I have read, tried and tested many bagel recipes. This is what I came up with after trying out different ingredients and techniques over and over until I had a bagel that was chewy, crispy and tasted like a bagel and not just donut-shaped bread! I broke down the instructions so they are easy to follow with lots of detail, so don’t let the length scare you away! These are pretty easy to make and if you get up early you can have them for breakfast, but bagel sandwiches for lunch are good too! Go to my Instagram Bagel story for complete video documentation too! Happy Cooking!
Makes 8-12 bagels
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (or one packet)
1 ½ cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 Tbs sugar
4 cups flour (plus more for kneading)
2 Tbs wheat gluten
2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
6 qts or so water
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs sugar
- In a 2-cup measure, mix sugar into 1 ½ cup water to dissolve. Stir in the yeast and set aside in a warm place for the yeast. The yeast will become foamy and probably reach the 2-cup line. If it doesn’t, the yeast wasn’t good or the water wasn’t proper temperature. The water should feel warm to the touch, but not be steaming or hot. If you have any sort of kitchen thermometer use it, but it isn’t necessary.
- Whisk together flour, wheat gluten, sugar and salt.
- Add yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.
- Mix with a big spoon until you get a very rough dough. It may not stick together, but keep mixing.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead vigorously by hand for 12 minutes or about 10 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. The dough will be very stiff, but you need a longer knead time to get that gluten activated.
- When dough is pretty smooth and springs back slowly when poked with your fingertip, place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let sit in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours.
- Remove dough from bowl, it should be nicely puffed up, but not necessarily doubled in size. Divide dough into either 8 or twelve pieces. If you have a kitchen scale (I highly recommend along with a kitchen thermometer, for convenience but again, not necessary.) you can weight the pieces to try to get them all the same size.
- Roll each ball on the counter in your hand pressing the dough and the outside of a cupped hand into the counter top to roll into a nice ball. You might have to turn the dough under before starting so the dough is nicely tacky with no dry spots. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment. Repeat with all balls. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes place a big pot of water on the stove to boil and dissolve the sugars into the water. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Poke a hole in each ball with a finger dipped in flour and work and stretch the hole until it’s about the size of a quarter. I like to do all of this while keeping the dough on the parchment-lined pan not handling it too much.
- When the water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat so it’s above a simmer and place 3 bagels in the water. If they sink, gently nudge them with a slotted spoon. Simmer for 2 minutes on the first side them flip and simmer one minute more.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and if you have toppings now is the time to carefully dip the tops in a shallow bowl with topping – sesame seeds, everything bagel topping, cinnamon-sugar. Then return to baking sheet and repeat with all remaining bagels.
- When all bagels are boiled, bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden and you can tap on the top with your nail and they are hard and sound hollow.
- Immediately remove bagels from pan with a spatula and place on a rack to cool.
- Allow to cool for a bit before slicing and eating