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Best Bagel Recipe

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You won’t believe how simple it can be to make your own bagels at home with this easy recipe. These bagels have a soft interior with just the right amount of chewiness and a deliciously crisp exterior; you won’t be able to eat just one. Freshly baked bagels will be yours to enjoy in no time at all with this simple recipe.

This bagel recipe can be made with ingredients you already have on hand. The dough can be easily mixed by hand, so there’s no need to break out the blender or food processor. Making bagels at home might seem difficult, but I can assure you that it’s a breeze. Fresh from the oven is when their flavor really shines.

The best parts of bagels are packed into this simple bagel recipe. They have a mild sweetness, traditional toothsome chew, shiny, crisp exterior, and soft, dense interior. Eat them plain, spread them with some mascarpone, or toast them up! The above homemade bagels are fantastic either way.

Ingredients for this dish

  • Yeast, make sure your yeast hasn’t gone bad before you make these bagels. If the yeast you have is past its expiration date, you’ll need to go out and buy a new packet if you want your bagels to rise.
  • Sugar — if you don’t have barley malt syrup on hand, regular table sugar will do. Bagels can be boiled in sugar or barley malt syrup, which gives them a touch of sweetness and a crisp exterior when baked.
  • Flour — bread flour is ideal for making delicious bagels. The flour’s high protein content will ensure that your bagels are wonderfully dense and chewy. Homemade bagels can be made with all-purpose flour in a pinch. Bagels made with all-purpose flour won’t have the same distinctive toothy chew that you get when you bite into a bagel made with bread flour.
  • Add whatever toppings you like on your bagels. Everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and dried minced onion are common choices for this purpose.


For the Dough:

  • ▢1½ cups warm water 100-110F (360ml)
  • ▢1 tablespoon sugar or barley malt syrup
  • ▢2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (0.25-ounce packet/7g)
  • ▢4½ cups bread flour plus more for sprinkling (540g)
  • ▢2 teaspoons salt

For Boiling and Assembly:

  • ▢3 quarts water (2.8L)
  • ▢3 tablespoons sugar or barley malt syrup
  • ▢1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ▢Toppings such as everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion


  1. Mix the water, sugar (or malt syrup), and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Allow sitting until dense foam forms.
  3. Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and mix well.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients, or start the mixer on low speed and mix until a dough forms. If you’re using your hands, dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and elastic. Stand mixer users should keep going for another 10 to 15 minutes on low speed. Put the dough in a big bowl and lightly grease it. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, covered.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and give it a good punching down. Cut the dough into eight even pieces. (Split them in half if you want bite-sized bagels.)
  6. Make a ball out of each piece, and then gently press down on them to flatten them. Make a small hole in the dough by lightly oiling your hands and pressing your finger into the center. The dough should be picked up and the hole widened by stretching it in a circular motion. When the hole is about 2 inches in diameter, place it on a sheet pan lined with greased parchment paper, leaving some space between each. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes to rest.
  7. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat in a large, wide pot. Add the sugar, syrup, and baking soda and reduce the heat to low enough to keep the mixture at a simmer. Bagels should be added to the water two or three at a time. Set a timer for 1 minute. Turn them over with a spider or slotted spoon and let them cook for an additional minute.
  8. Take the bagels out, drain any excess water, and return them to the baking sheet. Sprinkle on or dip into your preferred toppings right away. Put in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Bake the bagels for another 5-10 minutes, or until they are a rich golden color on both sides. Ten minutes of cooling time on a wire rack is recommended.

Expert Advice on Preparing This Dish

  • Your bagel dough’s rising time will be longer in a colder kitchen, so keep that in mind when you’re making them. The best-rising temperature for the dough is between 75 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent the bagel dough from drying out in a cold kitchen, you can turn the oven off but leave the light on.
  • Make sure you don’t overwork the dough by using an accurate flour measuring tool. A common blunder when making bagels is to use too much flour in the dough. A scale is the most accurate tool for measuring flour. If you don’t have a measuring spoon, you can use a knife to level off your flour after you’ve spooned it into a measuring cup.
  • A temperature of 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. The yeast will die if the water is too hot, but it won’t activate if it’s too cold.
  • There are some grocery stores that carry barley malt syrup, or you can order it online. While essential to making bagels, it is not required to make tasty bagels. You can easily substitute regular sugar, either white or brown.
  • After the dough has been kneaded, use the window pane test to see if it’s ready. Take a small piece of dough, about the size of a marble, and roll it out into a square. It needs to thin out until you can see through it with no risk of breaking. Keep kneading if it tears or breaks.
  • Instead of sprinkling them on top, dip your bagels into a shallow bowl of toppings to get the most-even coating.
  • If you want your bagels to turn out smooth and shiny, be gentle when shaping the dough. If the dough is handled roughly, the baked bagels may have wrinkles. They’ll still taste great, though, so don’t worry.


What’s the deal with pre-baking bagel dough?

To prevent the bagels from falling apart during baking, boiling them first helps an outer crust to form. The sugar or barley malt syrup in the water will aid in caramelization and crispiness after baking the bagels, in addition to helping them maintain their shape during the boiling process. Bagels with toppings that stay on better after being boiled.

I only have instant yeast; can I still use it?

It’s totally acceptable to use instant yeast instead. Mix the instant yeast, sugar, and salt into the flour mixture using a whisk. Instant yeast doesn’t need to be bloomed. Instead of waiting an hour for the first rise, it will only take about 19 minutes. Make sure the dough has doubled in size before trying to work with it. After it is shaped, the second rise could take less than 19 minutes.

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