Homemade Bagels

Everyone has a bucket list. Whether its written down or all in your head, it exists. Stuff that, one day, you’d like to do. Making bagels was on mine. I know. I know. I know. I live in the bagel capital of the world, so why would I want to make my own? There’s a bagel store/shop on every corner. Every person I know has participated in at least one heated discussion about “the best bagel I ever ate was (fill in the blank).” Everyone’s tried a bagel and has their own opinion about what makes a “good one”. And that’s exactly why I wanted to make my own.

What can I say, I like a challenge.

Before you attempt the recipe, here’s my honest disclaimer. It’s not difficult, but it’s incredibly time consuming. If you’re snowed or rained in on a weekend, it’s a fun project to do with the kids. They’ll love setting the timer for each step of the rise. If you eat the bagels out of the oven (please let them cool down at least 20 minutes) and up to 3 hours later, you will be rewarded with the yummiest bagel you’ve ever had. If you eat them up to 3 days later, they’ll still taste good, but not as yummy as day 1. There’s definitely “something” in bagel store bagels that lets them keep soft for longer than my bagels kept.

Next stop: bagel chips!


The starter recipe… from Food & Wine magazine
Poolish: Combine bread flour with yeast

Poolish: Add water and stir with a wooden spoon.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Poolish: fluffy after overnight refrigeration
Poolish: will be very gooey… oh. goo.
Bread flour + unbleached all purpose flour + kosher salt
Place into an oiled bowl (make sure all sides of the dough are oiled).
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours. Until the dough has doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. You can do it by eye, but…
Yes, I weighed the dough and then divided it into 5 3/4 ounce balls.
Place dough balls on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper that has been oiled.

Lightly oil the top of each dough ball and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
The oil prevents the saran wrap from sticking to the dough. Let it rise for 30-45 minutes.

Make a hole in each dough ball, roughly 1/2 inch.
Let rise for another hour.

In a large pot with boiling water (with baking soda),
boil for 90 seconds, flip over and boil for another 90 seconds.

Remove from boiling water onto damp kitchen towel and add toppings.
Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper that has been oiled.
Poppy Seeds!

Sesame Seed Bagels & Everything Bagels
Dozen freshly baked bagels!
Perfect for breakfast, brunch… or BRINNER! Breakfast for Dinner!
Happiness with Fairway Lox!

Homemade Bagels

Makes 1 dozen
Adapted from Food & Wine


1 1/3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey

2 cups lukewarm water
5 1/3 cups bread flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose unbleached flour
1 tablespoon salt

Canola Oil

Large pot of water
1/2 tablespoon of baking soda
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds and coarse sea salt, for sprinkling


1. In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir the bread flour with the yeast and water until combined. 
2. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and honey with water. 
2. Using a dough hook, mix in the poolish. 
3. Add the bread flour, all purpose flour and salt to the mixer. Beat at low/medium speed until a smooth, stiff dough forms, 5 to 7 minutes.  (Be careful that you don’t burn out the motor on your mixer… then you’ll be kneading by hand!!)
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. (Assuming that your mixer did most of the work.)
5. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, canola oiled bowl. Flip the dough over to make sure that all sides are oiled.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
7. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and brush or spray generously with canola oil. 
8. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and form into tight balls; transfer to the baking sheet, leaving space between each one. 
9. Lightly brush the tops of the bagels with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 30-45 minutes.
10. To form the bagels, poke your finger in the center of each ball to make a 1/2-inch hole. 
11. Return the bagels to the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until risen, about 1 hour. 
12. Test-a-bagel: Place 1 bagel to a bowl of cold water. If it floats, the bagels have risen sufficiently.

1. Preheat the oven to 475° and position racks in the lower and middle thirds. 
2. Place a lightly moistened kitchen towel on your counter.  
3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; spray the paper with oil. 
4. Bring a large, deep pot of water to a boil. 
5. Add baking soda to the pot.
6. Add 2 or 3 bagels to each pot, without crowding (the bagels will swell in the water) and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Flip the bagels and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes longer. 
7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bagels to the kitchen towel–lined sheet to drain. 
8. As they start to cool (but are still very wet), sprinkle the bagels generously with toppings.
9. Quickly transfer them to the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
10. Bake the bagels for 9 minutes.
11. Switch the pan positions (top and bottom).
12. Bake the bagels for 8 more minutes, until lightly browned.
13. Let cool at least 20 minutes.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s