Homemade Bagels

Freshly Baked Bagels

I taught a class last week on making bagels. It was a lot of fun. I think people were surprised on how easy the are to make. The chewy texture in bagels comes from boiling the bagels before baking them.

Bagel History

Bagels began in Austria when a baker in Vienna in 1683 wanted to honor the visiting president of Poland. He created a roll that was round, or shaped like the stirrup on the King’s saddle. The new creation was called beugel, which was a variation of the German word for stirrup. Over time the word evolved into bagel. Because they were made with white flour, everyone, other than the rich considered bagels a special treat for special occasions. Today bagels are found in almost every grocery store throughout the country.

Lox and Cream Cheese

Probably the most traditional way to top a bagel. A toasted bagel is spread with cream cheese and then a few thin slices of lox (salt cured salmon). Some people like to also add thin slices of sweet onion. I do. I also like to add a few capers. Years ago this became a tradition in my family. My niece and I always have bagels with lox on Thanksgiving morning.


4 ½ -5 c. flour, bread flour preferred

3 T. sugar

1 T. salt

2 pkgs. Yeast


2 t. butter

1 T. sugar

2 t. salt

1 egg white

Mix 1½ cups flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-tablespoon salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Heat 1½-cup water with butter and add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add ½ c. flour and beat 1 minute. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Set in greased bowl and turn to grease top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place 1 hour. Punch dough down cover and let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces and form into smooth balls. Cover with towel and let rest 10 minutes. In large skillet heat 1 inch of water to a simmer. Add remaining sugar and salt to water. With floured finger poke a hole in the center of three of the dough balls. Drop into simmering water cooking 3 minutes. Turn over and cook 2 minutes. Turn to first side and simmer 1 more minute. Remove to greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Mix egg white with 1 tablespoon of water and brush tops of bagels. Sprinkle with seeds if desired. Bake in a 375 –degree oven for 20 –25 minutes. Makes 12.

Note: if you want a chewier bagel, you can boil them an extra minute per side.

Cinnamon-Raisin: Add 1-2 T. cinnamon to flour/yeast mixture. Add ½ cup raisins when you start to knead dough.

Everything Bagel Seasoning

Poppy Seeds

White Sesame Seeds

Black Sesame Seeds

Minced Dried Garlic

Minced Dried Onion

Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt

Combine equal amounts of each ingredient.

Dough balls resting
Ready to boil
Boiling time
With cream cheese, lox, sweet onion and capers.

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