I don’t know why I was scared to make bagels. I’ve made croissants, multiple times. It was the extra boiling stage that I’ve never done with a bread before. I didn’t realize how easy it was. How the bagel dough is easy to work with and if you follow the directions it does what it is supposed to do.

Bagel Balls

Bagel Balls

You make a sponge first:  throw  some yeast, high-gluten flour, and water together, stir, and let it rise for 2 hours on the counter. Then you throw in some more yeast, more flour, salt, and barley malt syrup and knead for 6 or 7 minutes (in stand mixer).  Once it’s ready, you turn it out on a work surface and form little bagel balls (I made the “mini” size which were 2 1/4 ounces and were still pretty big).

Formed Bagels

Formed Bagels

You let the bagel balls rest for 20 minutes and then form them into bagels by poking your thumb through the middle of the ball and stretching and rotating the bagel around your thumbs until the hole is a couple inches. You then let the bagels rest for 20 minutes.

The bagel float test

The bagel float test

After they’ve had their nap, you test the bagels to see if it is ready for “retarding” in the refrigerator overnight. You test the bagels by dropping one in water and if it floats right away, it is ready. My bagel floated right away. If it wasn’t ready, I would have let them rest some more and testing again.

Boiling bagels

Boiling bagels

After the the bagels have overnighted in the refrigerator, you take them out and bring a large pot of water to a boil. You add in some baking soda and then place the bagels in the boiling water, flipping them over after a minute or so.

Baked bagels

Baked bagels

Remove the boiled bagels to a prepared baking sheet and top if desired and then bake in the oven.I made plain bagels, salt bagels, cumin seed and salt bagels, cheese bagels, and everything bagels. My everything bagel mix consisted of: flax seeds, raw sunflower seeds, rolled oats, poppy seeds, and  natural sesame seeds.

Cheese bagel

Cheese bagel

The recipe I used comes from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. You can find an adapted recipe HERE.


I’m submitting this to Yeastspotting, a weekly round-up of yeasted goods and bread. This week YeastSpotting is hosted by Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte.

36 thoughts on “Bagels

  1. There is nothing more satisfying in them morning than a good bagel with cream cheese or lox. These look magnificent. What did you do with all the extra bagels!!

  2. See? These are 1000x easier than croissants. Not that croissants are too very difficult, they’re just a bit time consuming. Adorable baby bagels!

  3. You are a baking queen!
    Love the bagels. I have only made them once, 20 years ago, and they didn’t turn out… but I have grown since then so I am inspired to give them a second chance. Yours are lovely!

  4. Bagels have been on my list of things to make forever. And I’m not quite sure why I’m hesitating… this is definitely inspiring!
    Awesome pictures- I like how you showed a step-by-step.

  5. I tried making bagels once.


    And I haven’t tried again.

    However, I did try the sweet quinoa recipe you posted yesterday – it was so delicious!

  6. tes bagels sont super réussis et bien dodus ! j’adore ça ! j’aime les servir avec des garnitures inusitées ( autres que saumon et fromage à la crème ).

  7. You are so impressive! Croissants and these fabulous bagels? I’ve never tried bagels. I’m not sure what I’m afraid of but you make it sound so easy maybe I’ll finally give it a go!

  8. I worked making bagels all through college and haven’t made them since! But lately, I’ve been thinking about making them, now especially after seeing your little babies. I’m afraid I might go back to make several hundred at a time by force of habit!

  9. Great post – and absolutely beautiful bagels!! I have that same Reinhart recipe all bookmarked and ready to make – hope to get to them in the next 2 weeks. I also want to try the whole wheat version in his whole grains cookbook. He’s my bread-author obsession! I’ve made several of his recipes but they’re stuck in my backlog of posts!

  10. These look great. I haven’t quite felt confident enough to give bagels a try, but you make me want to try it asap.

  11. I love making bagels. Yours look terrific! I’ve been meaning to try PR’s recipe, but haven’t gotten there yet. I love salt bagels but only make a couple that way in each batch, since they get soggy after a day or so.

  12. The floating test is new for me, but I will try this the next time I bake bagels.
    Your bagels are looking so good, I think, that I will do some in very near future 😉

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