Baking/ Bread/ Breakfast/ Recipe

Homemade Bagels

February 17, 2020 (Last Updated: April 13, 2020)

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Homemade bagels just can’t be beat. This bagel recipe is absolutely delicious and produces wonderful chewy bagels with the toppings of your choice. Don’t be intimidated by making bagels at home, these are easy to make with delicious results. 

Sesame seed bagel on a baking rack.

I have been wanting to make bagels for years. For some reason, they kept getting pushed to the bottom of my list. I finally dove into to the bagel making a few weekends ago, and I must say homemade bagels are delicious!

Sesame bagels lined in a row on a white platter.

Bagels

There are so many bagel recipes out there.  I’m not kidding. I started looking up recipes and every single one was different. There were egg bagels and New York bagels and bagels with milk in the recipe and recipes without milk. The different types went on and on…

One thing all bagel recipes have in common is the bagels are boiled and then baked. I dove in with a combination of several recipes and made my own version of homemade bagels.  The results were delicious. 

My kids eat a lot of bagels. Their favorite way is to toast them and then spread cream cheese on each bagel. I also love to use bagels for sandwiches. I love the chewiness of the bagels and I also love that a bagel doesn’t squish easily in a lunch box. 

A bagel split in half on a plate.

How do you make bagels?

  • Bagels start with a basic yeast dough
  • Let dough rise until doubled
  • Cut into 12 equal pieces
  • Roll each piece into a rough round shape
  • Poke a hole in the center of the round
  • Using two fingers, roll dough around your fingers creating a larger hole
  • Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes
  • Gently drop 3-4 bagels in a pot full of boiling water for 1 minute per side.
  • Remove from boiling water and place back on parchment paper.
  • Brush with egg was and sprinkle with seeds if desired
  • Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-22 minutes
  • Allow bagels to cool before eating

Why do I boil the bagels before baking them?

Boiling the bagels creates the texture bagels are known for. If you didn’t boil them first, they would taste just like a dinner roll. Boiling adds a slight skin to the bagels that adds to the chewiness that is desired in a bagel. Do not skip the boiling step.

Bagels boiling in a pot of hot water.

What type of topping can I add to bagels?

Choose your favorite toppings or leave them plain.

Plain bagel, poppy seed bagel and sesame seed bagels all displayed on white plates.

 

Egg Wash

I used an egg wash on all my bagels. If you are adding a topping, the egg wash provides the glue to help the topping stick. For a plain bagel, the egg wash provides a beautiful sheen and helps provide a golden color. 

An orange pastry brush adding an egg wash to an uncooked bagel.

Can bagels be frozen?

Yes, these bagels can be frozen. Homemade bagels only stay fresh for a few days so freezing  helps extend the shelf life. To freeze bagels, allow bagels to fully cool and then place in a freezer safe container.

I like to slice my bagels before freezing. I find it easier when I want to pull just one bagel out of the freezer. If I pull one out frozen, I don’ t have to wait for a bagel to fully thaw before popping it in the toaster if I’ve split the bagels before freezing them. 

Tips for making homemade bagels

  • Use a mixture of all purpose flour and vital wheat gluten. Bagels need the extra protein to help form the chewiness bagels are known for. You may use bread flour in place of the all purpose and vital gluten.
  • Allow first rise to double in size
  • When forming bagels, make the hole larger than anticipate. The dough will rise and the hole becomes smaller
  • Allow bagels to rest 25-30 minutes. Cover lightly with plastic wrap sprayed with a nonstick spray to help prevent sticking
  • Make certain water is boiling before adding bagels
  • Do not overcrowd pot. 
  • Carefully remove bagels from boiling water with a flat skimmer or a spoon. Do not use tongs or you will flatten the bagel
  • Brush lightly with an egg wash before adding seeds or toppings
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-22 minutes

Other homemade bread recipes

If you love making your own bread, you may also want to check out these recipes:

Don’t forget to PIN for later! Sesame seed topped bagels on a baking rack.

 

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my bread recipes!

Resources for this recipe include Fine Cooking and King Arthur Flour. 

A bagel topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Homemade Bagels

Kathy
Homemade bagels is a delicious recipe for making your own bagels at home.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rise 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Course Baking, Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Bagels
Calories 327 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dough

Topping

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Place water yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix lightly and let rest for 5 minutes until mixture is bubbly.
  • Mix in 1 cup of flour, vital wheat gluten and salt.
  • Continue adding flour until dough comes together and forms a ball. You might not use all the flour.
  • Knead in mixer for 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in a separate bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover and let sit until doubled (1 1/2 - 2 hours)

Shaping the Bagels

  • Remove dough and lightly deflate. Cut dough in half. Working with one half at a time, cut each half into six equal pieces.
  • Shape pieces into rounds.
  • Poke your finger through the center of the round. Enlarge the hole by placing one finger from each hand in the hole and rotate your hands in a circular motion. The hole should be larger than you desire for your final product. The dough will rise and the hole will shrink.
  • Place shaped dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover bagels with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray. Allow dough to rest for 25-30 minutes.

Cooking the Bagels

  • Bring a large pot full of water to a full boil. Gently drop 3-4 bagels into the pot. Cook for one minute and flip bagels to other side. Cook for another full minute.
  • Gently remove bagels from boiling water using a flat skimmer. Allow excess water to drain from bagels. Place back on baking sheet.
  • Brush bagels with egg wash (egg white and water mixed together)
  • Apply seeds or topping if desired
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-22 minutes until golden brown.
  • Move bagels to a baking rack to cool.
  • Repeat with 2nd half of dough.

Video

Notes

Tips for making homemade bagels

  • Use a mixture of all purpose flour and vital wheat gluten. Bagels need the extra protein to help form the chewiness bagels are known for. You may use bread flour in place of the all purpose and vital gluten.
  • Allow first rise to double in size
  • When forming bagels, make the hole larger than anticipate. The dough will rise and the hole becomes smaller
  • Allow bagels to rest 25-30 minutes. Cover lightly with plastic wrap sprayed with a nonstick spray to help prevent sticking
  • Make certain water is boiling before adding bagels
  • Do not overcrowd pot. 
  • Carefully remove bagels from boiling water with a flat skimmer or a spoon. Do not use tongs or you will flatten the bagel
  • Brush lightly with an egg wash before adding seeds or toppings
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-22 minutes

Nutrition

Serving: 1BagelCalories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 11gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 204mgPotassium: 124mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gCalcium: 46mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Bagels, Bagels Recipe, Homemade Bagels
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Gemma
    February 21, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I’ve always put off trying to make bagels too. I think I’ve just assumed they were going to be too difficult, or I’d fail miserably but after reading your recipe, I have ton try them! xo

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    February 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    5 stars
    I love making homemade bagels Kathy! And these looks so good. Sesame seeds are one of my favorites too. Pinned!

  • Reply
    Valentina
    February 18, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    5 stars
    Wow, these are perfect bagels. And just how I would’ve ordered them — with sesame seeds. It’s such a great process — I love it almost as much as the result. Okay, maybe the result a bit more — especially with butter. 😉 ~Valentina

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    February 18, 2020 at 5:56 am

    5 stars
    I LOVE homemade bagels! I don’t have bagels very often, but when I do they’re usually homemade….you can’t beat ’em! And these look delicious, Kathy! Love all the seeds on there too!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    February 18, 2020 at 5:42 am

    5 stars
    I made bagels a couple of times myself, and I absolutely loved the process! I haven’t made ’em in years, though, and seeing your recipe is making me want to get in the kitchen and make a batch again. Fun little twist: in Montreal, there’s a place that bakes their bagels on an open wood-fired oven. I can’t even begin to describe how good those were! Now we just need to figure out how to have a wood-fired oven at home, right? 🙂

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