• About Us

    About Us

    Traditional Methods. Small Batches.



Aside from using scratch recipes and individually hand toping our bagels, what sets us apart from the rest is that we kettle boil all of our bagels before they go into the oven. While it may sound strange to drop a ring of dough into a kettle of boiling water, this gives the crisp, outer shell that is essential to a bagel. This traditional method also helps seal the moisture in the dough, giving the inside of the bagel a chewy, dense pull-a-part texture.

Kettle Boiling vs Steam Ovens

We take pride in honest and genuine techniques. Taking shortcuts is not in the equation for us. In recent years, a variant of bagel making has emerged, producing what is sometimes called the steam-bagel. To make a steam-bagel, the process of boiling is skipped all together, and the bagels are instead baked in an oven equipped with a steam injection system.

In commercial bagel production, this shortcut requires less labor, since bagels need only be directly handled once, at the shaping stage. Thereafter, the bagels need never be removed from their pans as they are refrigerated and then steam-baked.

Warning: The steam-bagel is not considered to be a genuine bagel by purists, as it results in a fluffier, less chewy product more akin to a finger roll that happens to be shaped like a bagel. So if you ask us, kettle boiling is what makes a bagel a bagel – anything else is just a disk of bread!

The History of the Bagel

The year was 1958. The bagel had largely been a speciality food item, until Daniel Thompson invented the ‘Thompson Bagel Machine’ and the bagel industry was forever changed. According to legend, Murray Lender of Lender’s Bagels leased the first Thompson bagel machine, and soon thereafter, more bagel bakeries across America followed suit. And today, the Thompson bagel machine is the gold standard for bagels.

Shepherd’s Grain

Local Ingredients.
Sustainable Farming.

  • Our flour is farmed and milled in Washington by Shepherd’s Grain, a co-op of 33 family farmers. Each farm uses sustainable farming techniques and is certified by the Food Alliance Association. Eco-friendly, sustainable and leaves the soil ready to produce for decades to come, and the best quality flour around! The folks at Shepherd’s grain are passionate about their product – and their passion is seen in the quality of flour we receive.

Our Craft is a 7 Step Process


Our bagels are mixed according to original recipes – no bagel mixes or bases here. Our trusty recipes and the best-quality ingredients give our bagels the rich and one-of-a-kind flavor and texture that our customers love.


We feed our dough through a bagel machine to portion and shape each bagel. These bagel machines were invented by the Lenders family in the late 1950’s in Brooklyn, NY, which helped spread the bagel craze across the country – all the way to Seattle!


The now-formed bagels plump and rise as we allow the dough to rest in a warm and wet – and yeast-friendly – environment.


Comparable to the aging produce of wine or cheese, we slow the action of the yeast by placing our bagels in a cool room to mature. The flavors deepen and the texture becomes denser.

Kettle Boiling

The key step in the true craft of bagel making: the bagels are dropped into a kettle of boiling water. The hot water cooks the starch on the outside of the bagel, giving the bagels a signature crisp crust.


Yielding a heartier good, we individually hand top each bagel with our many toppings. A typical Seattle Bagel Bakery bagel has about two ounces of seeds, onions or cheese smothered onto the top.


And finally, into the oven the bagels go, where they bake hot and fast to shiny, crisp, chewy perfection.


Since 1986, Seattle Bagel Bakery uses artisan techniques and local ingredients to handcraft traditional NY-style water bagels.