3 tips for baking bagels.

There’s just something extra delicious about bagels. However, there may be some debate on which style is the best (are you in the New York or Montreal camp?). Although the shape stays the same, various styles are available based on:

  • Texture
  • Degree of chewiness
  • Kilning
  • Baking methods

What ingredients are key in bagels?

Like most bread products, it comes down to the main three:

  1. Flour: high gluten flour is best, with 13.5–14.5% protein and 0.50% ash.
  2. Water: Low flour hydration for restricting pan flow so the product can hold its shape during forming, proofing and baking.
  3. Sugar: not too much! Just enough to act as yeast food to obtain the desired volume during proofing.

What about processing?

  • Mixing the dough to full development is essential for the unique chewy texture.
  • Bagel dough is very stiff and its mixing can be energy-intensive.
  • The formed dough can be processed without flour dusting.
  • Bagels’ unique flavor and distinct crust are a result of the cold yeast fermentation step.

What’s a typical bagel formula? 


Ingredient Baker’s %
Patent flour (high gluten bread flour)* 100.0
Water 45.0–52.0**
Fresh yeast (compressed) 0.5–1.5
Salt 1.25–2.0
Refined sugar (granulated) 0.0–3.0***
All purpose shortening / vegetable oil 0.0–5.0
Mold inhibitor 0.3–0.5

Shared knowledge. Always Available.

Subscribe Today!

Get our weekly newsletter and sharpen your technical baking knowledge.