Bagel Recipe

Do you know how to make a bagel recipe? The first time this word entered my vocabulary was in 1978. A friend was telling me about a brunch which had just been to at a local country club in Florida. According to her, the best things on the buffet table were these so called “bagels”. She went on to describe these donut shaped breads. Having never heard of these before, the thing that got my attention was that they served them with cream cheese. Of course “cream cheese” got my attention being that it is one of my favorite ingredients.

Bagel Served with Cream Cheese and JamBagel Served with Cream Cheese and Jam

I have always loved homemade bread so I knew I would also love these bagels. I began searching for how to make a bagel recipe which I could make. One day I happened to mention this to another friend who grew up in New York.

She said, “Of course, I know what bagels are. I was raised eating bagels. I will give you my recipe.”

The following recipe is the one my friend gave to me. I have made them since then too many times to count. They are really delicious! I have seasoned them with many different spices and herbs. You can also sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar or let your imagination loose!

If you learn how to make a bagel recipe you will see it is a bread product which can vary from country to country and even city to city. They were brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants. This is why they are very common in the United States where there is a large population of Jewish people. I use to have a restaurant in an area like this and this is where I learned to perfect my bagel recipe. I served them every day with cream cheese and lox. You can purchase bagels today in every grocery store; they are that common. They are available on the shelves with other bread products and frozen; but like other breads the best is homemade and fresh from the oven.

The bagel recipe which my friend gave to me instructs you to broil first, boil next and then bake in the oven. The result of these bagels is a dense, chewy interior with a brown and slightly crispy exterior (a resemblance of hot pretzels; something I always loved). Before putting the bagels in the oven you can also top them with your favorite seeds such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds.

Today the bagel recipe has taken on new flavors. In many places you can get chocolate ones and others flavored with a variety of different fruits. I have made blueberry and strawberry bagels. They too are absolutely delicious with cream cheese spread on top while they are still warm.


Bagel RecipeBagel Recipe
  • 4 ¼ to 4 ½ Cups flour
  • 2 Packages active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ Cups warm water (110F degrees to 115F degrees)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Combine the warm water, 3 tablespoons of sugar and salt; let set 5 minutes.

Measure 1 1/2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl; pour yeast mixture over the flour.

Beat at a low speed for about a minute, scraping sides of bowl; beat 3 minutes at high speed.

Stir in as much remaining flour as you can to mix by hand with a spoon.

Turn dough out onto a floured board; knead and add in enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Continue kneading until smooth and elastic; cover and let set to rise 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 portions; shape into smooth balls.

Punch a hole in the center of each ball; gently pull hole to enlarge.

Place on a greased baking sheet; cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

Broil 5 inches from heat for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side. (Do not brown)

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Add 1 tablespoon sugar to 1 gallon water and bring to a boil.

Drop bagels with a large spoon in boiling water 4 at a time for 7 minutes turning once; drain.

Place on a greased baking sheet; bake about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Bagels After BroilingBagels After Broiling


Add one of the flollowing to the flour mixture for herb bagels: 1 teaspoon dried dill, 1 teaspoon crushed tarragon, 1 teaspoon dried onion powder, ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder or 1 teaspoon of blended seasoning.

Add to the flour mixture for Parmesan bagels: ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Add to flour mixture: ½ Cup fresh blueberries or fresh chopped strawberries, washed, drained and dry.


NOTE: You can make whole wheat bagel recipes with this recipe by substituting 2 cups of whole wheat flour for 2 cups of the all purpose flour.

  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • 2 Cups warm water (105 to 115F degrees)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 5 to 5 ½ Cups flour divided
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 3 ½ Quarts warm water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • Sesame seeds

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Add honey stirring well; stir in 2 cups flour, 1 ½ teaspoon salt and mix well.

Gradually mix in enough of the remaining flour to make soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface (dough will be sticky) and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a well greased bowl turning to grease top; cover and let rise in a warm place 1 ½ hours.

Punch down dough and divide into 12 equal parts; roll each into ball.

With floured fingers punch a hole in center of each ball; gently pull until hole is about 1 to 1 ½ inches.

Place bagels on lightly greased baking sheet; cover and let rise 15 minutes.

Broil bagels 5 inches from the heat 2 minutes on each side.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425F degrees.

Bring 3 ½ quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large Dutch oven.

Reduce heat and simmer bagels 3 minutes on each side; place bagels on lightly greased baking sheets.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds; press seeds lightly into bagels.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Makes 1 dozen


  • 3 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 Package active dry yeast
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Egg separated
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds or coarse salt

Bring milk to boil; set off heat and stir in butter and sugar.

Cool milk mixture to lukewarm (About 112F degrees; add yeast to warm milk mixture and let stand 10 minutes.

Beat the egg WHITE and salt into yeast mixture; gradually work in the flour to make dough ball.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky about 15 minutes.

Shape dough into ball and place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap and towel.

Let bowl stand in a warm place to rise about 1 hour or until double in bulk; punch down and divide into 24 pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into a rope the size of your finger and the length of a pencil; pinch ends together to shape bagels.

Place bagels on floured baking pans and let rise about 10 minutes;

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees.

Bring a pot of water to a boil; drop in a few bagels at a time and cook about 15 seconds or until they puff up.

NOTE: DO NOT overcook.

Lift bagels out with a slotted spoon onto clean kitchen towels; lift bagels to buttered baking sheet.

After all bagels are boiled, brush bagels with mixture of beaten YOLK and 1 teaspoon cold water.

Sprinkle tops with seeds or salt; bake about 20 minutes until light brown and cool on rack.


  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 Cup warm water (About 112F degrees)
  • 1 Teaspoon dry yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 Egg yolk beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon coarse salt

Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap and spray with cooking oil.

Dissolve sugar in warm water; sprinkle yeast on top and let set about 5 minutes.

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl; make a well and add egg, oil and yeast mixture.

Mix to a soft dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Cover and let set to rise until double in bulk; punch down and knead until smooth.

Divide dough into 10 equal parts; roll into ropes about 7 inches long.

Wrap ropes around to shape rings; pinch ends together to seal.

Smooth joints by rocking rings on floured surface; arrange on prepared baking sheet.

Let bagels set in warm place to rise until double in bulk.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425F degrees.

Poach bagels in boiling water in batches turning once (Do not crowd).

Remove bagels from pot with a slotted spoon and arrange on lightly floured baking sheet.

After all bagels have been poached, brush them with egg YOLK.

Top some of the bagels with poppy seeds, some with caraway seeds and some with coarse salt.

Bake about 15 minutes until golden brown.


  • 1 ½ Cups potato water (Cook 1 large diced potato in 2 ½ cups water until tender; strain and reserve 2 cups liquid)
  • 6 to 6 ½ Cups flour
  • 2 Packages active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 4 Quarts water
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Heat potato water to 120F degrees.

In large bowl combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil, eggs, onion and potato water; beat on high until blended.

Add 3 more cups of flour and mix in; turn out onto floured surface and knead (If sticky knead in remaining ½ cup flour)

Knead dough until smooth and elastic; place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and divide in half; roll each half into a 12 inch log.

Cut each log into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10 inch rope.

Moisten ends of ropes and join together to form a doughnut shape; let rise for 20 minutes on cookie sheet.

Combine 4 quarts water and ¼ cup sugar in large Dutch oven; bring to a boil.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425F degrees.

Drop bagels into boiling water 5 to 6 at a time; boil 3 minutes, turn over and boil 3 more minutes.

Remove bagels from water with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; place on greased cookie sheet.

Brush with mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; bake for 20 to 25 minutes and cool on wire rack.


This bagel recipe is made with a classic “dark” sour dough starter. The whole wheat starter recipe at “how to make sour dough bread” is one which works well.

  • 1 Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1 Tablespoon dry yeast
  • ½ Teaspoon honey
  • 1 ½ Cups sourdough starter
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Teaspoons caraway seeds OPTIONAL
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten flour OPTIONAL
  • 2 to 3 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 to 3 Cups rye flour
  • 2 Quarts boiling water with 1 teaspoon honey dissolved in it

Dissolve yeast and ½ teaspoon honey in warm water in mixing bowl.

Let yeast mixture stand for 10 minutes or until mixture foams up.

Add to yeast mixture starter, oil, molasses, salt, eggs and caraway seeds if desired.

NOTE: I use electric mixer until soft dough forms to help gluten strands form.

Beat well adding gluten flour if desired, 1 cup wheat flour and 1 cup rye flour.

Beat mixture well; continue beating in ½ cup of wheat and ½ cup rye flours.

When dough is too thick to beat in any more flour turn out onto floured surface.

Continue adding flour and kneading until smooth and elastic about 10 minutes.

Place dough in a clean oiled bowl turning to oil top; cover and place in warm place.

Let rise until doubled in bulk about 1 to 2 hours.

Prepare water with honey for boiling.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; knead briefly.

Divide dough into 16 equal parts; roll each piece into a rope.

Seal ends of rope together by overlapping and pinching together.

NOTE: Only shape at one time the number that can be boiled at once.

PREHEAT OVEN to 375F degrees; oil 2 large cookie sheets.

Drop bagels into boiling honey water (DO NOT crowd).

Boil bagels 1 minute on each side; remove from water and drain well.

NOTE: Cooling rack works well for draining.

Place bagels on cookie sheet; when 1 is filled place in oven.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until bagels are done; cool on rack.



  • About 4 ½ cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • 1 ½ Cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

To Boil

  • 3 ½ Quarts water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons salt

Topping for Brushing

  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Seeds (Caraway, sesame or poppy seeds)

FOR DOUGH combine 1 ½ cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl.

Combine 1 ½ cups water and butter in saucepan; heat until butter melts.

Cool mixture to 115F to 120F degrees; add to flour yeast mixture.

Beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes.

Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic about 8 min.

Place dough in a well greased bowl turning to coat top.

Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down; cover and let rest 15 minutes.

Shape dough into 12 equal balls; punch hole in center with floured finger.

Gently pull dough away from center to make 1 to 1 ½ inch hole.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees; lightly grease baking sheets.

TO BOIL in large Dutch oven bring 3 ½ quarts water, sugar and salt to a boil.

Reduce to simmer; without crowding add bagels to water.

Cook 3 minutes on each side and drain well; place on baking sheets.

FOR TOPPING combine and beat egg white and 1 tablespoon water.

Brush bagels with egg white; sprinkle with seeds and gently press into bagels.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown; cool on rack.