When I say this Everything Bagel is everything, I mean it. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good bagel, and I figured since I wasn’t finding anything tasty in cafes or restaurants that I’d try making my own homemade bagels. Though intimidating at first, breaking down how to make bagels step-by-step is helpful and reassuring.
Interestingly, you boil bagels before you bake them. I wanted my bagels to be soft and chewy on the inside so I only boiled them for 45 seconds on each side. Use a timer when doing this so you don’t over-boil. I found making homemade bagels to be fairly manageable, which works out nicely since I’m tempted to make these every weekend.
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 package of active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Sesame seeds (white and/or black)
Dried garlic (minced or flaked)
Dried onion (minced or flaked)
Coarse grain sea salt
1. In a bowl, combine the water and sugar and stir to dissolve. Pour in the yeast and allow to sit for 6-8 minutes.
2. In a larger bowl, whisk together the bread flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Once the yeast mixture has had time to activate, pour it into the flour mixture until a crumbly dough forms.
4. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be pretty firm. You can knead by hand or in a stand mixer.
5. Place the dough in a lightly olive oiled bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.
6. Turn the dough out a few times on a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.
7. Shape each piece into a ball and press your thumb through the center to create a hole. Make this hole a little bigger so that when it boils and bakes it will be visible.
8. Once you have shaped the bagels, let them rest for 10 minutes with a damp paper towel covering them.
9. While the bagels are resting, boil a pot of water. After 10 minutes of resting, pop the bagels into the water (one by one or two at a time). The bagels should float in boiling water.
10. Let each bagel boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side. If you boil the bagels for a shorter amount of time, the bagels will rise in the oven and have a softer texture. If you boil them for longer, the bagel will have a denser interior. Remove bagels onto prepared baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
11. Whisk the egg plus one teaspoon of water together in a small bowl and brush mixture over each bagel. The egg wash will help the seeds stick and give them a nice brown sheen.
12. Add the seeds and salt! My order: caraway seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt. Be generous with how many seeds you put on each bagel.
13. Bake bagels for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.
14. Serve bagels warm with whipped cream cheese. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
The dough will be firm – at first I was worried that I had added too much flour or messed up the yeast ratio, but bagel dough is actually supposed to be less elastic than other breads. This makes it harder to knead, so focus less on working with your dough and more on making sure the ingredients are combined.
Using an egg wash (1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water) helps the goodies stick to the bagels. Don’t skimp on the seeds – the more the yummier!
Bake only for 20 minutes – for my bagels this was the perfect amount of time to ensure a crisp exterior and chewy interior.
Serve the bagels warm with whipped cream cheese and enjoy!
What type of bagel is your favorite?
Images and recipe by Lauren Jessen