This simple bagel recipe is an easy-to-follow bagel recipe that results in deliciously chewy bagels with a thin golden-brown crust every time!
This simple bagel recipe is the real deal! It’s a step-by-step recipe resulting in the perfect bagel ready to be sliced and spread with your favourite spreads or filled with delicious sandwich toppings. I personally love it with just a sprinkling of Everything Bagel Seasoning!
Using just 5 ingredients, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise. Which isn’t really a big deal if you plan accordingly. I mean, if you’re going to make homemade bagels from scratch, you’re not going to want to cut any corners. Believe me, it’s very much worth it biting into a thin crispy crust and a soft and chewy inside!
Making bagels in your own kitchen can be done easily, even if you’ve never worked with yeast before. Once you’ve made them, these bagels will become part of your rotation. All you need is a handful of ingredients, a few kitchen tools, and whatever seasonings you prefer!
Once you master this simple bagel recipe you can then customize it to add in a variety of flavours and add-ins that you desire. Make a big batch and freeze some for later, they freeze so well and will be just as good when warmed up again!
Table of Contents
How to Make Them
You can find the full detailed and printable recipe below.
Prepare the yeast in a bowl of warm water and let it sit. It should begin to bubble within 5-10 minutes.
Add flour, salt, honey, and yeast mixture to a mixing bowl and with the dough hook, mix gently until it comes together. Increase the speed and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured flat surface and divide into 7 portions. Roll into balls, cover with a tea towel and let it rest.
Take each ball of dough and roll it into a log or rope. Join the ends together to form a ring, overlapping the ends about 1 inch. Wet the joint area with a bit of water to help it stick.
Place rings on prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours. Can refrigerate overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature an hour before continuing on.
Boil 2 or 3 bagel rings at a time for about a minute per side. Drain on a wire rack and place the boiled bagels on a cookie sheet.
Brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
New York Style vs Montreal Style Bagels
Montreal style bagels, however, are generally denser, usually have a bigger hole, and are not as light and chewy. They have a sweeter note and baked in a wood fire oven.
This recipe is a New York Style bagel, which has a chewier, softer centre, with a small hole. Both bagels are boiled then baked and both are delicious!
Bagel Seasonings and Flavours
The Everything Bagel Seasoning is one of my favourite ways to get all the best flavours in one. Salty, garlic and onion, sesame seed deliciousness. Some other ways to season your bagel, inside or out are:
- Sesame seeds
- Poppy seeds
- Coarse salt
- Cheese (cheddar, parmesan, etc.)
How to Serve Them
- Have it whole and bite right into it!
- A pad of melting butter.
- Your favourite jam.
- Cream cheese
- Smoked salmon
- Sliced turkey, prosciutto, ham
- Cheese slices
- Tuna salad
- Chicken salad
- Tomato slices
- Peanut Butter (my favourite)
Tips for Making the Best Homemade Bagels
- Make sure your yeast is active. If it doesn’t start to bubble after sitting in the warm water, you’ll need to discard it and replace it with fresh yeast.
- Bagel shapes are very forgiving especially if you’re just making them at home for loved ones. The rings don’t need to be perfect, just as long as the ends stay attached.
- Some people have found success just by poking a hole into the round dough ball without having to form it into a rope first.
- Use bread flour for this recipe. It’s kind of the law! Just kidding, but it really is the best. It’s what will help give the bagels that signature chewy texture.
- Don’t skimp on the rise time. The overnight chill in the fridge will give the dough a nice slow rise which will help give the bagels a beautiful texture.
You might wonder what the point in boiling for just a minute before baking is. What that does is create the outside crust which doesn’t need much time to form, giving the outside a headstart. Then once it bakes, it allows the inside to catch up, but never quite enough. This is why you have a chewy interior and a crispy exterior.
Bagels are not fussy! They can be kept at room temperature on your counter for a few days, covered so they don’t dry out. They can also be kept in the fridge for up to a week for frozen for up to 3 months.
Definitely. It might just take a bit more arm strength and a longer knead time.
Simple Homemade Bagel Recipe
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water (lukewarm)
- 3 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 8 cups water
- ¾ tablespoon honey
- In a small bowl add the water, sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for approximately 5 -10 minutes, then stir together.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand up mixer add the flour, salt and honey, then add the yeast mixture, mix at lowest speed (#1) with the dough hook attachment until the dough just starts to come together, approximately 3-4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium low (#2) and continue for approximately 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Remove the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and divide into 7 portions. Roll into balls, cover with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Form each of the balls into a rope approximately 10 inches (25 cm) long and shape into a circle, join the ends, (the ends should over lap by about 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) (damp the ends with water for them to stick together).
- Dust a large cookie sheet lightly with rice flour, place rings on the sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12-18 hours (overnight).
- Remove from the fridge and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Pre-heat oven to 420F (210C).
- In a large pot add 8 cups of water and 3/4 tablespoon of honey bring to a boil.
- Add bagel rings 2 or 3 at a time, boil for 60 seconds, turn over and boil for another 60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack.
- Place boiled bagels on cookie sheet, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds if desired, bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden, if bagels are not golden underneath, flip over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the baked bagels immediately to wire rack to cool. Enjoy!