Homemade Bagel Recipe

Just thinking about this homemade bagel recipe makes my mouth water. It's super easy to make, and it yields delicious, chewy bagels every time.

Homemade bagels

This homemade bagel recipe is Jack’s new favorite thing to bake, and I couldn’t be happier! Like many of you, he’s been baking up a storm lately, churning out crusty loaves of sourdough filled with dried fruit, nuts, or roasted garlic. I love all of it, but I’m especially excited whenever he starts a new batch of bagels. These may be homemade, but they have all the essential qualities of a good bagel: a shiny exterior, a lightly sweet and salty flavor, and a perfect chewy bite. To take them over the top, we coat them generously in crunchy, garlicky Everything Seasoning. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

If you’re looking for a fun weekend project, give this bagel recipe a try. You only need a few basic ingredients to make it, and it’s surprisingly easy. Best of all, it’s a great recipe to make with someone you love – you can shape the bagels together, and one person can boil them while the other piles on the bagel topping. Then, if you’re anything like Jack and me, you’ll watch them through the oven window as they bake, anticipating eating the warm, puffy homemade bagels fresh out of the oven.

Bagel recipe ingredients

Bagel Recipe Ingredients

This bagel recipe has 3 parts: the dough, the poaching liquid, and the bagel topping. Here’s what you’ll need for each one:

The Dough

  • Bread flour – Because of its high protein content, bread flour makes these homemade bagels delightfully chewy. This recipe also works with all-purpose flour, they’re just a bit less chewy than bagels made with bread flour.
  • Maple syrup – It activates the yeast and gives the bagels a hint of sweetness.
  • Warm water – Along with the maple syrup, it gets the yeast going, and it brings the dough together.
  • Active dry yeast – They couldn’t rise without it!
  • Sea salt – It’s key for really flavorful homemade bagels.

The Poaching Liquid

Did you know that you have to boil bagels before you bake them? It gives them their signature chewy, shiny coating, and it keeps them from puffing up too much and losing their holes in the oven. I boil them in a mix of maple syrup, baking soda, salt, and water to give them a light golden brown color, a crave-worthy chewy exterior, and a nice shiny finish.

And the toppings!

Everyone has a favorite bagel topping, and Jack and I are 100% on team Everything. We like to coat our bagels in a homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning, but feel free to top them however you’d like! They’re fantastic plain, or with a sesame seed or poppy seed topping.

You can attach the toppings in two ways: with or without an egg wash. I think the egg wash adds an extra-delicious chew, and it helps the topping adhere better to the baked bagels. However, you can also dip the boiled bagels directly into the topping. Without an egg wash, this bagel recipe is vegan.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Kneading bagel dough

How to Make Bagels

Ready to learn how to make bagels? Check out this step-by-step guide first, and then find the full recipe at the bottom of this post!

First, make the dough. Activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and maple syrup. When it foams, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and mix it with the flour and salt until the dough is smooth and not sticky, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Dough ball in a large bowl

Then, transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead by hand for 2 to 3 minutes. Form it into a ball and place it in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough has almost doubled in size.

8 dough balls on a plate

Now for the fun part: shaping the bagels! Turn the dough out onto an un-floured work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

Shaping homemade bagels

Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the work surface, and roll each dough ball into a rope about 9 inches long.

How to make bagels

Place one hand palm up so that your four fingers are centered on top of the rope. Fold each side of the dough over your fingers, so that the ends overlap by about 2 inches. Holding the dough, turn your hand over and roll it on the countertop to seal the two ends together.

Place the finished bagels onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Homemade bagel dough

The next morning, boil and bake! Remove the dough from the fridge, and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour while you preheat the oven and bring the poaching liquid to a boil.

Bagel recipe dough on baking sheets

Working in batches, add the bagels to the boiling water and cook them for 1 minute per side. Return them to the baking sheets, coat them with your desired bagel topping, and bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden brown. Enjoy!

Bagel Recipe Tips

  • Weigh your flour. Because this bagel recipe uses a large amount of flour, you should weigh it if you can. This way, you’ll know exactly how much flour you’re using. Cup measurements are much less precise, as they can vary based on a variety of factors (your specific measuring cups, how tightly you pack your flour, etc.). If you don’t have a kitchen scale, check out this post for my best tips on measuring flour with measuring cups.
  • Let the dough rise somewhere warm. Yeast responds to warmth, so, for an extra productive rise, stick the dough somewhere warm. We like to put ours on a sunny windowsill!
  • Keep it covered. To keep the bagel dough moist and pliable, always cover it with plastic wrap when you’re not working with it. Cover all of it during its initial rise and its overnight rise, and cover any dough you’re not working with while you shape the bagels.
  • Don’t boil the bagels until they float. Before you start boiling the bagels, place one into a small bowl of water to see if it floats. If it does, the bagels are ready to cook! If it doesn’t, let the bagel dough proof for an additional 30 minutes, or until one floats. This test ensures that the dough contains plenty of air – if you cook it too soon, your homemade bagels will be dense.

Homemade everything bagel recipe

Homemade Bagels Serving Suggestions

Topped with my vegan carrot lox (or regular lox), cream cheese, and classic fixings like cucumbers, capers, and dill, these homemade bagels make a fantastic weekend brunch.

I also like to toast one for a quick breakfast or lunch. Then, I top it with cream cheese, mashed avocado, hummus, or baba ganoush, or I make it into a sandwich. Lately, I’ve been loving these homemade bagels with my egg salad, vegan egg salad, and chickpea salad sandwich fillings.

Store the homemade bagels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze them for up to 2 months.

Bagel recipe

More Favorite Baking Recipes

If you love this bagel recipe, try one of these baking projects next:

Homemade Bagels

rate this recipe:
5 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves 8
Note: this homemade bagel recipe requires overnight resting time, plus 1 hour to proof in the morning. We like to make the dough the night before, and boil and bake the final bagels in the morning.


For the dough

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or barley malt syrup
  • 1 pkg. (¼-ounce) active dry yeast, (2¼ teaspoons)
  • cups warm water
  • 540 grams bread flour*
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

For the poaching water

  • tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon salt

For the toppings


  • Prepare the dough: In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, yeast, and water, and proof for 5 minutes or until foamy.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, place the flour, salt, and the yeast mixture. Mix on medium-low speed for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough is well-formed around the hook. If the dough is very dry after 3 minutes, add 1 tablespoon water. (Note: I don't recommend mixing this dough without a stand mixer, it's a stiff dough that gets nice and smooth this way).
  • Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and barely tacky, then form into a ball and place into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough has risen (it may double in size or slightly less).
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, grease them very lightly with oil, and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a clean, unfloured, work surface and divide into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball by rolling on the countertop with a cupped hand. As you work with each piece through the next few steps, keep the dough that you’re not working with covered in plastic wrap.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the countertop. Take each dough ball and roll into a rope about 9 inches long. Place one hand palm up so that your four fingers are centered on top of the rope. Fold each side of the dough over your fingers, so that the ends overlap by about 2 inches. (see photo above). Holding the dough, turn your hand over and roll your hand on the countertop to seal the two ends together.
  • Place each finished piece onto a baking sheet. Dust the tops with a very slight amount of flour to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the pans from the fridge and let sit at room temp for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Place one bagel into a small bowl of water to make sure it floats. If it sinks, let the dough proof for an additional 30 minutes or until one floats.
  • Prepare the poaching water: In a large pot, bring two quarts of water to a boil with the maple syrup, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add 3 bagels (or as many that comfortably fit) to the pot, reducing the heat if the water starts to boil over. Boil for 1 minute per side. Transfer the bagels back to the baking sheet, flipping them over so the smooth side is on top. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  • Prepare the toppings: Beat the egg white and water together in a small bowl, if desired. Brush the bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seasoning. Alternatively, you can skip the egg wash and dip the top of the bagel straight into the seasoning, but the egg wash helps the seasoning adhere better to the bagel.
  • Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.


*Note: I highly recommend weighing your flour for this recipe since it’s a high quantity of flour and measuring with measuring cups can often result in too much flour which will result in dry dough. The cup conversion is 4 1/3 cups, but I can't guarantee results without precisely weighed flour.
This recipe also works with (540 grams) all-purpose flour, they're just a bit less chewy than bagels made with bread flour.


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  1. wendy

    Hi! Can I use my food processor to mix the dough if I don’t have a stand mixer?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m not sure, I haven’t tried (and I don’t have a big enough food processor for this large amount). It’s a really stiff dough… I’m not sure if it would stress the food processor blade too much.

  2. Sarah

    Hi! Do you think it would work with gluten free all purpose flour? These look delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried, but I don’t think so – I’d probably search for a recipe that’s specifically for Gluten Free Bagels because I think other modifications would have to be made.

  3. ChiCook

    5 stars
    Mine weren’t nearly this beautiful, but they were delicious! I’ve been searching for a bagel recipe that doesn’t require the hard-to-find ingredients usually required. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  4. Ildi

    Hi, Your bagel looks fabulous! Great photo too!

    Why the baking soda in the boiling water?


    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Ildi, it’s what gives the outside of the bagel it’s chewiness.

      • Patti

        5 stars
        Love the recipe, very easy it make, but mine did not rise looked more like a bealli

  5. Ildi


    I have a very hard time shaping the bagel very resilient the dough

    Please help

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Ildi, the dough should be very stiff. Did you mix it in the stand mixer so that it’s a smooth ball?

      After rising, be sure you’re not using flour on the countertop to roll the smaller balls into the ropes. The rope should be long enough to wrap around your hand. Then roll the seam, palm side down, against the (unfloured) countertop to seal the seam. If the two ends aren’t sticking together, you can dab a little water on it.

  6. Bob

    5 stars
    Hmmm so good look this food and delicious. You have 5 stars.

  7. Charlotte

    Hi tried this recipe was great but my dough stuck the the baking paper whist in the fridge! When trying to peel them off think I knocked out loads of the air and they were then mis shaped?? Any clue on how to solve the sticking? Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Charlotte, if one passes the float test (step 9), then keep going. Otherwise, let them proof in the fridge longer to puff back up. It shouldn’t stick too badly with parchment paper on the bottom (are you using regular parchment paper?). Ours sticks a little to the plastic covering on top. Just peel it back as gently as you can. If they float, then continue to boil and bake and they should puff up in the oven.

  8. Kay

    Hey! I cant wait to try these. I was just wondering if I can use whole wheat flour? And if so, is there anything in the recipe I’d have to adjust? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kay, I haven’t tried them with whole wheat flour so I can’t say. It usually acts very different and this recipe is super precise, so I don’t think it would work without possible other modifications.

  9. Paul

    They all look beautiful & spacious. You have a lovely collection.

  10. Paul

    This looks so easy. I will definitely make it for my kids.

  11. Sara

    5 stars
    Just pulled these out of the oven and had one for breakfast! I followed the recipe exactly (with AP flour instead of bread flour), and the only complication I encountered was getting them off the baking sheet and into the boiling water without disturbing their shape too badly. Some of them turned out a bit wonky, but they still taste amazing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  12. Jeanine Donofrio

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy these.

  13. Maggie

    Hi there—there seems to be a mistake in the conversion from grams to cups. The recipe says it’s 4 1/3 cups when it’s actually closer to 2 1/4 cups. I didn’t think about it and used 4 1/3 cups and had to start all over. Dry as a bone and just some crumbles in the mixer that never made a ball. It was a big waste of flour and other ingredients and pretty detrimental in this time of covid where flour and yeast is increasingly hard to get! Anyways, I’m excited to try these bagels in the morning, the recipe looks beautiful, but please edit the instructions so no one makes my mistake again 😭

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Maggie, 1 cup of bread flour is 125 grams. I highly recommend weighing the flour here because measuring by hand can be inaccurate and can yield too much flour.

      • Maggie

        Hi Jeanine,
        I agree, but unfortunately I don’t have a working scale 😪 googling will give you multiple results for how much a cup of flower weighs (I know, it’s an inaccurate way of measurement and the conversion isn’t exact), and some results come up with 2 1/4 cups. Especially bread flour, which is heavier than all purpose. Just a word of warning because 4 1/3 cups was totally unusable! 😔 It was disproportionately flour in the mixture.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Maggie,

          I totally understand that a scale isn’t an every day tool. I think the problem might have to do with how tightly the cups were packed. Measured flour is most accurate when it’s fluffed up first (not tightly packed from the package), and then spooned into the cup and leveled with a knife. If you scoop the measuring cup directly into the flour, you’ll get a lot more flour in the cup. I just tested two weights on my scale: 1 cup bread flour (fluffed) spooned and leveled equals 125 grams. 1 cup bread flour tightly scooped can equal up to 155 grams, which would be too much for this recipe. I hope this is helpuful, and I hope the next round works out for you!

          • Kathie

            5 stars
            I just made these bagels and they are fantastic!

            I grew up in Jersey, with the best bagels. Moved to south Texas 5 years ago and can’t find a decent bagels anywhere. I’ve tried a few different recipes and they were okay. This is by far the BEST recipe! I like how you said exactly how the dough should feel and how to roll them like a professional bagel maker.

            Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. This will be the only one I use going forward.

    • Grace

      5 stars
      Hi there! Just wanted to comment (not meaning to be aggressive at all), but I also do not have a scale and I did use bread flour as recommended, I measured out 4 1/3 cups by hand, and I have made this recipe many times and each time it turns out wonderful! So I do think that the conversion is accurate, just try to follow Jeanine’s tips for measuring flour by hand in the most accurate way possible and I think you might find more success! Also, during the mixing process in the stand-up mixer, I found that using her tip of adding a tablespoon of water about halfway through the mixing process really helps to moisten the dough and allows it to better form into a ball-like shape that can then be completed when you knead the dough by hand. Again, I am not meaning to attack you or your comment, but I just don’t want others who do not have a scale to think that the conversion is inaccurate because like I said I make these bagels all the time with no issues. Have a good day!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Hi Grace, I’m glad measuring tips were helpful and I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying the bagels. 🙂

  14. Christine

    5 stars
    I made these this am and (YUMMM) but the uncooked bagels stuck to the parchment and I had to do this crazy dip them in water thing to try to peel the parchment off to get them into the boiling water without deflating them. Any tips?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Christine – I’m glad you loved them! Did you grease the parchment paper?

      • Christine

        I didn’t grease the parchment. Do you think that would be a good idea?

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Yep, wipe a little bit on with a paper towel, you don’t want the surface very oily but a tiny bit will help them not stick. I also added a tip to brush a teeny bit of flour on top of the dough to help the plastic covering not stick. Hope that helps!

  15. Erika

    5 stars
    I made these last weekend with AP flour and they turned out great! No issues with the bagels sticking to the parchment paper. Question though: I want to use this recipe as a base but would like to make blueberry bagels or jalapeño cheddar bagels, at what step do you recommend adding these ingredients?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Erika, I’m so glad you loved them!

      I’d add mix-ins in step 2 just after the other ingredients are mixed together. I’d stick to dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dried blueberries). If fresh blueberries burst, it could affect the moisture level. I could see jalapeños working since they’re not as wet as fruit. I’d sprinkle the cheese on top, just before baking. I haven’t tried any of these, so I can’t say how the texture of the dough might change – can you let me know which mix-ins you have success with?

      Hope that helps!

      • Erika

        Hi Jeanine!

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. I’ve made this bagel recipe now 3 times (AP flour for all), with the last 2 times including medium cheddar cheese and jalapeño and they turned out soo good both times! Even chewier than the first time.

        I added minced jalapeño (and a bit of cheese) during kneading (step 3), skipped the brushing of egg whites and added cheese on top just before putting them in the oven. Thanks so much for this!! It will be a staple recipe in our household.

  16. Gillian from beechhillswellness.com

    Do you have gluten-free substitutions, perhaps without rice or oats, either?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m sorry, I haven’t tested these to be gluten free. I’d search specifically for a gluten free bagel recipe because I’d guess that other modifications would have to be made than a 1:1 flour swap.

  17. Dahyana

    Hey Jeanine, I want to love this recipe so bad, but I have mixed feelings.
    We tried this recipe and followed the instructions step by step; however, our bagels did not rise nor taste like an actual bagel.
    On the contrary, they tasted bland and shaped flat. Where did you think we may have gone wrong?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Dahyana, if they didn’t rise it sounds like it’s an issue with your yeast. During this time, a lot of places have been selling expired yeast. We had some last week that, even though it foamed, it affected our baking rises. When we got new yeast, our baked goods were puffy again – it was a night and day difference even though we were making the same recipe.

  18. Lori

    Hi. They sound quite nice. My problem is I haven’t been able to buy much flour without additives. Right now I have Spelt, Whole Wheat, and Buckwheat. Any chance any, all, mix, of these will make good bagels?
    Also, when you can, could you respond to Erika’s question about when to add other ingredients.
    Thanks. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lori, I haven’t tested with any of those flours, so I can’t say that they’d work 100%. Of those, spelt is the closest to all purpose, so that would be my first choice. I know some readers have used partial whole wheat, but I think mixing it with AP would be best. I’d stay away from the buckwheat for this one, it would be too dense. If you have a kitchen scale, I’d add by weight vs. volume since some of those flours are heavier than AP.

      I’d add mix-ins in step 2 after the other ingredients are mixed together. I’d stick to dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dried blueberries, if fresh blueberries burst, it could affect the moisture level.

      Hope that helps!

  19. Suhagi

    5 stars
    I made these with 5 oz of whole wheat and 14 oz of AP (everything was weighed via food scale) and then followed the recipe exactly- but also lightly oiled the parchment paper and lightly floured the rolled, shaped bagels and they turned out amazing! of the 8 we made 3 plain, one with black pepper, 2 with garlic and sea salt, and 2 with everything toppings! I did all of this without a stand mixer and by hand- so it took a while, but I am used to making most of my breads/naans/roti by hand so this wasn’t too different. The dough is definitely firm to work with- but nothing impossible. Tagged you in my Instagram story post too! adding this to my monthly routine!

    • Suhagi

      5 stars
      PS I’ll be making a batch with a few craisins next but keeping the garlic and everything toppings in our rotation!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Hi Suhagi, I’m so glad you loved them so much! Love all of your delicious topping ideas 🙂

  20. Julien

    Thanks for the recipe! Mine tasted good, but were flat and wrinkly. They were very puffy and passed the float test before I boiled them, but they immediately collapsed when I slid them into the boiling water. Any ideas why that might be?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Julien, when they’ve flattened in the water for me, they puffed back up in the oven. If yours didn’t, I’d try using new yeast next time. Right now, some places are selling expired yeast.

    • Claire

      This can happen if the dough is over proofed. It will still float because it’s full of air but the air pocket collapses when cooked and can’t recover. Try floating the bagels sooner after resting out of fridge. Mine passed the float test after 30 minutes so I went ahead and boiled them sooner.

  21. Hannah

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe!

    The bagels came out perfectly. I will definitely be using it regularly from now on!

    Just wanted to throw out there that I do not have a stand mixer. I ended up spending a bit of extra time kneading it instead to get to the smooth ball. Not sure it’s what would be recommended, but it worked fine for me!


    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them! Thanks for letting me know that they worked well without a stand mixer!

    • Susan

      5 stars
      I did the same and they came out wonderful!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you loved them!

  22. Maja

    5 stars
    To be honest, I haven’t had a bagel in my life as this American thing isn’t sold in Austria. So I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised! For a bread it was rather easy to make and delicious. Only thing I would alter is the baking time. I baked them at 230 degrees Celsius on two-sided heat and when I baked them for 14 minutes they got a little too brown. 11 minutes for the 2nd batch were perfect, though.

  23. Claire

    5 stars
    My bagels came out perfect and so delicious! For anyone concerned about sticking, instead of putting them on a full sheet of parchment to prove, cut out a parchment square for each bagel, then before boiling it is easier to gently flip bagel into hand and pull off the individual piece with less pulling on the dough if it had stuck.

  24. Anita

    Hi! I was wondering what the leaving it overnight does! I’ve looked at other bagel recipes and for many, that step is left out. Just wondering what that extra step does for the overall bagel. Thank you!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      They become puffier this way – I tried a variety of versions that didn’t proof overnight and they all came out very deflated.

  25. Kathy

    I tried this recipe yesterday and baked them this morning. I used all purpose flour and did weigh it. Rather than cover them overnight with plastic wrap, I used a kitchen towel, making sure it was tucked in all over. The towel did not stick to the risen bagels, making them very easy to get off the parchment and into the boiling water. The bagels turned out beautifully. Only slight issue was that a couple of them came unconnected overnight. Next time I’ll experiment with toppings. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kathy, I’m so glad you loved the bagels!

  26. Lynette Caldwell

    I made these today. I quickened them up. Couldn’t wait overnight for the adventure. Wonderful! I made 4 mini ones too. Just baked shorter amount of time. Will make again

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  27. meira

    OMG!!!!!! I was craving bagels at 9 pm and decided I wanted them for breakfast!So I made the dough, and let it rise in the fridge over night, and made them in the morning for my family111 Fantastic! So good! I am vegan, and I made avocado toast on them. And My family had normal fixings. But So So SO So good! qHighly recommend.

  28. Nola

    5 stars
    I’ve made bagels several times, each time using a different recipe. They’ve been good in the past, but always small and dense. THESE, however, were big and fluffy and utterly perfect without even letting them sit overnight. Sticking with this one.

  29. Nikki

    5 stars
    These came out perfect. Great recipe and easy too. I made them for my family. I am gluten free but i had to take a little bite just to see. My stomach hurts now but its so worth it.

  30. Colleen

    Do you have nutrition information for this recipe? Mine are baking now and look amazing!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.