Homemade Bagels – Make your favorite bagels right at home with this easy and customizable recipe! With step-by-step pictures, these will be the best bagels ever!
I’ll be honest, bagels are just about the only thing I eat for breakfast anymore. I was super spoiled living downstate for a few months where I had an incredible bagel shop a few minutes away that I could stock up at. Once I moved back up north I had an issue – there were no bagel shops up here and the grocery store bagels…. well… sucked. They were really bad. It set me off on a mission to finally do the impossible and make them right at home. When I first did it, I wanted to smack myself for not doing it sooner because it was WAY easier than I was expecting.
In my head, making bagels was this huge ordeal when I was boiling bread, baking it, etc and while those steps are involved, it is weirdly easy. Like, bagel shop quality bagels are easy. The biggest problem is that they do take a while because you have to account for them rising but really, if you make them the day before, you are fine.
Now this recipe is for a plain bagel but you can really add any topping you want during the egg wash phase. Just sprinkle on some everything bagel seasoning, salt, sesame seeds, asiago, etc and you are good to go. Now for bagels like blueberry, cranberry walnut, or chocolate chip, you will need to combine those ingredients straight into the dough before hand which I am still working on testing so start with the easy stuff you sprinkle on top first!
Common Questions About Making Homemade Bagels
How do you make homemade bagels from scratch?
Making homemade bagels from scratch is easier than you might think. Simply combine all of the ingredients into a stand mixer and let mix for 5-6 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl and let rise for 90 minutes (or until dough has doubled in size). Shape each bagel and then boil them for 1 minute on each side before baking. It may sound like a lot of steps but it is really easy!
Do you have to boil homemade bagels?
Yes, boiling bagels is what gives them at signature chewy exterior. Without boiling the bagels, you simply have pieces of bread on your hands.
What should I boil bagels in?
So there is a lot of debate around this question as everyone seems to have a favorite thing to boil their bagels in. The main camps are the baking soda/lye group or the honey/ barley malt syrup/sugar group. Any of these things works perfectly well to boil bagels in so it comes down to preference. To put it simply, lye/baking soda will produce a bagel closer to a pretzel while honey/barley malt syrup/sugars will help the bagel caramelize in the oven. There is more nitty gritty science behind all of them and the types of reacitons they cause so if you are interested, go do some reading! Barley malt syrup is popular in a lot of bakeries but it’s typically not something a home cook has on hand so I lean towards preferring honey for it’s ease of access, the slight taste it lends bagels, and affordability. Feel free to try experimenting with different methods of boiling and see which you prefer.
Can I use whole wheat flour?
At most you can substitute in 50% whole wheat flour into the recipe without having to make any other changes. Please don’t use any more because it will impact the hydration of the bagels and potentially mess them up.
What does the egg wash do?
Egg wash helps to give the bagels a nice golden color.
What types of homemade bagels can I make?
Any kind you see at a bagel shop can be made at home! Some of my favorite versions to make are –
- Asiago Bagels
- Everything Bagels
- Cranberry Walnut Bagels
- Salt Bagels
- Poppy Seed Bagels
- Blueberry Bagels
- Sesame Seed Bagels
What can I put on bagels?
So apart from basic cream cheese or butter, you can get fancy and try some of these toppings –
- Jam – blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry are my favorites.
- Peanut butter
- Smoked salmon
- Fried egg
- Turkey and havarti
- Apple butter
Looking for more breakfast recipes? Check these out!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 egg
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, brown sugar, flour, and salt.
- Mix well using a wooden spoon, dough whisk, or hand/stand mixer until a rough dough forms.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is no longer sticky to the touch - about 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and let rise to double in size - about 90 minutes.
- Once it has risen, punch the dough down and place on a floured surface again.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.
- Stick your finger through the center of the ball to create a hole and continue to shape the dough into a bagel.
- In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil and whisk in the honey.
- Boil the bagels one at a time for one minute per side.
- Next, place the bagels on the lined cookie sheet and brush them with a beaten egg.
- Season with your favorite toppings such as cheese or everything bagel seasoning (optional).
- Bake until the bagels are golden-brown - about 20-25 minutes.
- Enjoy immediately or allow the bagels to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to three days.
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