Home > Bread, Breakfast, Recipes, Techniques, Vegan, Vegetarian > How to make bagels from scratch

How to make bagels from scratch

My family likes bagels. So I was surprised when I read about how to make them over at Georgia Pellegrini’s blog (not related, surprisingly), and realized I’ve never tried to make them myself.  As of 8:30 this evening, bagels are one more item that can no longer make it onto my bucket list.  Here’s my photo journal.

Cast of characters: 1-1/2 tsp yeast, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 2c flour, 2/3c warm water, 1-1/2 tsp olive oil (ours couldnt be bothered to make the photo shoot, EVOO is like that sometimes ever since Rachel Ray made him famous)

First the water...

Then the sugar...

Then the yeast. Stir well, then let it proof (rest) for about 10 minutes.

After the yeast has proofed, add the oil. the original post called for vegetable oil. Olives are a vegetable in our house, therefore olive oil is vegetable oil.

Add the flour and salt. Knead by hand, or with your mixer. I used the paddle attachment on my stand mixer. You may need to dribble a few teaspoons of additional water to make the dough come together - it should be a slightly sticky ball. Cover the dough with a towel, and let it rise for at least 30 minutes.

After the first rise is complete, turn out the ball onto a floured surface. Knead it 8 or 10 times.

Cut the kneaded ball into four or six pieces, depending on how large you want them. I cut in fours since this was a dinner bagel. Roll each piece into a snake about 1" in diameter - it should be long enough to wrap around your palm. Wet each end (lightly!) and press together. When all teh bagels are formed, cover with a towel and let them rise again, at least 30 minutes.

When the bagels have risen, parboil each one in boiling water. Boil for one minute on each side, then remove to a towel to wick off excess moisture. Then transfer to a baking sheet.

Bake at 450F for about 20 minutes. I put convection on about 5 minutes before the end of the cycle to get a nice brown crust.

I should get back to providing costing info with these recipes.  Flour goes for about $2.99/5 lbs, so that’s 19 cents per cup, or 38 cents for the recipe.  It requires a packet of yeast at $0.80.  Figure another $0.25 for salt, sugar and oil.  So $1.43 to make four large bagels.  That’s about $0.36 per bagel.

Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee from Muddy Dog Roasting Company.  My current favorite is a new arrival, Yemen Mohka Sana’ani.

  1. April 17, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Looks like they turned out perfectly!

  2. Diana Roush
    May 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for posting! I have always wanted to learn to make bagels. How do you make fancy bagels like cheese, jalapeno cheese, everything bagel…you know what I mean? When do you incorporate the extras and how to cook them?

    Thanks for the lesson!

    Have a great day,


    • May 13, 2012 at 2:38 am

      For things *in* the bagel, e.g., raisins, add them while you are mixing the dough (before they rise). For coatings, e.g., seeds, add them after the parboil.

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