Mastering Super Chewy Bagels

Mastering Super Chewy Bagels

These delicious, chewy bagels are boiled in a malty baking soda solution and then baked to a dark golden brown. Bread flour has a high protein content and produces that desired chewiness, while the malt syrup adds flavor and the baking soda increases the Maillard reaction, giving these bagels a beautiful even browning during baking. Make them plain or top with your favorite toppings.

2 hrs total time

1 hr active time


Makes 12



  • 9 fl oz warm water


  • 1 tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1½ tbsp (¾ oz) white sugar
  • 3⅓ cups (1.1 lb) bread flour
  • 1½ tsp (¼ oz) kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 5 liters water
  • 2 tsp (⅓ oz) baking soda
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz) barley malt syrup

For the topping (optional):

  • 2 tbsp poppyseeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried onion flakes


  • 1Place the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to dissolve. Stand for 5 minutes. Using warm water increases the yeast activity.
  • 2Mix the flour and salt together. Mixing the dry ingredients first ensures they are evenly dispersed.
  • 3Add the flour to the yeast mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. The long kneading time activates the gluten that gives these bagels their signature chewiness. Scraping down the bowl is essential to prevent flour lumps from forming so you have a smooth dough.
  • 4Insert the wire rack into position 8. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover and place in the oven. Start the timer. During this short proofing stage, the dough will begin to ferment. This develops the flavor and makes the dough easier to portion.
  • 5Divide the dough into 12 x 2 oz portions and place them on two 13-inch x 9-inch trays that have been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with oil. Resting for 20 minutes, covered on the counter, lets the gluten in the dough relax. This helps to prevent tearing when you shape the bagels.
  • 6Shape the dough into firm balls then use your middle finger and thumb to press into the center to form a hole. Rotate the dough around your fingers to stretch into a bagel. Place them on a tray and cover, allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • 7We're getting ready to bake! You're making enough that you'll need two racks. Leave the first rack in position 8 and insert the second rack into position 4. Press to adjust the cooking temperature. Meanwhile, the bagels will need to take a dip into the malty soda water while the oven is preheating.
  • 8Combine the water, baking soda and malt syrup in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Gently boil the bagels, in batches, for 1 minute each side. Boiling the bagels in malted soda water enhances the flavor, texture and color.
  • 9Dip the bagels into the topping of your choice while they are still wet, this helps the topping stick. Dipping instead of sprinkling, gives you max coverage and flavor!
  • 10Once preheated, place in the oven and start the timer.
  • 11When the oven signals, rotate the trays—moving the top tray to the bottom and swinging the backs of the trays to the front—this ensures even baking and a beautiful golden-brown crust all the way around.
  • 12The bagels should be golden brown. If not, give them a bit more.
  • 13These bagels can be enjoyed warm, right from the oven! (Use caution when removing them and slicing.) Let any leftover bagels cool completely before storing to prevent condensation inside the storage container.
  • 14Explore the bread universe and more gluten-y bread-y goodness at