Homemade Bagels (Step by Step!)

Breakfast + Yeasted Breads
April 2, 2021
Breakfast + Yeasted Breads
April 2, 2021

Homemade Bagels (Step by Step!)

  • Prep time: 1 hr
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Total time: 3 hr

It’s bagel time! Level up your breakfast game with these delicious homemade bagels. You’ll love this easy homemade bagel recipe for perfectly chewy New York style bagels made from the comfort of your own home with just 6 affordable ingredients!

Share
  1. Blog
  2. /
  3. Breads
  4. /
  5. Yeasted Breads
  6. /
  7. Homemade Bagels (Step by Step!)

Homemade Bagels (Step by Step!)

It’s bagel time! Level up your breakfast game with these delicious homemade bagels. You’ll love this easy homemade bagel recipe for perfectly chewy New York style bagels made from the comfort of your own home with just 6 affordable ingredients!

the best homemade bagels

Easy Homemade Bagels: A Step by Step Guide!

IT’S BAGEL TIMES BABIEZ. Say hello to this easy homemade bagel recipe. It’s going to knock your socks right off. These homemade bagels have the ideal amount of chew with a perfectly dense, carby interior. I personally feel there is nothing quite like a warm homemade bagel. Except maybe whipping up that New York style bagel in your pajamas with just 6 simple, cheap ingredients.

And before you get scared off by homemade bread baking, know that I am NOT a bread expert. I don’t know about you, but I personally have been victimized by homemade bread making in the past. I used to be terrified of yeasted breads, but believe me when I tell you that this homemade bagel recipe is easy enough to make with kids and ensures perfect New York style bagels every single time.

We got this.

the best homemade bagels

What makes this New York style bagel recipe *the best*

When I set out to develop a homemade bagel recipe, I knew it had be freaking amazing. Because in my opinion there is nothing worse than a bad bagel. Plus, my boyfriend is a literal bagel fiend. I wish I were exaggerating when I said that he crushes minimum 2 bagels a day.As in every single day. Honestly he usually eats 3–I’m being conservative. And you know what–that adds up! Good bagels aren’t cheap around here, so I took matters into my own hands and set out to make the best authentic, chewy, flavorful bagel from the comfort of your own kitchen. These homemade bagels are:

  • Chewy on the outside
  • Soft on the inside
  • Perfect for toasting
  • Sturdy enough for a breakfast sandwich

I am very pleased to report that I have succeeded. These have my personal bagel connoisseurs stamp of approval. And you should trust him because he eats the amount of bagels most people eat in a year in a week.

ingredients for homemade bales

Ingredients for easy homemade bagels

The best part about making bagels at home is that it is so darn cheap. Getting a good bagel in Boston costs at least 2 dollars a bagel. Or you can take 2 dollars worth of ingredients and make 6 HUGE bagels right at home that taste just as good as an authentic New York Bagel. You’ll need just 6 basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

Plus they’re sneaky vegan, so everyone can enjoy these homemade bagels and layer them up with whatever toppings you desire!

  • Bread Flour: Homemade bagels must be made with bread flour. I’ve tried this recipe with all purpose flour and gluten free flour and unfortunately it just really doesn’t work. Bread flour has a much higher protein content which allows it to build more gluten. More gluten means stronger dough which will lead to a nice and chewy bagel.
  • Active Dry Yeast: Any active dry yeast will work seamlessly in this bagel recipe. Make sure you are not using rapid rise yeast as this can cause your bagel dough to overproof.
  • Brown Sugar: You’ll need just a few teaspoons of brown sugar in your bagel dough as well as in the water that you’ll boil the bagels in. A little sugar will give your bagels a nice chewy crust.
  • Granulated Sugar: You’ll also need a few teaspoons of granulated sugar. You can sub it out for brown, but I prefer the mixture of the two!
  • Salt: Don’t sleep on the salt. Bagels are made predominantly of flour and water so you’ll need some salt to give them a nice savory flavor.
  • Water: Now I know that New York bagel purists feel that New York water is superior when it comes to bagel making, but I’ve tried this recipe with bottled water, tap water, distilled water, water from Massachusetts, water from Florida, and water from Michigan and each batch has tasted just as good as the last.

homemade bagels with different seasning

How to make bagels at home

Alright, bakers. Let’s pretend we’re on the Great British Baking Show and get to work. Follow these step by step photos as a reference as you follow the recipe card at the very end of the post for exactly how to make homemade bagels.

Tips for the best homemade bagels

Before we get into the nitty gritty, allow me to outline a few key tips you should know before you get started. Once you get the hang of making homemade bagels, you’ll find that they’re actually pretty easy and fun to make!

  1. Make sure you’re using bread flour: Your homemade bagels will not have the correct texture if you use all purpose flour. Make sure you’re using a good bread flour. We love Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur!
  2. Knead the dough until it’s strong: The key to the chewy, crusty iconic New York bagel texture is a well kneaded dough. The more you knead your dough the stronger the gluten bonds will become.
  3. You HAVE to boil them: Boiling your bagels before you bake them will give your dough head start on that crusty exterior. You’ll boil your shaped bagels and then pop them into the oven and then bake them at a high temperature to get that perfectly golden shell.

Alright, you ready? Let’s get to it!

Step One: Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the dough hook. Add the ingredients in this order: flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and yeast.

flour going into bowl  yeast going into bowl

Step Two: Add 1 cup of water to the dry ingredients.

You can add up to 1/2 cup more water to your dough if this is not enough, but starting with 1 cup will ensure you don’t end up adding too much!

ingredients for homemade bagels in bowl

Step Three: Start your mixer starting on low and gradually increasing to high. If the dough seems too dry add in a little more of the remaining 1/2 cup of water slowly.

Bagels are meant to be dense and bready, so it’s okay if your dough is a little dry, but you don’t want it to be crumbly. If you’re familiar with bread making, bagel dough would be classified as a “tighter” or tougher dough, so try not to add in a ton of water. You’ll be surprised at how well the water will absorb into the dough.

homemade bagel dough in mixer

Step Four: Once the dough starts to come together into a ball, you can continue to knead it on medium speed in your stand mixer for about 10 minutes, or you can turn it out onto a clean counter with a little flour and knead it by hand. I prefer to knead it by hand, just to make sure that the gluten is building up well, but it’s not necessary.

If you do choose to knead the dough by hand, make sure you stretch and pull the dough inwards and upwards before turning it over and kneading. This will help to build up the gluten in the dough. You’ll know it’s done when you can pull on it with some force without breaking. Remember, bagels are bready and the dough should be tough, but smooth.

kneading bagel dough   folding bagel dough over itself

Step Five: Once the dough has been worked  for 10ish minutes in the mixer or 15ish minutes by hand, turn it out onto a clean surface (no need for flour) and shape into a smooth ball. Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 6 equal piece for large bagels or 8 pieces for slightly smaller bagels.

If you want to be really precise here, you can weigh your dough and divide it out evenly, but it’s not necessary!

ball of homemade bagel dough

Step Six: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. You can also sprinkle with flour if you don’t have any on hand. Shape each portion into a round ball with your hands and place 3 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. Cover the pans with cling wrap or a dish towel to keep them from drying out and place in a warm place to rise for an hour.

homemade bagel dough balls

Step Seven: Once the dough balls have risen, take your thumb and make a hole in the center of each ball, gently spread the hole out to shape the dough into bagel shapes.

The dough should be very strong so you can really stretch it wider. Cover the pans again with cling wrap or a dish towel to prevent the bagels drying out.

make an indent in the bagel dough balls  stretch out the center hole int he bagels

Step Eight: Fill a large wide pot about 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil.

Once the water starts simmering, add in about 1 cup of brown sugar. This will help the bagels to be super chewy. Once the water is boiling, use a spatula to drop the bagels into the boiling water one at a time. Boil for about 1 minute before flipping over to the other side and boiling for another minute. After they have boiled, place them back on the baking sheets and sprinkle with desired topping, gently pressing the toppings into the dough.

boiling homemade bagels   uncooked bagels

Step Nine: Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating your pans halfway through the back time. You’ll know the bagels are done when they are golden brown and sound hollow when you tap them.

Step Ten: Allow to cool before serving with cream cheese, butter, peanut butter or as part of a brunch spread! Enjoy!

homemade bagels with cream cheese

What should you serve homemade bagels with?

Oh the options are absolutely endless! I love serving these homemade bagels up on a brunch spread, but they’re heart enough to eat on their own for breakfast or brunch. Some of my favorite spreads to eat these New York style bagels with are:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Lox
  • Peanut Butter
  • Butter
  • Jam
  • Olive oil and sea salt
  • Bacon + Egg + Cheese

homemade bagels with cream cheese

I love making these bagels as a fun project on a lazy Sunday or whipping up the night before and letting the bagels proof in the fridge overnight for a fun brunch the next day. Happy homemade bagel eating and bagel baking, my friends.

Enjoy!

Print

Homemade Bagels (Step by Step!)

5 from 3 reviews

Level up your breakfast game with these super easy homemade bagels. Made with just 6 super simple ingredients, you’ll love this homemade bagel recipe just as much as grabbing an authentic new york bagel from your local spot!

Level up your breakfast game with these super easy homemade bagels. Made with just 6 super simple ingredients, you’ll love this homemade bagel recipe just as much as grabbing an authentic new york bagel from your local spot!

  • Author: Sofi | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Rise Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 large bagels 1x
  • Category: bread
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Sofi | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Rise Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 large bagels 1x
  • Category: bread
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale:
  • Author: Sofi | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Rise Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 large bagels 1x
  • Category: bread
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 3 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups water
  • cornmeal (optional)
  • toppings (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the dough hook. Add the ingredients in this order: flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the dry ingredients. You can add up to 1/2 cup more water to your dough if this is not enough, but starting with 1 cup will ensure you don’t end up adding too much!
  3. Start your mixer starting on low and gradually increasing to high. If the dough seems too dry add in a little more of the remaining 1/2 cup of water slowly.
  4. Once the dough starts to come together into a ball, you can continue to knead it on medium speed in your stand mixer with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, or you can turn it out onto a clean counter with a little flour and knead it by hand. I prefer to knead it by hand, just to make sure that the gluten is building up well, but it’s not necessary.
  5. Once the dough has been worked  for 10ish minutes in the mixer or 15ish minutes by hand and seems strong, turn it out onto a clean surface (no need for flour) and shape into a smooth ball. Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 6 equal piece for large bagels or 8 pieces for slightly smaller bagels.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. You can also sprinkle with flour if you don’t have any cornmeal! Shape each portion into a round ball with your hands and place 3 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets. Cover the pans with cling wrap or a dish towel and place in a warm place to rise for an hour.
  7. After the dough balls have risen, take your thumb and make a hole in the center of each ball, gently spread the hole out to shape the dough into bagel shapes. The dough should be very strong so you can really stretch it. Cover the pans again with cling wrap or a dish towel to prevent the bagels drying out and allow to rise for 15 more minutes while you get the water boiling.
  8. Fill a large wide pot about 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Once the water starts simmering, add in about 1 cup of brown sugar. This will help the bagels to be super chewy.
  9. Once the water is boiling, use a spatula to gently drop the bagels into the boiling water one at a time. Boil for about 1 minute before flipping over to the other side and boiling for another minute.
  10. After they have boiled, place them back on the baking sheets
  11. If desired, you can place toppings on the top of your bagels. Simply sprinkle your desired seasonings over the top of the bagels and gently press on them so that they stick to the wet bagel. We love everything bagel seasoning, poppy seed, sesame seeds, asiago cheese, or cinnamon sugar!
  12. Cook the bagels at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. You’ll know the bagels are done when they are golden brown and sound hollow if you tap on one.
  13. Allow the bagels to cool before slicing and serving with your desired spreads!

Keywords: homemade bagels, homemade bagel recipe, new york bagels

Notes

  • To Make the Bagels Overnight: After Step 6 (the bagels are shaped and on the cookie sheets),  cover the sheets with cling wrap and refrigerate them over night. When you are ready to make the bagels in the morning, take them out of the fridge 2 hour before you are ready to make them to allow the dough to warm up and rise. Resume the rest of the recipe as written

— STILL HUNGRY? —

you might also like

Leave a comment and rate this recipe!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

  1. I’m curious about the yeast. Most recipes call for blooming Active Dry Yeast but this recipe doesn’t show that step. Also, there’s significantly less yeast in this dough than most yeast raised doughs.

  2. THANK YOU!!!
    We’ve been trying to make a decent bagel for years. We live in southern Brazil and bagels are nonexistent here! We’ve tried so many recipes and none of them came even close to the real deal.
    That was the case untill now! We can finally have real bagels at home! This recipe rocks 😉

  3. The bagels came out so great and the recipe was so easy to follow! Will be making these again!

  4. Hi! I was wondering if you could clarify for me your note on making the bagels overnight. You say, “After Step 6 (the bagels are shaped and on the cookie sheets), cover…” I was wondering if I am to fully complete step 6 first (so AFTER letting the dough balls rise for an hour) and then I cover and refrigerate?
    Thank you for the recipe! So excited to make these this weekend! Xx

    • Hi Grace! You’ll want to shape the bagels and then place them in the fridge. In the morning let them thaw out and rise! So sorry for the confusion–I have adjusted the wording in the recipe card to clarify this. I hope you enjoy them!

  5. Love this recipe! Fabulous bagels! Easy recipe and great instructions! Shared the recipe on my Facebook post for all of my friends. Thank you!!!