NYC Style Spelt Bagels

New York City Style Spelt Bagels
pinit View Gallery 11 photos

Chewy, large and taste like it is straight from your local NYC bagel shop. Making bagels at home is the perfect way to customize your bagel. One of my favorite bagels is spelt, but it is not always available at my local bagel shop. Spelt flour is light and has has a wonderful nutty and slightly sweet flavor.

One of the secrets to a NYC bagel, aside from the NYC water, is barley syrup. It is both in the dough and in the boiling water. The barley syrup in the water gives the bagels their signature color. If you can’t find barley syrup, you could use a dark molasses, but it is a bit sweeter than barley syrup.

Another trick to making these is cooking them upside down. The idea is to cook them the last 5 minutes upside down to avoid the bagels from looking like rolls. I find that if you press down the bagel slightly after shaping this step isn’t needed and they will hold their bagel shape.

Avoid the long lines with these at your local bagel shop and give these a try!

5 from 1 vote

NYC Style Spelt Bagels

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 20 mins Rest Time 2 hrs Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A chewy and perfect NYC style bagel made with nutty and slightly sweet spelt flour. 



  1. Knead the Dough

    Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to blend together. Add the water (at 95-105 degrees) and barley syrup. Knead for 10 minutes or until very smooth. Cover and let rest for 2 hours in a lightly greased bowl. It should double in size. 

Shape the Bagels

  1. Shape the Bagels

    Divide the dough in to 4 (6 if you want smaller bagels) portions. Roll to form a ball and let rest for a minutes.

    There are 2 ways to shape. The first way is to roll the dough into a snake then bring the two ends together to form a bagel shape. Roll the connected pieces together to seal. The second way is to press your thumb into  dough ball and rub until a hole is formed. Stretch the dough to by pulling from the inside to elongate the dough and form a bagel shape. 

    Once shaped oil the tops of the bagels and press down on them slightly to flatten. This will help avoid them from rising into buns and will hold their shape. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that is oiled. 

    Ensure you oil the parchment paper to avoid the bagels from sticking. If not, they will be very hard to remove and will destroy the shape. See gallery for detailed photos.


  1. Bake the Bagels

    Let bagels sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes if the dough was refrigerated. 

    preheat your oven to 500 and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of barley syrup to the boiling water. Add the bagels 2 at a time to the boiling water. Let boil on each side for 1 minute. Remove and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add toppings such as oats, seeds etc. 

    Bake for 8 minutes on 500 then reduce the heat to 350 and cook for 6 more minutes.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. 


  1. The introduction states “ you press the dough down during the rise after rising”. This isn’t really clear as to exactly what is supposed to be done and there is no mention of it in the instructions. Could you please clarify?

    1. Hi Amy,
      Thank you for flagging this! I have updated the recipe to be a bit more clear. The intent here is that after the bagels are rolled and shaped, press down on them gently to flatten. I do this step after I shape all the bagels and lightly oil the tops. This not only helps keep the bagel shape but also prevents the plastic wrap from sticking.

      1. Awesome. Thanks so much! I will be making these ASAP. Love spelt but don’t want to use 100% and have been looking for a recipe such as this.

        1. My pleasure! Agree, not using 100% is the best as it keeps them light and fluffy while still having the sweet and nutty spelt flavor.
          Happy bagel making!

          1. A quick follow up. Thanks again for your quick responses. I have since made these and couldn’t be happier! Thank you again for a great and eminently doable spelt bagel recipe. I have signed up for your newsletter and look forward to trying more of your creations.

          2. I am very happy to hear your bagels turned out amazingly and appreciate the kind words! It is always nice to hear when people enjoy our recipes 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *