppings, bake on a center rack for about 12 minutes, then remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool just enough to handle. If you will not be using the wash and toppings, bake for about 15 minutes.
If you are using the wash, prepare it while the bagels are in the oven, using the instructions below. When they have baked for about 12 minutes and have cooled down, use a pastry brush to lightly coat with the cornstarch wash. Then sprinkle the topping onto the bagels. When they are all coated, return to the oven for 2 -5 more minutes to allow the seeds to toast slightly.
Let the bagels cool completely before slicing and/or eating. They will be slightly gummy if you slice into them while they are still warm from the oven.
Prepare the optional bagel wash and toppings
In a bowl or other container, combine the topping ingredients and set them aside. You will end up with much more of the topping than you need for these bagels, so you can reserve the rest for another batch, or just use it for other recipes.
In a small pot, bring ¼ cup of water to a boil. Add the pomegranate molasses.
In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch with about two tablespoons of water. Add to the pot when it reaches a boil. Remove from heat and stir continuously until the mixture thickens.
Use the cornstarch wash right away.
Meg Kramer | Bittertreats
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  • Henriette Hall Henriette Hall on Dec 28, 2021

    Does anyone know the pattern of the silver plate utensil on side of plate. Please let

    me know if you do. Thank you. Henriette Hall

    • Hi Henriette, the pattern is called "Coronation" from Oneida Community. I believe it was introduced in 1936. This set of flatware originally belonged to my husband's grandmother.