Homemade Bagels


There is nothing I love more than a crusty, chewy bagel- preferably sesame seed- with creamy, salty butter. Recently, I have been on a bagel binge- eating 1-2 bagels per day. Instead of having an intervention with myself- I decided to continue with my binge and see if I could create a garlic and sesame seed bagel. I love the combo of the salty garlic with nutty, sweet sesame seeds. You hardly ever find the combo so I decided I shall do it on my own! The recipe is on the low to medium side for ease but definitely a high on outcome. It is a two day recipe so make sure you plan ahead!

Serves- 12 medium sized bagels      Cook time- Day 1= 3-4 hours   Day 2= 1 hour

For the Starter

2 1/2 cups of warm water

4 cups of unbleached bread flour

1 tsp of instant yeast

For the dough

1/2 tsp instant yeast

3 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour

2 3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp brown sugar


1 tbsp baking soda

Semolina flour or cornmeal (I used semolina)

Toppings- sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion or garlic, grated cheeses, kosher salt

Day 1

1. In a large bowl- stir the yeast and flour together. Add the water and stir until it gets nice and thick. It’ll create a thick- sticky batter.

2. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. The starter will expand and get all bubbly.

3. Add the additional yeast, salt and brown sugar to the bowl of starter and stir.

4. Now add 3 cups of flour and mix in the flour into the starter- forming stiff dough.

5. Add the additional 3/4 cups of flour and continue kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough passes a windowpane test. You can find out to do the windowpane test here. If it doesn’t pass the test- just continue kneading- work out your arms! I had to knead for almost 20-25 minutes to get to this point. I have awesome biceps 🙂  The dough should be fully hydrated- if it’s flaky- just add a few drops of water and continue kneading. The final dough should be satiny soft.

6.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray them lightly with oil. Break the dough into 12 equal pieces and create little balls/rolls and place them on the lined baking sheets. Cover with a damp towel. – Let them rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.

7. Next- using your fingers, poke a hole in the middle of each roll and stretch to 2-2.5 inches wide to get your pretty little bagel shape. Place each bagel back onto the lined baking sheet and spray lightly with oil once all the rolls have been hole-ified. Cover with saran wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.

8. Now it’s time for the awesome float test. Fill a small saucepan 3/4 way up with water. Now place one of the bagels into the water- it should come up and float under 10 seconds. If the bagels doesn’t float under 10 seconds then take the tester bagel and pat it dry and return it to the saran wrap covered baking sheet. Let it rest for 10-20 more minutes and try again. Once the tester bagel floats – put the bagels into the refrigerator overnight. You can keep them in there for up to 2 days.

Day 2

1. Pre heat your oven to 500 F. 

2. Boil large wide mouthed pot of water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

3. Take the bagels out of the fridge and drop 1-3 bagels (or however many can fit into your pot without overcrowding) into the boiling water. Boil for 1 minutes on each side- I boiled them for 2 minutes on each side because I like my bagels chewy.

Before Boiling the Bagels

4. On the baking sheets – add new parchment paper and lightly spray them with oil and sprinkle with semolina flour. This prevents the bagels from sticking.

5. Use a slotted spoon and remove the bagels once they are done and lay them onto the floured baking sheet. At this moment add your toppings while the bagels are still wet. Continue with steps 3-5 until all the bagels are topped and ready to go.

After boiling them-add toppings!

6. Place your oven racks in the middle two slots of your oven- place one baking sheet on each rack and bake for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes switch the two sheets and rotate 180 degrees. Now lower your oven temperature to 450 F. Bake for 5 minutes or until your bagels are the right golden color you want them to be.

7. Cool your bagels on a rack for 15-20 minutes before enjoying!


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