Homemade Bagels

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min.


1 dozen

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
I always wanted to make my own bagels, so I searched to find a bagel recipe I could try. For variation and flavor, I sometimes add cinnamon and raisins or honey and sesame seeds to the dough.
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  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sesame or poppy seeds, optional


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk; mix well. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Shape into 12 balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-1/2-in. hole. Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring. Place on a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes; flatten bagels slightly.
  4. Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil. Drop bagels, 2 at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Homemade Bagel Tips

How do you make bagels fluffy?

The key to making fluffy bagels is to avoid overboiling. Doing so will cause them to sink and lose the air you incorporated during the rise. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Learn how to make homemade bagels!

How do you make plain bagels taste better?

You can make plain bagels taste even better by adding toppings. Once your bagels are boiled, top with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or everything bagel seasoning. Don't forget to add a spread on top like garlic-herb bagel spread, cranberry cream cheese spread or a smoked salmon cheese spread.

Do you have to boil bagels?

Boiling bagels gives them that distinct chewy exterior. Plain water will do the job, but you can also add barley syrup to the water for a slightly darker colored bagel. Some people add baking soda, lye or sodium carbonate for a more pretzel-type crust.

How do you make bagel toppings stick?

Most toppings will stick to the moisture of a just-boiled bagel, but you can also brush the tops with beaten egg white.

Can I make bagel dough the night before?

Yes, you can make bagel dough the night before! Shape the dough into rings; place in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. In the morning, boil the bagels as directed. Try whipping up these other homemade bagel recipes the night before, too.

Nutrition Facts

1 bagel: 237 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 271mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.