Water Bagels

Water Bagels

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 1996

These classic bagels are also known as New York bagels. If the secret ingredient, as New Yorkers always contend, is indeed the water, out-of-town bakers are out of luck. However, minus the Hudson River, these bagels are still a good replica of the bagels many think of as the definitive model.

Ingredients 12 servings

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Original recipe yields 12 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Bagel Dough
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
  • 3¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons malt syrup, or malt powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4-5 cups white bread flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (approximately) cornmeal, for sprinkling baking sheets
  • Kettle Water
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons malt syrup, or powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Topping
  • 2 tablespoons (approximately) sesame, poppy or caraway seeds, coarse salt, chopped garlic or ½ cup chopped onion for sprinkling on top (optional)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To make bagel dough & shape bagels: Whisk 1½ cups lukewarm water, yeast, sugar, 2 teaspoons malt syrup (or powder), if using, and oil in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in 1 cup flour. Then stir in 1 tablespoon salt and enough additional flour to make a soft dough, about 2½ cups.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, gradually incorporating more flour, until the dough is smooth and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly. Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
  4. To kettle & bake bagels: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Line 1 large or 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper, sprinkle with cornmeal and set aside. Bring water, 2 tablespoons malt, if using, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. Slip several risen bagels at a time into the pot—the water should be at a healthy simmer. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon or tongs, and cook for 45 seconds longer. Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel and place on the prepared baking sheet(s). Sprinkle with topping, if using. Place the bagels in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake until golden brown, about 5 more minutes.
  6. Variations
  7. To the dough, mix in 1 cup dried or chopped frozen cranberries or ¾ cup dried cherries or ¼ cup chopped nuts or 1 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs or 1 to 2 teaspoons grated citrus zest.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Freeze fresh (and properly cooled) bagels immediately unless you are eating them all that day.
  • Don't let bagels rise too long before being shaped: the dough becomes slack and the hardy rings cannot hold their shape in the boiling water. Also, the characteristic, appealing denseness is lost.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 169 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 1 g fiber; 32 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 25 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 1 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 305 mg sodium; 51 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 2 starch

Reviews 2

August 04, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Reliable and delicious Simple recipe that produces great results every time. I've subbed all or part wheat flour with no issues. Pros: Surprisingly fast, impressive
December 20, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I made these, and they are delicious! I used whole wheat flour instead of white and they turned out great. Here's a picture: http://twitpic.com/ufxi5
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