Homemade Bagels


To proof the yeast:
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 C. lukewarm water

For the dough:
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 – 4 C. Unbleached Bread Flour

For boiling water bath:
Boiling water
2 – 3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt


  • Add the yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and warm water to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer
  • Let the yeast mixture stand until foamy and bubbly (typically about 10 minutes)
  • Add the Tbsp sugar, salt and 2 cups bread flour to the yeast mixture and stir until combined
  • Add remaining cups of bread flour 1/4 cup at a time and mix until the dough reaches a shaggy consistency that is not wet at all
  • Knead dough either by hand or with a dough hook in a stand mixer for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to achieve the right consistency (what you are looking for is a consistency that is soft and elastic while being only slightly tacky but not overly sticky, it should hold the shape of a ball, this is when you are done kneading)
  • Roll the dough into a ball and place in an oiled stainless steel bowl, flip once in the bowl
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour)
  • Punch down the dough, gently
  • Place on a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin to get all the air bubbles out (the more air bubbles you can get out, the better the bagels will rise during the second rise)
  • Using a bench scraper or a butter knife, cut into four separate pieces (see images below)
  • Form four bagels, one from each piece*
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray
  • Place shaped bagels onto prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap
  • Let rise one hour
  • Remove plastic wrap and let the bagels sit while you prepare the boiling water bath
  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Fill a saucepan with around 4 inches of water and set to boil on the stove
  • Add salt and stir in honey to the hot water
  • Once water just begins to boil, add bagels, one at a time to the boiling water
  • Boil for 30 seconds, then flip the bagel over and boil another 30 seconds, then place back on the baking sheet
  • Once all four bagels have been boiled, top with whatever toppings you desire while still wet
  • Bake at 450°F for about 6 minutes
  • Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake about 20-22 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack

Makes 4 large bagels


*Method 1 for forming bagels: Roll each piece into a ball with your hands and then stick your thumb in the center of the ball to create a hole and form the bagel
*‎Method 2 for forming bagels (this is my preferred method): Roll each piece into a long rope and then wrap around two fingers and shape the bagel
*‎After the bagels are boiled, it’s normal for them to look wrinkly
*‎These bagels are best stored in a paper bag at room temperature once completely cooled and should keep for about 2 days
*‎These bagels are quite large, you could also use the same amount of dough and make 8 small bagels instead of 4 large

I moved to Ohio from NJ a few years ago and couldn’t find a bagel that was quite the same as what I could get back in NJ, so I decided to make my own!  These are pretty large and very chewy with a crunchy exterior and a soft interior.  I topped mine with sesame seeds and poppy seeds.

What I like about this recipe is you really can use just the basic dough recipe and then make the bagels your own way to suit your preference.  You can make them whatever size you want, top them with whatever you want, you can also boil them longer for a chewier interior, or bake them for a shorter time if you don’t want them as dark.  Make them your own!

God bless