Homemade Bagels

These bagels rock.  It only takes about an hour to create your own plateful of fresh bagels to see you through the week.  I tried bagels once before, but the result turned out poor since in a fit of idiocy I smooshed my poofy risen rounds down and ended up with boiled baked frisbees.  I thought they had risen too much and figured they’d re-poof during boiling or baking.  I was wrong, horribly horribly wrong.  This go around, I stuck closer to the directions I found on my first google hit for “whole wheat sesame bagels” and only made moderate changes to the recipe.

Whenever trying something beyond your usual comfort zone it is good to master the technique first before improvising.  I have still yet to make a good sandwich bread because I have yet to master kneading.  My impatience in learning how to consistently knead white bread by hand to the right satiny feel before I move on to more difficult to work flours to create the honey infused whole wheat or rye bread that I crave has led to numerous “bread bricks,” salvaged as croutons but good for nothing else.

Update: Since making this recipe, I’ve done several other batches, modifying the recipe each time.  I’ve still yet to find the supreme bagel recipe, but this is a good baseline for quick and easy baked fare.  In my next rendition, which I will post since the ingredients are quite different from this batch, I plan to half the yeast and double the rising time bouts to develop the flavor.


  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup water


  1. Pulse all the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, salt, yeast) together a few times in a food processor fitted with the dough paddle to combine.
  2. Add the oil and 1 1/4 water while the food processor is on.  Add up to 1/4 cup more water until the dough comes together and forms into a ball.  It should take 45 seconds or less in the food processor to combine and “knead” all the ingredients.
  3. Knead the dough by hand for an additional minute or two, incorporating a light dusting of additional flour if the dough is tacky and sticks to your hand.
  4. Cut dough into 6 to 8 equal size pieces.  Form each into a ball.  Cover the balls loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rest for 10-2o minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  6. To form the holes, I prefer to use my fingers to pinch a hole in the center and stretch it slightly larger than the desired size.  Alternatively, use both hands to roll each ball into a snake slightly longer than the width of both hands.  Then tuck the ends together and use the palm of your hand to roll them together.  The website for a homemade bagel recipe I worked from features pictures and youtube videos on bagel rolling techniques.
  7. Let the bagels rest for 20 minutes. While resting, bring a pot of water to a boil.
  8. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  9. Once the bagels have rested and the water is at a boil, gently drop as many bagels into the pot as will fit without crowding.  Boil each side for about 1 minute.  A flat slotted spatula works well for flipping the bagels and pulling them out of the water.
  10. For plain bagels, place the boiled bagels on the baking sheet, leaving some room around each one.  To top with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or other yums: set the boiled bagel into a shallow bowl filled with topping. Use a fork to pull the bagel out and set on the cookie sheet topping side up.
  11. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Flip the bagels over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Beware of burned fingers if you’re like me and can’t wait to slice open and devour a hot from the oven bagel.


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Filed under Bakery, Breakfast

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