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Overnight New York Style Bagels

These bagels are chewy, crusty and properly dense New York Style Bagels. The overnight rise creates the perfect texture and flavor – and you’ll have fresh, hot bagels for breakfast or brunch less than an hour after getting out of bed. 

a tray of freshly baked new york bagels

I promise you if you follow this recipe correctly you can make a good bagel at home. I mean, there are loads of really bad bagels in the world and life is just too short to eat a bad bagel.

Personally, if a frozen grocery store bagel was the last bit of food on earth….well, I would eat it so I wouldn’t starve, but I surely wouldn’t enjoy it. Ditto for the big, puffy bagels from certain chain restaurants. Nope, not for me.

What’s the difference between a bad bagel and a good bagel? Well, to start with, I would walk 30 minutes in the freezing cold for a good bagel. True story, on a recent trip to New York we did exactly that. And it was worth every single step.

What is a true New York Style Bagel?

A good New York Style Bagel (really, is there any other kind?) must have a nicely dense and chewy texture with a toothsome crust. To get that characteristic chewiness we’ve got to develop some really strong gluten in the dough.

First of all we use bread flour for maximum protein content. More protein means more gluten development. Kneading also helps develop the gluten.

But we can also employ a few “lazy” steps to help develop the dough. First we make a “sponge” and let it set for 30 minutes. During that rest the water has time to hydrate the flour and give us a head start on gluten develop. This little bit of hands off time also improves the flavor of the final product.

Once the bagels are shaped we give them a quick 15 minutes at room temperature to rise just a bit, then they go into the refrigerator overnight.

You can skip the 15 minutes at room temp if you want your bagels even a little more dense.

The cool, slow rise enhances the flavor and texture of the dough. I’ve left the formed bagels in the refrigerator as long as 16 hours and got great results.

An added benefit of overnight bagels – they are ready to finish first thing in the morning. Once your oven is preheated, it only takes about 30 minutes to boil and bake the bagels.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make New York Style Bagels:

how to shape bagels
Use a cupped hand to form the 12 pieces of dough into smooth balls
how to shape a bagel
Poke your finger all the way through the center of the ball to make the hole.
how to shape a bagel
You can twirl the dough around your finger to widen the center hole
rise bagels overnight in the refrigerator
For the best texture and flavor, allow the bagels to rise overnight in the refrigerator.
the set up for boiling bagels
The set up for boiling the bagels

Tips for making perfectly chewy New York Style Bagels overnight:

  • Allowing the sponge to rest for 30 minutes before mixing the dough gives the gluten a head start in forming a strong network.
  • Use unbleached bread flour for maximum gluten development.
  • You can substitute molasses for the Malt syrup, but the malt syrup does give the bagels an authentic taste and color. If you can’t find it in your local market, you can buy it on-line.
  • You could skip the overnight rise in the refrigerator and go straight ahead and boil and bake the bagels, but that long, cool rise is what gives these bagels their chewy texture and deep flavor.
  • Boiling the bagels in sugar/baking soda water is what gives them a super chewy yet crisp crust. If you skip this step your bagels will have a crust similar to a roll or bread.
  • Bagels should be baked in a very hot oven for a quick oven spring and good crust development.
  • Bagels are best the day they are baked. For longer term storage slice the bagels about 3/4 the way through and pack them into freezer bags.
  • Previously frozen bagels are best if toasted before serving.
A tray of freshly baked bagels
A freshly baked chewy bagel
The crumb on a New York bagel should not be too light or too tender.
[a perfect poppy seed bagel

Fresh, hot delicious bagels for breakfast or brunch. They also freeze beautifully for future enjoyment. Now all you need is a schmear of cream cheese!

If you’ve got a sourdough starter, I highly recommend my Homemade Sourdough Bagels for a real treat.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

[a perfect poppy seed bagel

Overnight Bagels

Yield: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rising Time: 12 hours
Boil/Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 13 hours 10 minutes

Chewy, crusty and properly dense, New York style bagels. They rise overnight so you can have fresh bagels for breakfast or brunch. All they need is a schmear of cream cheese.


  • 2 cups (16 oz, 480 ml) warm water (about 100°F)
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) instant yeast
  • 5 cups (25 oz, 705g) bread flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1.5 oz, 42g) barley malt syrup (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) granulated sugar (for boiling)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (for boiling)
  • 1 egg white, whisked lightly
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds or kosher/coarse sea salt for topping (optional)


  1. In a bowl for a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl combine the water, yeast and 3 cups of the flour . Mix to form a thick batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Add the barley malt syrup and salt. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. Add the remaining flour and mix to combine. Knead 5 minutes on medium/low speed. If working by hand, stir in as much of the flour as you can, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining flour. Knead 5 minutes. Form the dough into a smooth ball.
  3. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper then sprinkle the paper liberally with cornmeal (or flour). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Use a cupped hand to roll each piece into a smooth, tight ball.
  5. To form a bagel, poke your finger all the way through the center of a ball to make a hole. Use two fingers to gently widen the hole. Continue gently stretching to form the bagel or twirl the dough around your fingers to widen the center hole (see photos). The hole should be 1 - 1.5" wide.
  6. Place the bagel on the prepared sheet pan and continue to form the remaining bagels. The dough will probably spring back a bit so you can go back and re-stretch them once you're done forming all the bagels. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes then place the pan in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. In the morning, take the pan out of the refrigerator. The bagels should be noticeably fuller. Leave the tray out until the bagels come to room temperature, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large pot combine 1 gallon of water with the sugar and baking soda and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the water at a rolling simmer. Set a cooking rack over a clean sheet pan and place it next to the stove.
  9. Lift a bagel off the sheet pan and lower it into the boiling water, top side down. Boil the bagels for 30 seconds on each side. Depending on the size of your pot, you can boil 3-4 bagels at a time. As you remove the boiled bagels from the water, set them on the cooling rack to drain.
  10. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and generously sprinkle with cornmeal (or flour). Place 6 of the boiled bagels on each sheet pan. You could fit them all on one pan but they may rise enough to stick together as they bake. I like all the sides to be crusty so I leave plenty of room between them.
  11. Brush the bagels with egg white. You can leave the bagels plain or add the topping of your choice. To make "everything" bagels combine a tablespoon each of the seeds & salt with a pinch each of garlic salt and onion powder. Adjust toppings to your taste.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.


You can use 1 tablespoon molasses plus 1 tablespoon of honey instead of barley syrup.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Wednesday 15th of September 2021

5 cups of bread flour is not 705g. What is the correct amount of flour?


Thursday 16th of September 2021

@Eileen Gray, Hi Eileen, I apologize if my wording bothered you. I assumed measurment was taken with standard practice for flour which is keeping it "fluffy" not compacting. A cup of flour is about 120 g which if measured with 5 cups is only 600g. That being said I needed more than 705g, which is why I think most people have difficulty with consistency of dough in this recipe.

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

That's pretty definitive statement. Why are you so sure that 5 cups of bread flour is not 705g? If you assume my number is wrong you must believe you know the correct number. If you really are asking I will tell you how I got that number. The weight of a cup of flour is not an absolute. The way you fill the cup will determine the exact weight of the flour in the cup. I always fill a measuring cup using the "dip and sweep" method. That is, I dip the cup into the bin to overfill it. I sweep away the excess flour. Using this method I consistently get very, very close to 5 oz per cup (25 oz total in this recipe). There are 28.3g per ounce. 25ozx28.3=707. I rounded the number from 707 down to 705g.


Saturday 11th of September 2021

I have made this recipe a half a dozen times now and they are truly excellent bagels. However no matter what I do my bagels get stuck to the plastic wrap and end up partially deflating. Any advice for this? I actually have a dozen in the oven right now and even though I heavily floured them before putting the plastic on yesterday, they were still very stuck! Bagels are still delicious though!!

Eileen Gray

Saturday 11th of September 2021

You can try lightly oiling the side of the plastic wrap that touches the bagels, or use pan spray on the plastic wrap.

Marjolaine Geraghty

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

Could you make a French toast style bagel with this recipe?

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

What is a French toast style bagel?


Thursday 3rd of June 2021


I have used this recipe many times and every time these bagels come out amazing! My husband loves them! I have a question. I was having an event that got cancelled and I already have the bagels sitting in the fridge since this morning. I was going to make them tonight. Would I be able to keep them in the fridge until tomorrow night or even Saturday morning before cooking them??

Thank you!!

Eileen Gray

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Are they already shaped? If so, I think you need to finish them. They might rise too much by Saturday and they could deflate as you pick them up for boiling. They do freeze really well, but you would have to toast them after they've been frozen. Otherwise, finish the batch in the fridge to stock your freezer and make a fresh batch for the event.


Friday 26th of March 2021

Hi, Not sure what I did wrong. Followed the steps exactly using half as i only wanted to make six. Dough was way too sticky to even pick up. Try adding more flour but didn't help.

Eileen Gray

Friday 26th of March 2021

Read through the comments, there are lots of tips for dealing with the dough.

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