How to Make Bagels 

When I opened a restaurant years ago I did not know how to make bagels or even much about them. This was not something that was in my cuisine in my young life. In Florida I quickly discovered that bagels were as common to some people as French toast to many of us or even hot cross buns to the British people. Most people prefer to have this special recipe on an Easter buffet than some of the great Easter cakes. The great thing about making these at home is that you can diversify the recipe by adding fruits, herbs and spices which add great flavor. 

As you learn how to make bagels, you will see that most recipes consist of two or three cooking techniques; broiling, boiling and baking. All three of these steps serve a purpose when making bagels. I have been told that the “boiling” is what makes the New York Bagels so famous and good. Some recipes will leave out the broiling and simply do the boiling and baking. Although it is easier to leave out a step, I find each is necessary, even if the recipe does not instruct it to be done.

After shaping and rising bagels, I like to place them under the broiler for only about 1 ½ minutes on each side. This process seals them and prepares them for the next step which is boiling. Without crowding, place the bagels in rapidly boiling water with a little sugar added. Generally I boil them on each side about 3 to 4 minutes making the bagels moist.  BROILING first prevents the bagels from getting soggy when BOILED. After draining on a rack, place the bagels on a greased baking sheet. The next step, BAKING takes out excess moisture and finishes the “cooking”. After I learned how to make bagels I found all these steps produces a wonderful slightly chewy bagel texture.

Learn how to make bagels for Jewish Passover. Passover recipes are prepared by the Jewish people the same season as Christians prepare Easter Recipes. Passover is the best known of the Jewish holidays because it ties in with the history of the Christian celebration of the Last Super.

The spring festival of Passover is very important to the Jewish people. It is a seven day holiday, the first and last days are legal holy days with abstention from work, special prayer services and holiday meals.

Great care is given to housecleaning leading up to Passover. All leavening must be removed from the home. Every detail is given to cleaning all cabinets and every crack in the home prior to preparing Passover recipes.

If you know how to make bagels, you see a big difference in the following bagel recipe. The Passover bagel is more like what we call cream puff shells due to the absence of any leavening. The center is hollow and can be used for sandwiches or filled.


How to Make BagelsHow to Make Bagels

Bagel dough:

  • ¾ Cup warm water (About 112F degrees to 115F degrees)
  • 1 ½ Ounce package active dry yeast
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ Teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 2 Beaten eggs (Room temperature)

Boiling water:

  • 2 Quarts water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar


  • 1 Beaten egg
  • Pinch salt
  • Poppy seeds

Stir yeast into warm water; let set 10 minutes.

Sift flours into a large bowl; SET ASIDE 1 CUP OF ALL THE PURPOSE.

Add salt to the flour in bowl.

With mixer on low speed beat dissolved yeast, honey, eggs and oil into flour mixture in bowl.

By hand stir in remaining 1 cup of flour; turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a clean oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap.

Place bowl in warm place; let rise 45 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down; cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate overnight.

Allow dough to return to room temperature; knead again lightly.

Roll dough into a thick log; cut into 12 to 16 pieces with a floured knife.

Roll each piece into a smooth ball; flatten slightly and poke a hole in the center.

Stretch and shape into bagel leaving a fairly large hole in middle (As bagel rise the hole will get smaller)

Place bagels on floured pans; let rise in warm place. (At least 15 minutes)

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

Bring water and sugar to a rapid boil; drop in bagels about 4 at a time.

Boil 1 minute on each side; lift out with a slotted spoon and drain.

Place on greased baking sheets; brush bagels with beaten egg and salt mixture.

Sprinkle tops with poppy seeds; bake about 20 minutes until nicely browned.

OPTIONAL: Knead in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ cup raisins.

PASSOVER BAGEL RECIPE a basic bagel recipe when you learn how to make bagels

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Heaping tablespoons shortening
  • 1 Cup matzo meal
  • 3 Eggs

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Combine the water, sugar, salt and shortening in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in matzo meal.

Stir in 1 egg at a time and mix well.

Drop dough by tablespoon onto a well greased cookie baking sheet. (Makes 8)

Bake for ½ hour.

Reduce oven temperature to 350F degrees and continue baking for another ½ hour.

Remove from oven and pierce each with the point of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.

When cool store in a plastic bag.


  • 4 TO 5 Cups flour
  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ Cups hot water (120F to 130F degrees)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Teaspoon water

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.

Stir in hot water and honey and beat until smooth; about 3 minutes.

Stir enough of the remaining flour in to make a soft dough.

Turn out on a floured surface and work in flour until dough is stiff enough to knead; knead until elastic about 5 minutes.

Cover dough with bowl and let set 15 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 equal parts; shape each into ball and flatten.

Poke hole in center with fingers and rotate to enlarge hole to about 1 to 2 inches; cover and let rise about 20 minutes.

Boil water in a large shallow pan; 2 inches deep.

Drop in a few bagels at a time and simmer about 7 minutes;

Remove and drain on towel.

Place bagels on a lightly greased baking sheet; brush with mixture of egg white and 1 teaspoon water.

Bake at preheated oven 375F degrees for 30 minutes or until done.


Learn how to make bagels the “whole grain way” with whole wheat flour.

  • 8 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • 2 Cups lukewarm potato water (To make boil diced potatoes in water until tender; drain)
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • ¼ Cup vegetable oil
  • 4 Lightly beaten eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 Quarts boiling water

Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl.

Add yeast to 1/3 of potato water and set 5 minutes; stir into flour mixture.

Add honey and oil to remaining potato water; stir into flour mixture.

Add eggs and beat to form dough; turn onto lightly floured surface and

knead 10 minutes.

Dough should be quite firm; add more flour if necessary.

Place dough into clean buttered bowl, cover and let rise until double in bulk (1 ½ to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

Knead dough again until smooth and elastic; divide dough evenly into 25 to 30 pieces.

Roll pieces into six inch long ropes and ¾ inch wide; pinch ends together to form donut shapes.

Bring water to a boil and drop in the raw sugar.

Drop bagels in one at a time; when they surface turn them over and boil 1 minute more.

Place bagels on an oiled baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until brown and crisp.

When you learn how to make bagels use your imagination for different bagel toppings. You can toast bagels or eat them fresh. Of course good butter is always great on bagels. About anything you would eat on a piece of toasted bread will be delicious on a bagel. Many people love cream cheese and lox (or smoked salmon) on bagels. Jams, jelly, apple butter, honey and molasses are also delicious. Try butter with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. See what you can come up with and enjoy learning how to make bagels.