The best easy bagel recipe
This super easy bagel recipe makes the most delicious chewy bagels in less than 60 minutes. No fancy tools or techniques required.
Top these bagels with anything you want like cheese, everything bagel seasoning or parmesan and herbs! The flavor options are endless with this ONE easy bagel recipe.
What ingredients do you need to make easy bagels?
There isn't a lot to making bagels. So there's no reason to be nervous! Check the notes at the bottom of the recipe card for substitutions.
Bread flour - Higher in gluten and produces a great chewy bagel. You can also use all-purpose flour if that is all you have. They will still be great!
Warm Water - Activates the yeast and activates the gluten in the flour. Your water should be 110ºF- 115ºF. We're using water instead of milk so that our bread has less fat in it which makes the bread chewier.
Sugar - Just a little bit of sugar helps the yeast to grow well without making the dough sweet.
Olive oil - gives the bagels wonderful flavor and helps them to stay soft.
Instant Yeast - gives our bagels flavor and makes them rise! You can also use active dry yeast, see notes at the bottom of the recipe.
Salt - Gives our bagels flavor. Very important in bread making. Make sure you don't add your salt to your flour until the flour has mixed with the hot water and sugar or it can stop your yeast from growing.
Toppings - The best thing about making your own bagels is choosing your toppings! Cheese, herbs, poppy seeds... the options are endless! Just brush your bagels with egg wash first and then get to topping!
What kind of yeast is best for making easy bagels?
I love this bagel recipe, it's very similar to my easy bread recipe except there's a little less oil and sugar so the dough is chewier.
I'm using saf-instant yeast to make these bagels so that they rise really fast. Instant yeast is similar to active dry yeast but it works much faster.
If you don't have instant yeast, don't worry! You can still use this recipe. Follow all the directions for mixing exactly the same way but you will need to let your bagel dough proof for 90 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
You will also have to let them proof for a bit longer after you shape the bagels if you're using active dry yeast. About 20 minutes instead of 10.
How to make easy bagel dough
Making the bagel dough could not be easier. No need to bloom the yeast because we are making a lean dough which means there isn't much fat in the recipe. Fat (eggs, butter, oil) can inhibit yeast from working which is why we bloom yeast in recipes like sweet dough.
Place the oil in the hot water with the sugar and set it aside.
Place your flour and yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached and let it mix for 5 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly.
Then add in your hot water mixture while mixing on low. The hot water activates the yeast and moistens the flour. Mix for 30 seconds.
Now sprinkle in your salt while mixing on low. We add the salt after the yeast has been activated because salt can also get in the way of yeast growing.
If your dough looks too wet, you can add in a couple of tablespoons of flour.
If the dough looks too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water. The dough should look rough and sticky and sticking to the bowl at first.
Now all you have to do is let the dough mix on medium-high speed for 6 minutes. (speed 4 on the KitchenAid, speed 2 on the bosch).
You will know the dough is ready when it passes these two tests.
- Poke the dough, does it bounce back? That is a good sign the gluten has developed enough and the dough is ready.
- Take a small piece of the dough and stretch it between your fingers carefully. Can you make a thin sheet of dough that you can almost see through (a window)? Then the dough is definitely ready.
How to shape bagels the easy way
Shaping bagels can seem tricky but let me show you how I make mine.
- First, divide your dough into 24 equal pieces. You can just eyeball this or use a scale to weigh your dough out into 2 oz pieces. If you want your bagels to be bigger, divide the dough into 18 equal pieces.
- Fold all the rough edges to the underside to form a rough dough ball.
- Cup the dough ball under your hand and roll it in a circle against the table to form a smooth ball. Let the dough rest while you form the rest of the balls.
- Poke a hole in the center of the dough and stretch the hole so it's about 2" wide.
- Set the bagels aside to rest 10 minutes while you prepare your water.
Don't worry if your bagels don't look perfect. These are homemade! They will taste delicious.
Making the hole in the center of the bagel was my daughters favorite part. It's a great job for little kids so they can feel like they are helping.
How to make homemade bagels chewy
The secret to chewy bagels is actually boiling them in water before baking them.
But it's true. Bagels are typically boiled in salted water for 30 seconds on each side and then baked. They can even be boiled for up to a minute on each side. The longer they boil, the thicker and chewier the crust of the bagel will be.
After boiling your bagels, scoop them out of the hot water with a slotted spoon or fancy gravy whisk like I have here.
Let the bagels drain for a few seconds then place them onto a parchment covered sheet pan with some cornflour sprinkled on top. The cornflour just keeps the bagels from sticking to the parchment.
You can also bake them on silicone mats.
What are some easy bagel toppings?
Before you pop those bagels into the oven, make sure you brush them with egg wash (one egg whisked with one tablespoon water).
Then you can top your bagels with whatever toppings you like!
I decided to put some shredded cheese on three of my bagels
Italian herbs and shredded parmesan Reggiano on three more
Then I, of course, had to make everything bagels because they are my favorite. I had some on hand but you can also make your own everything bagel seasoning!
The last three I left plain so I could toast them for my breakfast sandwich in the morning!
These bagels where absolutely amazing fresh out of the oven but will last for about 3 days at room temperature in a ziplock bag. That is if you can stop yourself from eating them all.
More bread ideas to make
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- 30 ounces bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 14 grams instant yeast or active dry (see notes below recipe)
- 16 ounces warm water (110ºF)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Heat your water to 110º-115ºF. Combine the water with the sugar and oil and set aside
- Place your flour and yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Mix for 5 seconds to distribute the yeast.
- Pour in your hot water mixture while mixing on low, just until everything is moistened.
- Sprinkle in your salt.
- Increase the speed to medium-high (speed 4 on a kitchenaid, speed 2 on the bosch) and mix for 6 minutes. If your dough is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water until the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. If it's too wet, sprinkle in a little flour.
- Poke the dough, does it bounce back? The dough is ready to proof. You can also do the window test (see blog post). If the dough isn't ready, mix for another two minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough proof for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. (proof 90 minutes if you're using active dry yeast).
- Divide your dough into 24 equal sized pieces (or use a scale to make 2oz pieces). If you want your bagels to be bigger, divide into 18 equal pieces.
- Shape your bagels into a ball and then poke a hole through the center. Stretch the hole to about 2" wide and set the bagel aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add in 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper. Sprinkle a good amount of corn flour (semolina) on top. This prevents the bagels from sticking.
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF
- Place your bagels into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds on each side then drain with a slotted spoon before placing onto the parchment paper.
- Whisk together the egg and water. Brush all your bagels with egg wash using a pastry brush and sprinkle on your desired toppings
- Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes
- To proof bread, I turn my oven on to 170ºF and open the door then place my dough on the door near the opening of the oven to proof, not INSIDE the oven.
- If you don't have instant yeast your can use regular active yeast but it will take longer to proof. You don't need to change the amount of yeast.
1. Let your dough proof for 90 minutes or until it doubles in size
2. Divide the dough, shape, brush with egg wash, let rest for 20 minutes before baking.
- You can replace half the white flour with wheat flour for whole wheat bagels
- You can use melted butter instead of oil or any other kind of oil that you like