Homemade Bagels

Hi everyone!!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and for the non-Americans, a great Thursday 🙂 Being away from home is never easy for me, and this past week was no exception.  I had a really hard time missing out on Thanksgiving with my family, especially the cranberry margaritas.  My highlight of Thanksgiving this year was fitting in my first 5 mile run in a long time – my version of our annual Turkey Trot.  And then Friday I got ambitious and made bagels.  Oh how I miss bagels!  And the concept of having a handful of bagel places to choose from at any given time.  Bagels and pizza, really, but at least pizza is pretty international.  Bagels not so much.

I used this recipe from King Arthur flour, and I think they came out pretty well.  The whole process was supposed to take only a few hours, and I swear it took me all day, but I also spent a lot of time running errands and Skyping while I was supposed to be making bagels.  The recipe deserves another try.  I wouldn’t say they’re bagels quite yet, but they were close enough to be considered very nearly bagel-like, which, for me right now is enough.


For the dough:

  • 4 to 5 cups high-gluten flour {I used pizza flour.  Start with 4 and add more as needed.  It’s easier to add flour than take it out.}
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

For the water bath:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar


  • Poppyseeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Minced garlic
  • 2 eggs + water



  • Combine all dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or, if mixing by hand, in a large bowl.
  • Knead for about 10-15 minutes, until everything comes together and it feels like a dough.  It will be a bit sticky.  Add more flour if needed.
  • Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour to 1 hour and 1/2.
  • Transfer your dough to a work surface (it doesn’t have to be floured).
  • Make 8 equal balls, and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, for 1/2 hour.
  • While your dough is resting, make your water bath by combining all water bath ingredients.
  • Heat to a gentle boil.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Make your eggwash – one part beaten egg and one part water.
  • Poke holes in your balls and twirl each ball on your finger until you have a ring.  The holes should be 2 inches across, the bagels should be 4 inches across.
  • Drop as many bagels as will comfortably fit into the boiling water.  The recipe calls for 4 at a time, but I fit two.
  • Cook 2 minutes on one side, flip, and cook another minute.
  • Take them out and transfer to a prepared cookie sheet (greased, or covered in parchment paper).
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with seeds and or garlic on one side.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and remove.
  • Egg wash and sprinkle the other side.
  • Bake for 20 more.
  • Remove to cool completely on a rack.  Air circulation is important so they don’t get soggy.
  • These bagels store well sliced in half in a freezer bag.
  • Toast them directly from the freezer to reheat.
  • Spread with cream cheese or butter and enjoy 🙂

*The key to making these bagels is to not let yourself get intimidated.  It is a lot of work, but it’s easy work, and you don’t have to babysit the dough, you can go do other things while it’s rising.  Yes, if I had regular access to bagels, I might not have been willing to go through all the work, but even if you do, it’s definitely a fun activity for a rainy day, and you get to put exactly what you want on the bagels.  Don’t like the onion or salt they use on an everything bagel?  No problem!  Only want a few sesame seeds?  You got it!

You can also make plain bagels, but I thought I would need the seasoning of the seeds and garlic to cover up my bagels’ inevitable flaws 🙂

I still have a few bagels in my freezer, so I don’t need to make them again just yet, but I will eventually try them again.  Have you ever made bagels?


Wet ingredients.


Dry ingredients.


Bagel dough pre-resting.


Post-resting with plastic wrap still on. It’s huge!


Shrunk back a little when I took the plastic off.


Rings ready to rest. This is where I read the directions wrong… you’re only supposed to make 8 balls and then make them into rings after they’ve rested, not before. I don’t think it made a crucial difference, but I had to re-make some holes after they rested, so, fyi.


See how the holes disappeared?


Water bath.


Going for a swim!


Half-way through baking. I already egg-washed the back side.


The two that didn’t fit on the cookie sheet, half-way done. {Sorry the pictures are sideways… if I flip them wordpress makes them smaller and grainy.}


Finished bagels!


All done!


Delicious straight out of the toaster!



2 thoughts on “Homemade Bagels

  1. Pingback: Salmon Melt with Cheddar Cheese on a Homemade Bagel | sophisticatedjerseygirl

  2. Pingback: Poppyseed Matzoh | sophisticatedjerseygirl

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