Bread,  Bread,  Breakfast

Homemade Bagels

Bagels make me happy. If I have a bagel in my hand, it means that I’ve gone out and treated myself. I also very likely have coffee in my other hand–double bonus! I rarely venture out for anything not kid-related anymore. But I still need my bagel fix! There was only one thing to do. I present to you: Homemade Bagels!

There will always be positives and negatives to this mom gig. One of the negatives that seems to be true for all moms: I don’t typically do much for myself.

Somehow putting yourself on the back burner is part of the mom job description. That doesn’t mean that I can’t (or shouldn’t!) do something about it. I always felt like I didn’t have time for myself when I worked. Now that I don’t, it’s just not on the color-coded family calendar (for real, we have one), so it doesn’t happen.

I guess it just feels like less of a treat when your breakfast companion is a toddler, and could at any moment:

1) start roaring like a dinosaur at other customers and refuse to stop (true story),

2) need to use the restroom five times in twenty minutes (true story), or

3) lay down on the ground in protest because the mug for my coffee is a different color than last week (yeeeep). 😀

But, guys, that changes NOW! Not taking time for myself, don’t be silly. Now I can make Homemade Bagels! I can treat myself without leaving the house, and this recipe is a fantastic base, having the potential to turn into just about any variety of bagel you can dream up.

For my first go-round with homemade bagels, I stuck to topping them with sesame seeds (a favorite of mine and the kiddos), and everything seasoning for my husband. I’m so pleased with how they turned out! The flavor is amazing, and the texture is soft but chewy–just what you’d expect if you got bagels from a good Jewish deli.

The bagels take some time to rise, shape, and take a swim in a water bath before baking, but the ingredients and required tools are simple. I do like to use silpats to line my pans because they’re easy to clean and I can use them over and over again. If you’d like to get yourself some, you can find them [here].

A kitchen scale is also useful for dividing the dough, ensuring that your bagels are more uniform they would be  if you just eyeball the size. More uniform bagels = a more even bake! If you’re looking for a kitchen scale, you can find one [here].

So, if you don’t take the time to go out and treat yourself, make yourself some yummy bagels to have at home! I’m already dreaming of what other flavors I can make as I sit here at home with a freshly-baked sesame seed bagel and coffee. The toddler is still roaring like a dinosaur, but no one here (neither me nor the dog) seems to mind. 🙂

Other recipes you may like:

Homemade Challah

Buttermilk Biscuits

Honey Cornbread Muffins

Homemade Bagels

Soft and chewy, these bagels taste like you just stopped at your local Jewish deli. SO good!
Recipe adapted (barely) from King Arthur Flour (link here).
Servings 12 bagels


Bagel Dough:

  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water, lukewarm

Water Bath:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp water

Toppings (optional; or other toppings of your choice):

  • sesame seeds
  • everything seasoning


For Dough:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients. Using the dough hook, mix ingredients until incorporated, then knead with the mixer for about 10 minutes. Dough will be stiff.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and set aside to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Dough may not double, but will be quite puffed.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats (see note). Turn the dough out onto a clean (NOT floured!) work surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (see note).
  • Work each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball and place them on the prepared baking sheets. The smoother the ball, the smoother the end result! Cover and allow dough to rest 30 minutes. Dough will puff slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 425F. While the dough is resting and oven is preheating, prepare the water bath.

For Water Bath:

  • Combine all water bath ingredients in a 4 quart or larger pot. Bring ingredients to a gentle boil.

For Shaping/Boiling:

  • After dough has rested, use your fingers to poke a hole in the center of each piece of dough, gently stretching the dough until the hole is 1-2 inches in size.
  • Transfer the bagels, 2-4 at a time, into the simmering water. Increase the heat as needed to keep the water at a simmer. Boil the bagels for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and boil 1 more minute on the second side. 
  • Using a spatula or slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the water bath and place on the lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining bagels.

For Topping/Baking:

  • If you would like to add toppings, beat egg wash ingredients together until frothy. Brush the boiled bagels with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the toppings of your choice. This step is optional if you prefer to keep the bagels plain.
  • Bake the bagels 25-30 minutes, until they reach the desired depth of color. After removing from the oven, allow bagels to cool completely on a wire rack.


Note on silpats: I like to use silpats to line my pans because they're easy to clean and I can use them over and over again. If you'd like to get yourself some, you can find them [here].
Note on dividing dough: A kitchen scale is useful for this step in the recipe, ensuring that your bagels are more uniform they would be  if you just eyeball the size. More uniform bagels = a more even bake! If you're looking for a kitchen scale, you can find one [here].

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