Bagels – A DIY Recipe

Anyone for bagels?


On this weeks shopping trip I bypassed the bagels. These are a rare treat simply because once a pack is opened it will last for no more than a day. This is particularly annoying for a number of reasons but mainly because I always get multiple flavours which all get devoured on the same day.

Plain, sesame, cinnamon and raisin, onion – whatever the flavour I’m in. They are something of a guilty pleasure and admittedly if ever I’m in the Shoreditch area of London (which is frequently) I will make a special trip to Beigel Bake on Brick Lane for a fresh, authentic, and reminiscent of a New York bagel. Which partly explains why I can so easily walk past them the supermarket even when fresh ones are on display and letting off aromas of nostalgia in the bakery section. Yes, they may be good, but they just aren’t the same. So I set my creative mind to work,

This week, you will make bagels

I’d actually planned on doing this over the weekend as I have previously attempted bagel making and at the time I found it to be far from enjoyable, pretty time consuming and generally ardous. In retrospective and having just made a delicious batch to be proud of, I now realise that I just didn’t give them the attention they required at the time.

However despite it being June aka summertime, the weather of late has been dreadful and as our usual afternoon jaunt in the park got waylaid I had the time to dedicate to bagel making!


500g strong bread flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 sachet of yeast
4 tsp of sugar
300ml of warm water


  • Put the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar into half of the water and leave for around 10 mins until frothy before stirring.
  • Mix the flour and salt, putting a well into the middle.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the middle, following up with the remaining water.
  • Mix into a firm dough and knead for around 10 mins.
  • Oil the dough and cover for around 1 hour until double the size.
  • Once proved, punch the dough and knead once more.
  • Form into bagel shapes – I do this by dividing the dough and poking a whole into the middle, usually with the end of my wooden spoon.
  • Place the bagels onto an oiled surface and cover with a damp cloth for around 30 mins. I use this time to go other things in this kitchen, today it was to make roti which we will eat throughout the course of the week.
  • Fast forward 30 mins
  • Boil a pot of water and add the remaining sugar.
  • Place the bagels ( I can usually do 2 at a time) into the water and boil. Now here is the trick – the bagels will sink to the bottom of the pot and will gradually rise to the top. When at this point, turn them flip them over and boil for an additional 30secs – 1 min.
  • Remove and place onto a baking tray. If adding topping do so now!
  • It’s good to preheat the oven (220c) in the meantime, so that when the bagels are ready for baking they can go straight in.
  • Bake until golden brown and enjoy!

plain bagel

Once cooled I store mine in an airtight plastic container – they don’t last for very long though!

How do you like your bagels? I’ve since experimented with cinnamon and raisin bagels, onion and chives will probably be next!

Comments below…


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