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General Running • August 24, 2023

Meg’s Bagel Recipe for Runners (Or Anyone, Really)

fresh bagels

What You Need To Know

The What

A bagel recipe that takes a few hours (but is totally worth it)

The Who

Anyone who enjoys a fresh bagel, but especially runners. This recipe serves 8 people or one runner in peak marathon training.

The How

You only need like 5 ingredients!

What Post Long-Run Dreams are Made of

Back in 2020 when we were all binge watching The Great British Baking show and attempting to make sourdough starter, I learned how to make bagels. Most of my months are spent marathon training with long runs on weekends, so I have a pretty good idea of what I love to eat after 10-20 miles on the road. And I can assure you– nothing beats a round wheel of dough warm out of the oven with egg and cheese in between its slices.

It only took one Sunday morning to realize we were never going back to the local bagel shop. These were too good and left the house smelling like a delicious bread bakery. The best part? They’re so easy, even an early morning runner can do it.

fresh bagels

This is what your life can look like.

The entire recipe can be executed with stuff you probably already have in your pantry. And while I wasn’t working with Brooklyn water, I learned that Baltimore water is a pretty good substitute. Whatever you have coming out of your sink faucet will work just as well.

All that to say, the final product of this bagel recipe is what I think about for the majority of my long run. The reward is worth the work.

Of course, I reference this fueling option quite often on both The Drop and Fuel for the Sole podcasts, so after several hundred DMs requesting the recipe, I’ve finally put it up here. This should go without saying, but as with any recipe that you want to turn out right– don’t skip any steps! It’s worth the extra time.

Here’s How To Make Meg’s Bagels


  • 8 bagels


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (12 oz) warm water (1 minute in the microwave)
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 cups (32 oz) bread flour, plus more for work surface 
  • 1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (for coating the bowl)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg white (remove the yolk, this isn’t French toast) beaten with 2 tablespoons water 

For Boiling

  • 2-4 quarts water, whatever you need to fill up a big pot
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) honey, I just eyeball this one

For Baking

  • Parchment paper
  • 2 baking sheets
kneading bagel dough

Kneading the dough


  1. Prepare the dough. Place the yeast and sugar in a large bowl and add in the warm water (don’t mix). Then cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Mix the dough. Add the flour and salt. Mix together with a plastic or wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  3. Knead the dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 or so minutes. The dough should still feel pretty soft after the kneading.
  4. Let the dough rise. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. This is usually when I go and get that run in 😉(Side note: Your run can be longer than 90 minutes, it’s just a minimum time requirement for the dough to rise. Alternatively, to save some morning work, you can put your dough in the fridge the night before and pull it out to rise right before your run.)
Bagel dough rising in bowl

The house of the rising dough

  1. Prep the baking setup. Preheat the oven to 425°F with two oven racks dividing the oven into thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper (wax side up).
  2. Prepare the bagel bath. Fill a large, wide pot with 2 quarts (or more) of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high.
  3. Shape the bagels. If your dough looks ready (big and fluffy), punch it down to release any air bubbles. Then, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball the size of a small adult fist. Press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole about 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter and shape them. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with the plastic wrap and rest for a few minutes.

Doughy bagel balls

pre-cooked bagels on cutting board

This is what they should look like before dropping into the bath

  1. Check your Strava. You’ve been back from your run for 10 minutes, so make sure you give and get kudos.
  2. Bath time. Drop the bagels into the bagel bath, 2-4 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side.
bagel bath

Bath bombs

  1. Top ’em. Pull the bagels out of the bath and place them on a cutting board or clean surface. Brush the egg wash onto the bagels with a pastry brush, making sure to cover the top and the sides of each bagel. Add toppings and seasonings as desired! I love sesame and everything bagels.
  2. Get ready to bake. Place 4 bagels (spaced out evenly) onto each parchment-lined baking sheet.
bagels in oven

This is what they should look like before dropping into the bath

  1. Bake away! Place baking sheets onto the oven racks. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. For my oven, I do 11 minutes, flip the trays around and put them back in for 10 more minutes. You want the bagels to be a dark golden brown. 
  2. Check your Strava again. You’ve been back from your run for 20 minutes now, so make sure people are paying attention. If you ran 20 miles, feel free to post an Instagram story of the Strava activity to double your likes and feel better about your run.
  3. Remove the bagels from the oven. Take them out and let cool for a few minutes. These are best eaten immediately (slice, toast, top)! But if you have extras, slice them in half and throw them into the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, just throw them straight into the toaster and they’re just as delicious as day 1. 
  4. Post your bagel pics to Instagram. Check back throughout the day to make sure people are jealous of your chef-level baking skills. Also, check Strava.
finished bagels

Et voila! Finished bagels!


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. John Calabrese says:

    This is amazing ❤️ food is the most important gear!!!!! Thank you I’m going to try to make this weekend 💪💪💪 if successful I’ll post on IG! If not I’ll eat them anyway and go run 🤣

  2. Lucy says:

    I think your oz for flour is way too high. Should be much lower. I changed your oz to ml and grams. I had 355ml liquid to 910g flour. It went in the bin. 300ml to 500g is closer.

  3. Lauren C says:

    I think it’s using fluid oz (volume)? By weight 1 cup of bread flour= 4.25 oz or 120g so 4 cups is 17 oz or 480g. I used 17 oz and they were amazing.

  4. Meredith says:

    I love these bagels! Thank you for the recipe, Meaghan. One tip I’d add is to check the temp of your water in step one. The warm water should be 100°-110° F. The first time I made the recipe, I didn’t check and my water must’ve been too hot. It killed the yeast and the dough didn’t rise.

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meaghan nyc marathon
Meaghan Murray
Boss Lady
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

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