Homemade Bagel Recipe

So, wouldn’t you know it?

Homemade Bagel Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Just as soon as I decide to start watching what I’m eating in order to lose some of this “baby” fat, I start craving bread like crazy.  Like. Crazy.

BaguettesPizza DoughSconesGarlic Bread. And, now, Bagels!

Homemade Bagel Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Can I just say how much I enjoy bagels?  They are just so perfect — especially with a heavy dose of cream cheese.  My absolute favorite bagel is a jalapeno and cheese bagel with onions and chive cream cheese. Mmm.

Homemade Bagel Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Chewy, filling, flavorful, soft and, of course, the requisite carbohydrate of my latest calorie-watching cravings.  Those darn calories!  Grr.

Anyways, I’ve always wanted to make bagels, but was too intimidated for the longest time.  Turns out bagels are pretty darn easy and fun to make.  I’m telling you — bread isn’t as scary as it is made out to be.

Homemade Bagel Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Which, admittedly, sounds funny to hear me say, given my long-time love-hate relationship with bread.  Pretty much: I love it and it hated me.

I guess I just had to figure out the right way to do it.

Homemade Bagel Recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

All that being said, I highly recommend this homemade bagel recipe.  These bagels are very yummy and satisfying.

Though this is recipe is for plain bagels, feel free to add a topping of your choice right before baking (like sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar, poppy seeds, sauteed onions, slice of cheddar cheese and jalapenos).

Homemade Bagel Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I highly recommend this homemade bagel recipe. These bagels are very yummy and satisfying.
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 10
  • 1⅔ cup warm water, plus more to boil bagels
  • ¾ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • optional toppings: sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar, poppy seeds, sauteed onions, cheddar cheese and jalapenos
  1. Fill a small bowl with the warm water and sprinkle yeast, followed by sugar, over the water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Combine bread flour and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir with wooden spoon to incorporate. Knead until sticky dough forms, about 1-2 minutes. Continue to knead for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large bowl lightly rubbed with olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled in size, about 2 to 2½ hours.
  3. Divide dough into 10 equal portions and form into balls. Lay each ball on baking sheet line with parchment paper, cover again with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Line 2 additional baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. Take each ball of dough and, using your hands, poke a hole through the center with your thumb and stretch/shape as needed to form bagel. Lightly oil your hands if dough is too sticky. Place formed bagels on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  6. Heat a large stock pot full of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Carefully drop bagels, one by one, into the boiling water. Take care not to crowd the bagels, dropping in only 3-4 at a time. Boil bagels for 30 seconds on one side, flip and then boil for an additional 30 seconds. Remove bagels with slotted spoon and then place on baking sheet. Add toppings, if desired, at this point. Quickly place bagels in oven for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. After golden brown, flip the bagels over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on wire rack.



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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

29 comments… add one

  1. michelle in wgtn, nz May 24, 2011, 2:45 am

    Hello Lacey

    I’m so pleased to read that you make the bagel “hole in the middle” just like my dear Dad and I do. We both like making bagels – I’ll be trying your recipe soon.

    Sending care and huggles to you and your lovely wee family, Michelle down in Wellington, New Zealand (and my snoozling Zebby Cat)

    1. Hilda February 16, 2012, 11:34 am

      Hi Lacey

      Can you tell me what the nutritional content is calorie wise and fat plus carbs!They look super yummy! I was searching for a homemade bagel that is sizeable for the waist line:)

  2. Kelleigh May 24, 2011, 12:55 pm


    I can’t wait to try these! Of course, I’ll leave out the hole so I can add more cream cheese. Once in a while ;-) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Carolyn May 31, 2011, 11:19 am

    I was looking at your homemade pizza dough recipe. I do not have a breadmaker either and have a question. Would I add the ingredients for the pizza dough in the same order that you do for your bagels and then let the pizza dough rise? Can the dough be kept in the fridge for a few days? Thank you. Can’t wait to try it.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef June 3, 2011, 12:41 pm

      Hi Carolyn! As far as adding the ingredients for the dough, yes, it would be the same as for the bagels, but you don’t need to do all the separate rising times, as you will not be forming the dough into separate loaves or buns. As for the fridge, yes, the dough can definitely be stored in the fridge — that usually even increases the flavor of yeast breads/doughs. After kneading, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight or up to 36 hours. You can put the dough into a plastic bag that has been sprayed with a tiny bit of cooking spray or rubbed with olive oil. Upon taking it out of the fridge, let it come to room temperature and then shape, (rise, if applicable) and bake. I hope that helps!

  4. Carolyn June 1, 2011, 11:08 pm

    May 31, 2011 at 11:19 am
    I was looking at your homemade pizza dough recipe. I do not have a breadmaker either and have a question. Would I add the ingredients for the pizza dough in the same order that you do for your bagels and then let the pizza dough rise? Can the dough be kept in the fridge for a few days? Thank you. Can’t wait to try it.

  5. Grishma June 19, 2011, 11:17 pm

    When I made bagels for the first time, they came out very chewy. But I think I know what went wrong,rather than boiling it for 20 seconds, I did it for 2 minutesss….sillyyy me! I think I should try to make it again using your recipe. Thank u:)

  6. Laura July 14, 2011, 10:46 am

    Oh my gosh this recipe is incredible. I can’t stop making bagels. My husband said “seriously you made bagels? No way!” This recipe made me look so spiffy!

  7. erin September 3, 2011, 6:40 am

    uh, YUM! worked perfectly! thanks!

  8. Cara Gloden September 6, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Can I do the kneading in the mixer instead of by hand? Would I follow the same times listed?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 6, 2011, 3:08 pm

      Very good question, Cara! Yes, you can definitely use a dough hook rather than by hand. The times will vary, however. Typically, the dough will be mixed quicker by the hook than by hand and will be a bit stickier because you wont need to add as much flour to knead. Here’s a link for some other recommendations for how to use the dough hook as well. Good luck!

  9. Daniela September 28, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Hey, I only have All-Purpose Flour at home at the moment, is that the same as Bread Flour? Or do I need to go out and buy Bread Flour? (clearly I’m new to it all)

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 11, 2011, 9:52 pm

      Bread flour has a higher gluten amount so it will help make the dough chewier, but it’s not absolutely vital if you don’t have it on hand.

  10. Tiffanie December 31, 2011, 8:54 pm

    Do you know how many calories are in each bagel?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 1, 2012, 2:13 pm

      Hmmm…Tiffanie….I try not to think too much about the calories these days, but I’d estimate about 300 calories in a plain bagel.

  11. Ashley January 15, 2012, 5:22 pm

    I found a similar recipe for cinnamon raisin bagels, but it was much more complicated. What’s the reason for waiting until just before baking to add toppings?

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 16, 2012, 1:17 pm

      I wait till the end because the toppings would come off when boiled. If you’re adding stuff, like raisins and cinnamon, to the actual dough, however, you’d want to add beforehand.

  12. Jessica March 4, 2012, 3:22 am

    What is the purpose of boiling the bagels before baking them? I’ve never heard of that part before. Thanks.

  13. Jessica October 12, 2012, 12:50 pm

    Can I use white whole wheat flour in place of bread flour? I love that you boil them first. It just makes bagels taste so much better! Thank you for all of the great recipes.

    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 12, 2012, 1:41 pm

      Thanks, Jessica! While I’ve never tried using that flour in this recipe, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work. I like to use bread flour because it tends to make for a chewier bagel. Enjoy!

  14. Concetta January 8, 2013, 10:14 pm

    My daughter and I made these today and they were fantastic!!!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

  15. Miranda March 23, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Who would have thought such simple ingredients would yeild such fantastic results. A+ recipe!

  16. cucee sprouts September 24, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Your post inspired me to make my own batch of bagels. I got a new cookbook and decided to try their recipe because it offered some context on the bagel-making. The bagels turned our perfect and I sure will never buy bagels again. Here is a link to my post if you are interested in checking it out http://cuceesprouts.com/2013/09/new-york-style-bagel/ (and a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cucee-Sprouts/132234066813199)

    what do you think about adding texture to the bagels from the inside? Lick chocolate chips or olives? Where in the process would you add those in?

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