These homemade bagels are traditional and made with flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt, and olive oil, are the best we’ve ever made. And you can make them with any topping you want—or, for everything lovers, with all the toppings you want. Here’s how to make them.
Bagels have become standard fare in coffee shops these days. And certainly a real, traditional bagel, with a firm, shiny crust and a luscious, chewy inside, is a super tasty thing. Is it possible to replicate this magic at home with homemade bagels? After many doughs and testings, we believe we’ve perfected it. Try it. It’s worth the effort.–Ruth Joseph and Simon Round
- Quick Glance
- 3 H
- 3 H, 50 M
- Makes 40
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
- For the bagel dough
- For cooking the bagels
- For the bagel toppings
Rye and Caraway Variation
You can substitute 2 cups rye flour for the whole-wheat flour and use 4 tablespoons caraway seeds instead of onion or other seeds.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I LOVE Bagels. I LOVE to make bagels. For me, one of the truly wonderful things about making bread, especially bagels, is the traditional ritual of kneading and resting the dough, letting it rise, shaping it, baking it, and finally eating it. It’s a very relaxing and therapeutic endeavor that anyone should find rewarding. This is a VERY good bagel. The crust became very shiny and almost crisp and the crumb was chewy, as a bagel should be.
This recipe calls for the standard method of boiling the shaped dough for a couple of minutes, but what I found interesting is the use of molasses and baking powder as opposed to the standard baking soda.
I found these to be much better when they were allowed to cool. I made this recipe twice. The second time I halved the recipe, which also worked quite nicely.
This was an elaborate recipe but well worth the effort. The recipe produced 40 melt-in-your-mouth bagels. I used sesame and nigella seeds on my bagels.
The recipe makes about 5 pounds of dough. I found that I needed 1/4 cup more water while kneading the dough than what the recipe had specified. I rolled them into approximately 2-ounce balls and shaped them into bagels measuring 2 1/4 inches in diameter. I used a large Dutch oven and filled it with 12 cups of water and added 3 bagels at a time to boil.
After about 20 bagels, I had to add at least 6 more cups of water to replenish. I then baked them for about 15 minutes. The first 3 bagels I boiled came undone and I ended up with crescent-shaped bagels. When you overlap the ends of the bagel, moisten your fingers and really press the ends together well.
Bagels are such a wonderful thing to see on your counter and smell in your kitchen. Crisp on the outside, dense and firm on the inside, nothing else like them. This recipe delivers. The boiling and then the baking give them their unique quality that’s just perfect for smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, and capers (yes, that’s my favorite topping!). The whole-wheat flour gives the resulting bagels just a little extra nuttiness, which I quite liked. I finished some with sesame seeds and the rest with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and garlic. My family thought they’d died and gone to bagel heaven.
It’s quite simple, just a little time-consuming. The overnight rise makes for a simple beginning the next morning as long as you can remember to get going the night before. Waiting for that second rise in the morning can be a little tricky if your kitchen isn’t warm enough, so I make sure I turn on the 425°F oven before I even remove the dough from the fridge—then that second rise gets a little extra kitchen help. Don’t cheat on the boiling time and don’t put more than 3 in your pan at a time, as the water temperature will drop too quickly. Other than that, these really are a treat. Go on, you know you want to!
You won’t be disappointed with this recipe. These are very good bagels that are easy to make. Too many bagel recipes make what’s more like a round roll with a hole in the middle rather than a real bagel.
I halved the recipe and got 18 bagels. Of course, the number of bagels you get from the recipe will depend on the size you make them. The recipe works very well and the outcome was a bagel with a crisp crust and nice, chewy center.