Making your own homemade bagels at home is easier than you think. These bagels are chewy and delicious, and you can top them with anything you’d like!
At any given point in time, I have a cooking wishlist. There are items on that list that I might be waiting for the perfect occasion to make, like Japanese Cheesecake or Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake. Or they could be recipes that I’m simply too intimidated to actually make. Bagels were on the latter list for almost all of 2016. I gave myself a goal of making them at some point within that year. January 1, 2017 came and went, and I still hadn’t made them. Then, early in 2017, I finally put on my big girl pants and gave it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how much less complicated it was than I thought, and how wonderful they turned out. I’ve continued to make them regularly since then, each time tweaking the recipe and method. And now I present to you my recipe for Easy Homemade Bagels.
I can’t speak to the “authenticity” of these homemade bagels, as I have never had a bagel from New York or Montreal – I’ve never even been to either of those places. From the reading I’ve done about bagels, and about making bagels, these are more like a New York style bagel, as they are softer and only minimally sweet.
My favorite type of bagel is an “everything” bagel, which is topped with a mixture of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, and dried garlic and onion. You can find pre-made “everything” seasoning at many grocery stores, or you can make it yourself. However, sometimes I like to top my bagels with peanut butter and banana, and that is not so yummy with onion and garlic. So I always leave at least a few of them plain.
Easy Homemade Bagels
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (see note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- topping, such as poppy seeds, sesame seeds or "everything" seasoning (optional)
- Stir sugar into the warm water until dissolved. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water and let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Stir the yeast into the water.
- Meanwhile, whisk together 2 cups of the bread flour with the whole wheat flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with a dough hook.
- Turn the mixer on low speed, and slowly pour in the water mixture. When all of the water has been added, increase the speed to medium low. Continue to mix, turning off mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the dough forms a cohesive ball and all of the flour has been incorporated.
- Continue to add the additional 1/2 cup of bread flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, waiting until all previous flour is incorporated before adding more, until the dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the bowl. The dough should be quite stiff. Reduce mixer speed to low, and continue to knead the dough for about 5 more minutes.
- Form the dough into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic or a clean towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and let it sit for 10 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and prepare a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Form the dough into a rope and cut into 8-10 even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, form each piece into a smooth, taut ball. Poke your index finger through the center of the ball and gently stretch it to form a ring. Place on the baking sheet and cover with a clean towel while repeating with the remaining pieces of dough. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Fill a large saute pan or pot with enough water to completely cover the bagels by at least an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high. Cooking only as many as will fit (I can do 4 at a time in a 12" saute pan), boil the bagels for 1-2 minutes on each side (longer boiling will lead to chewier bagels). Return to the baking sheet. If you're going to sprinkle your bagel with a topping, do so now.
- Once all the bagels have been boiled, bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
Easy Homemade Bagels Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition information does not include any sort of topping. An “everything” type of bagel topping will add additional sodium. The nutrition info is for a medium sized bagel, with a recipe making 10 bagels. To make smaller bagels, cut your dough into 12 pieces (185kcal/bagel). For larger bagels, like the ones you would find in many bakeries and grocery stores, cut dough into 8 pieces (278kcal/bagel).