When I went home to Phoenix for winter break, I experienced heartbreak; my favorite bagel shop, Odelay Bagel Company, had closed for good. Besides being one of the few places in Phoenix to get a New Yorker-endorsed bagel, Odelay had something that set it above the rest: Dill Rye Bagels. 

Sarah Anwar

I have a personal connection to the invention of the Dill Rye Bagel. My mom and I had been hounding Einstein’s to create a Dill Rye Bagel for years before Odelay owner Ryan Probst made our dream bagel a reality. The flavor was an instant hit and often topped Odelay’s bagel of the month list.

Because I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without eating another Dill Rye Bagel, I set out to make my own recipe in honor of Odelay. I still bitterly mourn the loss of the small Phoenix business, but my life is a little bit sweeter now that I can recreate my favorite Odelay bagel.

While time-consuming, making bagels was easier than I expected, and there’s nothing better than a bagel fresh out of the oven. The dill rye flavor is the perfect base for herb or garlic cream cheese and a variety of toppings (I ate mine with DIY dill cream cheese and smoked salmon).

This recipe makes six small bagels.

Sarah Anwar

How to Make Dill Rye Bagels:


-Large bowl


-Plastic wrap

-Pot or deep pan

-Baking sheet & parchment paper


-2 Cups All-purpose Flour

NOTE: Unlike Dill Rye Bread, this recipe does not use rye flour. Rye flour has a lower gluten content than all-purpose or bread flour. Bagels need high-gluten flour to develop their distinctive texture, which is why I decided to use all-purpose flour for this recipe. However, the flavor commonly associated with Rye Bread comes not from the flour, but from caraway seeds, which I included in the dough and sprinkled on top. The flavor is incredibly similar to traditional rye bread.

-.25 oz. dried yeast (1 packet)

-¾ cups warm water

-½ tablespoon salt

-1½ tablespoons white sugar

-3 tablespoons dried dill

-3 tablespoons caraway seeds

Sarah Anwar


Part One: Mixing

1. Put ¾ cups flour into a bowl. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt and ½ Tablespoon sugar to the opposite side.

2. Warm ¾ cups water to a lukewarm temperature. It should be warm—but not painfully hot—to the touch. Too hot, and the water will kill the yeast.

3. Pour water gently into the flour bowl. Mix slowly at first, then beat vigorously for 7 minutes, until the mixture is smooth.

4. Add the remaining flour to the mixture and knead until fully incorporated. Knead 2 tablespoons dill and 1 tablespoon caraway seeds into the mixture. Knead until the dough is shiny and smooth.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Part Two: Shaping

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

7. Break the dough into 6 pieces for small bagels, 4 pieces for large bagels, or 8 pieces for little bagels.

8. Shape each piece into a bagel shape by poking a hole in the center and smoothing the edges into a uniform shape.

9. Cover bagels gently with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Part Three: Boiling

10. Bring a liter of water to a boil in a pot or a deep pan. Add one tablespoon of sugar to the mixture—this will add flavor to the bagels and help develop the bagel’s “skin”.

11. Put a maximum of three bagels into the water and boil for 90 seconds on each side.

12. After removing the bagels from the water, coat with remaining caraway seeds and dill.

13. Repeat steps 10 & 11 with remaining bagels.

Part Four: Baking

14. Arrange bagels on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

15. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until bagels are golden brown all around and firm to the touch.

16. Enjoy!