homemade bagels bagels bagels

Unleash Your Inner Baker with Homemade Bagels

Are you ready to embark on a baking adventure that will fill your kitchen with the irresistible aroma of freshly baked bagels? With our homemade bagel recipe, you can become a master baker and create authentic bagels bursting with flavor and texture. Say goodbye to store-bought bagels and hello to the satisfaction of making your own.

There’s something truly special about sinking your teeth into a homemade bagel. The thin, shiny crust and dense, chewy interior are the hallmarks of a great bagel, and with our traditional recipe, you’ll achieve that perfect balance every time.

But don’t limit yourself to plain bagels. With our recipe as a starting point, you can experiment with a variety of flavors and fillings. From classic options like cinnamon raisin and blueberry to more adventurous combinations like jalapeno-cheddar, the possibilities are endless. Let your creativity run wild as you unleash your inner baker.

The Keys to Making Excellent Bagels:

  • Homemade bagels allow you to create authentic flavors and textures.
  • Experiment with different flavors and fillings to customize your bagels.
  • Our recipe provides the perfect starting point for your bagel-making journey.
  • Enjoy the satisfaction of making your own bagels at home.
  • Unleash your creativity and discover the joy of homemade bagels.

The Art of Bagel-Making: Key Ingredients and Techniques

When it comes to making authentic bagels, understanding the key ingredients and techniques is essential to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Let’s explore the three main elements that contribute to the art of bagel-making: high-gluten flour, barley malt syrup, and non-diastatic malt powder.

High-gluten flour is a crucial ingredient in bagel dough as it provides the necessary elasticity and chewiness. With a higher protein level than regular bread flour, it helps create the characteristic dense and chewy interior that bagels are known for. It’s important to use high-gluten flour to ensure the bagels have the right texture.

Barley malt syrup is another key ingredient that adds flavor and enhances the crust of the bagels. It also helps release the natural sugars in the flour, resulting in that classic old-school bagel shop taste. Adding barley malt syrup to the dough gives the bagels a rich and distinct flavor that sets them apart from regular bread.

To achieve the signature shiny exterior and golden brown color of bagels, non-diastatic malt powder is used. This specialty ingredient is added to the water bath before boiling the bagels. It helps create a glossy finish and aids in the browning process during baking. Non-diastatic malt powder is an essential component for achieving that authentic bagel appearance.

While these key ingredients may seem specialized, they are readily available from suppliers like King Arthur Flour. However, if you can’t find them, you can use substitutes. Bread flour can replace high-gluten flour, while honey or light brown sugar can be used instead of barley malt syrup. These substitutes will still yield delicious homemade bagels, although the texture and flavor may differ slightly.

The Importance of High-Gluten Flour

High-gluten flour, with its elevated protein level, is key to achieving the desired chewiness and elasticity in bagels. Using this specialized flour ensures a dense and satisfying texture that sets bagels apart from other bread varieties.

Enhancing Flavor with Barley Malt Syrup

Barley malt syrup not only adds a unique and rich flavor to bagels but also enhances the crust. By releasing the natural sugars in the flour, it contributes to a distinct taste that replicates the classic bagel shop experience.

Achieving the Perfect Bagel Appearance

Non-diastatic malt powder plays a vital role in creating the shiny exterior and golden brown color of bagels. Its addition to the water bath before boiling ensures that the bagels develop a glossy finish and achieve that characteristic appearance.

The Process of Making Authentic Bagels

When it comes to making authentic bagels, there are several stages and specialized techniques involved. Understanding the process will help you achieve the perfect homemade bagels that have the characteristic thin, shiny crust and dense, chewy interior. Let’s dive into the steps:

1. Sponge:

The first step in making bagels is preparing a sponge. This mixture of flour, yeast, and water ferments at room temperature until it becomes bubbly and foamy. The sponge adds flavor and contributes to the texture of the bagels. It’s a crucial stage that allows the dough to develop complexity.

2. Overnight Refrigeration:

After combining the sponge with additional dough ingredients like yeast, flour, salt, and barley malt syrup, the dough needs to rest. It is then shaped into bagels using either the thumb poke or rope method. The shaped bagels are then refrigerated overnight, which helps develop flavor and texture.

3. Shaping:

Shaping the bagels is an important step that determines their final appearance. The thumb poke method involves poking a hole through the center of a dough ball and stretching it to the desired size. The rope method involves rolling a piece of dough into a long rope and then forming a circle, overlapping the ends to create a seamless bagel shape.

4. Water Bath and Baking:

After shaping, the bagels are given a water bath. This bath typically contains sugar and non-diastatic malt powder, which give the bagels their characteristic chewy crust and shiny exterior. The bagels are boiled for a brief period before being transferred to a hot oven for baking. Baking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the bagels, but they should be baked until golden brown.

By following these steps and techniques, you can achieve the authentic bagel experience right in your own kitchen. Now that you have a better understanding of the process, you’re ready to unleash your inner baker and enjoy the delicious results.

Authentic Bagels

Table: Bagel Shaping Methods

Bagel Shaping MethodDescription
Thumb Poke MethodThis method involves poking a hole through the center of a dough ball and stretching it to the desired size. It creates a classic bagel shape with a consistent hole size.
Rope MethodThe rope method involves rolling a piece of dough into a long rope and then forming a circle by overlapping the ends. This method allows for experimentation with different sizes and shapes.

Freshly Baked Bagels: Storage and Serving Suggestions

After putting in the time and effort to make homemade bagels, you’ll want to make sure they stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible. Here are some tips for storing and serving your freshly baked bagels.

Shelf Life

Freshly baked bagels are best enjoyed within the first day or two. Their texture and flavor are at their peak during this time. However, if you have leftovers or want to make a batch ahead of time, you can store the bagels in different ways to extend their shelf life.


To keep your bagels fresh for up to 2 days, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. This will help maintain their texture and prevent them from drying out.

If you need to store the bagels for longer, you can place them in the refrigerator. Simply put them in a resealable plastic bag or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil to prevent them from absorbing any odors. Bagels can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

For even longer storage, you can freeze your bagels. Individually wrap each bagel in aluminum foil and place them in a resealable freezer bag. Bagels can be frozen for up to 1 month without compromising their taste and texture.


To enjoy your stored or frozen bagels, you’ll need to reheat them. The easiest way is to simply slice the bagel in half and toast it. This will help restore the crispy exterior and warm the chewy interior.

If you want a more authentic texture, you can warm the bagels in the oven or toaster oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) and place the sliced bagels directly on the oven rack or a baking sheet for about 5 minutes. This method will give you a slightly crustier exterior.

Now that you know how to properly store and reheat your bagels, you can enjoy them any time you want, whether they’re fresh out of the oven or stored for later enjoyment.

Storage MethodShelf Life
Room TemperatureUp to 2 days
RefrigeratorUp to 5 days
FreezerUp to 1 month

Bagel Varieties: Beyond Plain

When it comes to bagels, there’s a world of flavors and fillings to explore beyond the classic plain variety. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or savory, there’s a bagel flavor for every taste bud. From asiago and blueberry to cinnamon raisin and jalapeno-cheddar, these variations offer a delightful twist on the traditional bagel experience.

1. Asiago Bagels

Asiago bagels are a savory delight, featuring the rich and nutty flavor of asiago cheese baked right into the dough. These cheesy bagels pair perfectly with cream cheese and make a delicious base for breakfast sandwiches or toasted for a snack.

2. Blueberry Bagels

For a touch of sweetness, blueberry bagels are a popular choice. Packed with juicy blueberries, these bagels offer a burst of fruity flavor in every bite. Toast them and spread on some butter or cream cheese for a delightful morning treat.

3. Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Cinnamon raisin bagels bring together the warm spice of cinnamon and the natural sweetness of plump raisins. Toasted and spread with a generous amount of cream cheese, these bagels are a comforting and satisfying breakfast option.

4. Egg Bagels

Egg bagels are known for their rich and slightly eggy taste. With a shiny golden exterior and a soft, chewy interior, these bagels are perfect for a breakfast sandwich or topped with your favorite deli meats and cheeses.

5. Everything Bagels

Everything bagels are a flavorful combination of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion, and salt. The mix of savory flavors creates a bagel that’s bursting with taste. They’re versatile and can be enjoyed on their own or as a base for a variety of sandwich creations.

6. Jalapeno-Cheddar Bagels

Jalapeno-cheddar bagels offer a spicy kick and a cheesy taste. Packed with bits of jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese, these bagels add a bold and flavorful twist to your morning routine.

7. Poppy Seed Bagels

Poppy seed bagels are a classic choice for bagel enthusiasts. The tiny black seeds add a pleasant crunch and a subtle nutty flavor to the dough. These bagels are delicious on their own or topped with cream cheese.

8. Sesame Seed Bagels

Sesame seed bagels are another popular option. The combination of the slightly sweet bagel dough and the nutty flavor of sesame seeds creates a delightful taste sensation. Toast them and enjoy with your favorite spreads or fillings.

9. Sourdough Bagels

Sourdough bagels offer a tangy twist on the traditional bagel flavor. Made with a sourdough starter, these bagels have a distinctive taste that pairs well with both sweet and savory toppings.

With such a wide range of bagel flavors to choose from, your homemade bagel creations can be as unique and delicious as you desire. Whether you prefer the savory goodness of asiago or jalapeno-cheddar, or the sweet indulgence of blueberry or cinnamon raisin, these flavored bagels will elevate your breakfast or snack time. So go ahead and explore the world of bagel flavors – you’re sure to discover a new favorite!

Tips and Tricks for Bagel Success

Achieving the perfect homemade bagels requires attention to detail and a few tricks of the trade. Here are some key tips to help you master the art of bagel-making:

The Windowpane Test

Use the windowpane test to check if your dough is properly hydrated and elastic. Take a small piece of dough and stretch it gently. If it forms a thin, translucent membrane without tearing, then your dough is ready for proofing.

Overnight Proofing

For the best flavor and texture, consider letting your bagel dough proof overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to develop more fully and gives the bagels a chewier texture. Simply cover the shaped bagels with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight before boiling and baking.

Shaping Techniques

Experiment with different shaping techniques to create unique bagel shapes. The thumb poke method involves poking a hole in the center of the dough ball with your thumb and stretching it out to create the bagel shape. The rope method involves rolling the dough into a long rope and then forming a circle, sealing the ends together.

Boiling Time

The boiling time is crucial for achieving the desired exterior texture of the bagels. Boil the bagels for about 30 seconds per side to give them a chewy crust while keeping the interior soft and fluffy.

Experiment with Toppings

Add a personal touch to your bagels by experimenting with different toppings. Classic choices include sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and everything bagel seasoning. You can also get creative with toppings like shredded cheese, minced garlic, or dried onion flakes. Let your taste buds guide you!

windowpane test

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of homemade bagels. Remember to be patient and have fun with the process. With practice, you’ll be able to create delicious bagels that rival those from your favorite bakery.


Making homemade bagels is a rewarding and delicious way to unleash your inner baker. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create authentic bagels with a variety of flavors and fillings. Whether you prefer plain bagels or more adventurous options like asiago or jalapeno-cheddar, the possibilities are endless.

By following bagel recipes and tips from trusted sources, you can enjoy fresh, homemade bagels that will impress your friends and family. Baking your own bagels allows you to customize the flavors and experiment with different toppings, giving you complete control over the final product.

So why not give it a try? Start your bagel-baking journey today and experience the joy of baking homemade bagels. From the first bite to the last, you’ll savor the satisfaction of a homemade treat that can’t be beat.


Can I use regular bread flour instead of high-gluten flour?

Yes, you can use bread flour as a substitute if high-gluten flour is not available.

Can I use honey or light brown sugar instead of barley malt syrup?

Yes, honey or light brown sugar can be used as substitutes for barley malt syrup.

Where can I purchase specialty ingredients like barley malt syrup and non-diastatic malt powder?

Specialty ingredients can be purchased from suppliers such as King Arthur Flour. However, substitutes like bread flour, honey, or light brown sugar can be used if necessary.

How long can freshly baked bagels be stored?

Freshly baked bagels are best enjoyed the day they are made or the following day. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Can bagels be frozen?

Yes, bagels can be frozen. Individually wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in a resealable freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 1 month.

How do I reheat bagels?

To reheat bagels, simply slice them in half and toast them. For a more authentic texture, you can warm them in the oven or toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes.

What flavors of bagels can I make?

You can make a variety of flavors including asiago, blueberry, cinnamon raisin, egg, everything, jalapeno-cheddar, poppy seed, sesame seed, and sourdough bagels.

What are some tips for making homemade bagels?

Some tips for bagel success include performing the windowpane test, overnight proofing the dough, using different shaping techniques, boiling the bagels briefly, and experimenting with different toppings.

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