Potato Bagel Recipe


I’m in love. It’s not a phase. This is the real thing.

The potato bagel and I go way back. When I used to live in Pittsburgh, about the only food experience I could afford was the potato bagel. I was living in Squirrel Hill very close to an Einstein Brothers and it was too tempting to pass by without going in for one. I’ve been dreaming about them ever since. Simply, no other bagel compares.

Taking what I’ve learned from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and this recipe, I think I’ve found a way to replicate that nostalgic potato bagel at home.

For plain bagels, see this previously posted recipe.

Makes 2 dozen bagels (easily halved, if you want only one dozen)

Day 1:

Make the potatoes:
Peel and rinse about 6 potatoes (enough to result in 1 1/3 c. mashed potatoes).
In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with about 6 cups of water.
Simmer for a half hour.
With a slotted spoon, remove potatoes to a bowl. Reserve potato water.
Mash the potatoes, adding in a little potato water, to create a smooth consistency. Set aside for the dough step.

Mix together the sponge:
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
6 cups bread flour
4 cups warm potato water

Mix the yeast into the flour and then gradually mix in the water. Your mixture should be very sticky (like pancake batter.) Cover with plastic wrap and a dry towel. Ferment the sponge at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Prepare the dough:
2 tbls. honey
1 tbls. malt syrup
6 tbls. olive oil
1 1/3 mashed potatoes, room temperature
5 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yeast
about 8 cups bread flour

With an electric mixer and dough hook, add the liquid ingredients (honey, malt, oil) to the sponge. Add mashed potatoes, salt, and yeast.  Add the flour 2 cups at a time. Continue to knead for about ten minutes until you’ve got an elastic, satiny ball. (The resulting dough will be somewhat wetter than a plain bagel dough.)

Divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces and roll into smooth balls. Roll each ball in a light coating of flour. Cover the balls with a damp towel and let them rest for 30 minutes.

Line 3 sheet pans with parchment and mist lightly with olive oil.

After the dough has rested, shape by poking a hole in the center of the ball with your thumb and gently stretching out into a bagel that is even on all sides. Make the holes slightly bigger than you think they should be.

Place the bagel on the pan, mist with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit for 20 minutes. Now, it’s time for the float test! Slip one bagel out from under the plastic wrap and test to see if it will float within 10 seconds in a bowl of water. Pat it dry, return to pan, and place your bagels in the fridge overnight. (If your bagel does not pass the float test, do not despair, just wait a little bit longer and try again.)

Day 2:

Boil and bake:

Fill a stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Preheat the oven to 500F. Add 1 tbls. baking soda to the boiling water. Stir.

Take your bagels from fridge and drop, in batches of four, into the boiling water. Cook for one and a half minutes per side – flip your bagels over with a skimmer, slotted spoon, or tongs. While your bagels boil, sprinkle your parchment with semolina flour or cornmeal.  Place boiled bagels on the prepared sheet.

Dust the tops with flour and slash three times. (This looks appealing and lets some of the moisture out as it cooks.)

Bake at 500F for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 450F and bake for another 5 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to racks to cool.


  • Any potato will do, but I’d recommend a drier, brown potato (Russet). This will give a stronger potato flavor.
  • I tried the beautiful star bagels shown in this recipe, but it was a disaster. They were hard to get off the parchment, fell apart in the water, and came out of the oven unevenly cooked and gooey. What a shame.
  • Try a potato bagel with herbs. Yum!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. JoPi says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m definitely going to try this one.

  2. Recipe says:

    Wow. Thanks for this. This is definitely my first time hearing of potato bagels. Gotta try it.

  3. Anne says:

    You’re welcome. They are definitely worth trying. Just a little more fun than a regular bagel.

  4. Chad says:

    I’ve been trying to make potato bagels all day. They’ve been baking at 425 for 40 minutes now and are way too doughy inside they have a nice golden color though. Its not this recipe I am using though.

  5. Anne says:

    Hmm, Chad. I’m sorry. That does sound like a terrible plight. Mine were gooey too, on my first try, but something is very wrong if you have baked them for 40 minutes. Things to try: use a different type of potato, check your oven’s temp., add more flour at the first kneading (go for that satiny look – not sticky.) Good luck! And, you can always make bagel chips with failed bagels, so all is not lost.

  6. John says:

    OK I just made this recipe and it rocks! Best bagel I’ve ever had! seriously.

  7. Anne says:

    Yay! :) So glad that it treated you well. Let the bagel love continue!

  8. Pingback: Potato Bagels «
  9. Jennifer says:

    I love Einstein Bagels and miss living near one so I am so happy to have found this recipe! Can’t wait to try and thankyou much!!!

  10. Sharon says:

    I just made this recipe and it turned out perfect! I have never made bagels before and my husband and I were very pleased with this recipe! Thank you, I am going to try putting peppercorns in it next time like the Noah potato and pepper bagel. I used gold potatoes this time and I will try russet to bring out more potato flavor.

    1. Anne says:

      Hooray! Pepper sounds interesting. Let us know how it goes. :)

  11. tinkteach22 says:

    Einstein’s at my college quit making their potato bagel. I called the company and complained because potato bagels are my absolute favorite. I will definitely be trying your recipe, but halving because it’s just me!!!

  12. Anne says:

    Don’t halve it! :) Freeze them! You’ll be happy when you’re starving and you can pull one out to toast. Sorry that you can’t get them at Einstein’s anymore. Long live the potato bagel!

  13. Michael R. Craven says:

    Dear Anne, Thank you for sharing your wonderful potato bagel recipe! They turned out perfectly delicious. Like you, I’ve always been a fan, and love the idea of being able to make my own. Thanks again,

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