Made with only 8 ingredients, these homemade bagels are easy to make and taste heavenly. They’re of much higher quality than the store bought kind and are also way cheaper!
So, a long, long time ago, I shared with you a recipe for easy homemade bagels. Turns out you guys loved the heck out of it despite the god awful pictures included in the post.
To date, it is in my top ten most popular posts. And it still has crappy pictures. So today, I decided to do that amazing bagel recipe justice with new pictures, more explanation of HOW to make them, and improved recipe instructions. And I’ve even got a little video down there from the Maria Alison from Ten at the Table (also my sister) that shows EXACTLY how to shape the bagels.
Shaping the bagels was BY FAR the biggest question I’ve gotten regarding the recipe.
If you’ve never made bagels before, you’re reeeeeaally missing out. Homemade bagels are a bajillion times better than the store bought kind, are WAY healthier for you (no dough conditioners, preservatives, etc.), and even cost less. Yep, that’s right—they cost less!
A bag of bagels from the store costs around $3-$4, in my area at least, and you only get six bagels out of the deal. Homemade bagels cost around $1-$2 to make, which obviously varies depending on the cost of your ingredients, and you get 8 bagels.
I don’t know about you, but right now, homemade bagels are sounding purty dang good.
The only downside (although it’s not really a downside in my eyes) is that you have to wake up at 5:00 am if you want fresh bagels at 8:00 am. Yes, they take 3 hours to make and, no, not all of that is active time.
You mix the dough ingredients together, knead for 10 minutes, and sleep for 1.5 hours while the dough is rising. You wake back up, divide the dough into 8 balls. Then you sleep for 20 minutes (or waste time on Instagram). And after that, you get the water bath ready, which takes about 10 minutes. Usually, right around this stage in the recipe, it’d be 7:00 am or so.
And THEN, you get to shape the bagels. DON’T FREAK OUT! It’s super easy I swear. And, as promised, here’s that bagel shaping video. And, yes, those are my hands in the video.
See, I told you it was easy.
I think you’re ready to whip out a batch of the BEST homemade bagels in the world. Booyah!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1½ cups warm water (110° F)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 quarts (8 cups) water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unbleached pure cane sugar
- Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and brown sugar. Let sit 2-3 minutes. Add in the flour and salt and mix on low speed until a cohesive dough has formed. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 1.5 hours.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and shape into smooth, round balls. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water and brown sugar to a very gentle boil in a large pan (I use a wok).
- Preheat your oven to 425° F. Use your pointer finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it is about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4"-5" across).
- Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Transfer the bagels to the simmering water, four at a time. Increase the heat to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Simmer the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and simmer 1 minute more.
- Using a skimmer or strainer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
- Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, or until they're browned to your preference. To top with seeds, remove them from the oven after about 15 minutes, brush with water, and sprinkle with seeds. Return to the oven to finish baking.
- Place the bagels on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cream cheese, lox, eggs, or whatever you'd like.
Sesame Seed Bagels: Brush each bagel, just before baking, with a glaze made of 1 egg white beaten until frothy with 1 tablespoon water. Glaze each bagel and sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds.
Onion Bagels: Bake bagels for 20 to 22 minutes and remove pan from oven, keeping the oven on. Working with one bagel at a time glaze as instructed above and sprinkle with minced, dried onion. Bake for 2 more minutes.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels: Knead about 2/3 cup of raisins into the dough towards the end of the kneading process. Just before you’re done kneading, sprinkle your work surface heavily with cinnamon-sugar and give the dough a few more turns. Divide the dough into eight pieces, or more if doubling, form each piece into a ball, and roll each ball in additional cinnamon-sugar. Let rest and shape as directed above.
Aaaaaand, now for that announcement!
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This recipe IS IN the cookbook, so if you liked these bagels, you’re sure to love all the other recipes in the cookbook.
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Okie dokie, friends, happy bagel making!
Great basic bagel recipe! I use it as the perfect canvas for experimentation with flavours; did blueberry, cranberry and apples, cinnamon sugar… delicious! Thanks so much!
Pandora's Kitchen says
very nice recipe! Thank you
How long does the freshness usually last?
Margaret Anne says
Hi Tessa! These bagels usually last 3-5 days maximum, since there are no preservatives in them.
Homemade bagels can last longer either in the refrigerator or freezer
These turned out great, I made the cinamon raisin version. Has anyone tried substituting some of the flour with while wheat flour? I love wheat, but I don’t want to sacrifice the texture.
Hi! These bagels look so good and I can’t wait to try them! Just wanted to check if the kneading is by hand or in the mixer itself? I’ll be using a stand mixer for the first time and wasn’t sure if letting it do the kneading would overwork the dough too much? Thanks
So I did make these and they turned out delicious! Thank you so much for an amazing recipe I had one question though, the crust was harder than I expected after 20 to 25 minutes, and I don’t think I could have baked the bagels for lesser time. After a few hours at room temperature, the bagels have now become much chewier and stretchier which I don’t think is ideal. Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong? Kneaded too much or could working in a humid environment cause problems?
Margaret Anne says
I use a stand mixer too, it should be fine!
Teja Ricalis says
Do you use regular yeast or quick rising yeast? Also, is there a sub for the unbleached cane sugar?
Hello, these bagels look wonderful. I am just wondering why there is no oil/lard in the dough recipe?
These turned out great. I added whey protein powder and a bit of extra water. They were still excellent. Great recipe.
I love when recipes turn out the way they are suppose to. Easy and yummy. First time attempting bagels. Will definitely make these again.