These homemade bagels are a staple in my house. They’re incredibly easy to make, taste so much better than store bought bagels, and you’re able to top them with whatever you’d like!
That, to me, makes for one perfect recipe.
- Bread flour
- Brown sugar
To answer your question…
Do you have to use bread flour?
YES. YES X 100.
Bagels require a lean dough. Most likely, you’re after a dense and chewy dough rather than something airy and soft like cinnamon or dinner rolls. This is something that bread flour is able to provide (and all purpose flour is not).
Bagel variations to try out
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a plain bagel!
Having a little variety makes things exciting though (and with the following toppings, you’ll have plenty of bagels to choose from).
- Everything but the Bagel Seasoning (my personal favorite)
- Cinnamon sugar
- Freeze dried chives
- Sesame seeds
- Ranch seasoning
- Jalapeño cheddar
- Cinnamon raisin
The list could go on and on, but I think you get what I’m saying. Basically any type of seasoning blend can be put on these bagels! And the flavors don’t end there. What you put on the inside makes a world of difference too. Whether you go with cream cheese, peanut butter, jam, etc – these bagels will be a hit.
How to make homemade bagels
First, you’ll need to activate the yeast. To do this, add the yeast to the warm water and allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes or until it’s frothy.
While you wait for the yeast to activate, add the flour, brown sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Give it a good mix and when your yeast is ready, add it to the flour mixture. Mix it on medium speed for about 5-7 minutes or until the dough has begun to form around the dough hook.
Form the dough into 12 balls and place them onto a baking tray with a silicone mat. Cover and let the dough rise for at least an hour. Then, uncover the dough and gently pick them up one by one and create a hole in the center of each. Place them back onto the mat and cover once again, this time for just 20 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bring water and some brown sugar to a boil over the stove. Gently place 3-4 bagels into the boiling water and cook for a minute each side. Then, place them back onto the baking tray with your silicone mat.
Once each bagel has gone through the water bath, brush them with a light egg wash. Here you’ll need to decide if you want to keep them plain or put some seasoning on top.
Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer them to a cooling rack and enjoy! Here’s what they’ll look like before & after baking:
Homemade bagels FAQ
Let me know if you have questions that weren’t answered below & I’ll do my best to answer them 🙂
Is barley malt required to make bagels?
It’s not necessary to use barley malt syrup when making homemade bagels – though if you have some (or want to try using it), feel free to do so!
In this recipe, I used brown sugar in place of barley malt syrup and it worked perfectly! Maple syrup also works well.
How long do homemade bagels last?
If you store these homemade bagels in the fridge, they should last you about a week. If you store them on the counter, you’ll have them for 3-4 days.
What will happen if I don’t boil my bagels before baking?
If you skip the water bath step, you won’t have the chewiness that you want when eating a bagel. There also won’t be a crispy crust. I don’t recommend skipping this step!Print
How to Make Perfect Homemade Bagels
Homemade bagels are incredibly easy to make and are fully customizable! Whether you leave them plain or top with with your favorite seasoning blend, you’re sure to have a bagel that anyone would enjoy.
- Prep Time: 70 Minutes
- Second Proof Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 25 Minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour & 55 minutes
- Yield: 12 Servings 1x
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 1/4 cups water, warm
- 1/4 cup brown sugar + 2 TBSP
- 2 3/4 TSP yeast
- 2 TSP salt
- Egg wash for brushing
- Add the yeast to warm water and let it bloom for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
- In the meantime, add the flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and gently mix together. When the yeast is foamy, add to the flour mixture and slowly knead for about 5-7 minutes or until the dough has begun to form around the hook.
- Divide the dough into 12 circular pieces and place on a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Cover and let the dough balls rest for at least an hour.
- After the dough has risen for an hour, begin to form the bagels. Gently pick one up and with two fingers, create a hole in the center. Once you’ve done this with all dough balls, cover again and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add water to a sauce pan along with 2 TBSP brown sugar. You want this mixture to boil before you place any bagels into it!
- Once the 20 minutes has passed and the water is boiling, it’s time to give them a quick water bath! Place 3-4 bagels into your saucepan (or however many fit comfortably without over crowding the pan) and cook for a minute on each side.
- Place them back onto the baking sheet with a silicone mat and let them cool for at least five minutes before giving them a light egg wash. Here, you can top them with your favorite seasonings or leave them plain.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let them cool and enjoy!
Prep time includes how long it’ll take for the yeast to activate, mixing the bagels in the stand mixer, and allowing the bagels to rest.
Second proof time is how long you’ll want to let the bagels rest after poking a hole in the center.