Homemade Bagels

Bagels from ScratchPhew.  What. A. Weekend.  To celebrate the last weekend in my 20’s, we went to Vegas.  And it was awesome.  Between eating at Giada De Laurentiis new restaurant and having front row seats to see the Cirque del Soleil LOVE show at the Mirage, we had a phenomenal time with 10 of our favorite people.  It was the perfect way to say goodbye to one decade and welcome another. So while we were there, I (as I always do) perused through the hotel guest room directory.  Having been the Assistant GM at a hotel in Vail, CO, I still see / like to notice certain things about hotels.  One thing that caught my eye this weekend was the room service menu. And the fact that a bagel, ONE bagel with butter or cream cheese was NINE DOLLARS.  Nine!  Just ONE!  You could buy over a dozen for $9 anywhere else!  I found it extremely comical as well as sad.  Then I realized, I wanted one. I wanted a bagel.  Me, the person who hasn’t eaten a bagel in at least the past few years and I don’t think since Dan and I have lived together we’ve ever had them in the house, wanted one.  Even though I never buy them, this stupid $9 bagel at the Westgate Hotel in Vegas made me want a freakin’ bagel.  But I wasn’t about to pay $9 for one.  Instead, they were the first thing I made when we got home.


Turns out, they’re actually kind of easy.  They’re like making any other delicious bread.  First, I mixed 2 cups of water with yeast and sugar.

IMG_7661I let that foam and activate and then I slowly added 4 cups of all purpose flour into the mixer until it all came together. It ended up being half all purpose and about half bread flour because that’s what I had and I didn’t feel like going to the store.

Bagels from ScratchThen, I took the dough out of the mixing bowl and plopped it onto a floured surface.  I added another half a cup of flour and kneaded out the dough, then added another half a cup and kneaded some more until it came together into a slightly stiff dough.

IMG_7665Into a greased bowl and covered, I let the little dough do it’s rising thing for an hour. Which ended up turning into more than just one because I left to go to an eye doctor appointment thinking I was all clever and that my dough would rise while I was gone being reminded of how blind I am without my contacts.  But then on my way home, because I was so cocky and proud of myself in how productive I was being on my day off, I ended up blowing up a tire and had to get towed to a tire place where I ended up replacing all of my tires because we’d been planning on doing so in January anyway.  So, the hour turned into a much more expensive 3 hours…

Bagels from ScratchOnce I finally got home from my fiasco of a morning, I punched down the dough and broke off 12 pieces that weighed out to be between 2.5 and 3.5 oz.  Then I rolled them out into little logs…

Bagels from Scratch… and did my best at making them into little rings by connecting the two ends of the log.  This was harder than it looked and took me an embarrassingly long time to complete, especially given how bad most of my little rings ended up.

Bagels from ScratchSee?  Pretty bad. Barely resembling bagels, even.

Bagels from ScratchSo, I just threw a towel over them to let them do their final rest / kinda rise and hoped that when they were done they’d resemble bagels more.

Bagels from ScratchThey didn’t.

Bagels from ScratchOh well.  Next, I’d brought a pot of water to boil with a tablespoon of sugar and then started par-boiling the little misshapen bagels. Bagels from ScratchI flipped them around in the water for about 60 seconds.

Bagels from ScratchThen, for half of them, I dipped the tops of them in some raw sesame seeds.

Bagels from ScratchJust half though.  The rest I wanted to be plain.

Bagels from ScratchThen into the oven for about 30 minutes at 400°,

Bagels from Scratch

and we had ourselves sesame seed and plain bagels!Bagels from ScratchSeriously, I cannot remember the last time I had a bagel, but these are so. freaking. good.

Bagels from ScratchRight out of the oven with some butter?  Yuuummm.  Despite not having the signature bagel hole (oops), they still had the signature slightly sweet, chewy middle with the smooth denser, but still soft outer layer.

Bagels from ScratchThey may not look like bagels, but damn do they taste like bagels.

Bagels from ScratchEven better, we have some sesame seed bagels too!  A dozen bagels for pennies on the dollar for what you’d spend at any store!

Bagels from Scratch
Yields 12
Homemade Bagels!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 26 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 26 min
  1. 2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
  2. 2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
  3. 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  4. 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 2 teaspoons salt
  6. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  7. Optional Toppings:  sesame seeds, poppy seeds, any of your other favorite bagel toppings
  1. Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.
  2. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)
  3. Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Grease a baking sheet with oil.
  7. In a large, heavy pot, bring a large pot of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Dip the bagel tops in desired toppings. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. [/recipe]
Served From Scratch http://www.servedfromscratch.com/
  • Now you’ve won my heart, I have been obsessed with bagels since 14 years old and it’s somewhat of a joke in my family. I once lived on bagels, apples and frozen yogurt. Life without bagels is not worth living. Ok, that last comment wasn’t serious, but happy belated birthday you young gun!!! Sounds like a wonderful, even if expensive, trip and I am FOR SURE making these bagels. They look dense and chewy just like I like them!

    • Thanks, Sue!! 😀 Bagels, apples, and frozen yogurt – there’s a good balance there of carbs fruit and dairy! Haha! You should definitely try these- they’ve made me realize I’ve been seriouslyl missing out on more bagels in my life!

  • Soooooooo… last night I was looking at some mini bagels that we have on the counter thinking, “that’d be a cool blog post, I wonder how you make bagels. Wonder if it’s hard. I bet it’s hard. Tracy should make bagels.”- Next day, homemade bagels post. Creeepppyyyyy. (Oh, and PS, I just ate a bagel.)

  • Funny – just as I had decided to make some for tomorrow! I have a recipe where you need to rest them overnight, which gives them a more sour flavour. But yours look lovely! Who cares about the hole in the middle, anyway!
    Happy Birthday!

    • Thank you, Ginger! Oooh thats a great idea… I think I’ll have to take inspiration from that and use some of our sourdough starter for the next batch! 🙂

  • How funny, the first thing that catches my eye on your site is something I have been wondering how to make myself recently. These look great! I never would have thought of putting them in water first – does that help lighten them up? Must give them a try.

    • That’s great! Thanks so much for stopping by, Caroline! The boiling before baking gives the bagels their signature chewy crust and denser middle 🙂

  • When you added the additional 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time and then kneaded until no longer sticky–why didn’t you continue to do all of that in the stand mixer, instead of by hand? Seems that would have been so much easier and quicker, especially since the dough was already in the stand mixer.

    • That’s a good question, Susan. And the only answer I have is, “Because Emeril said so,” But my guess would be because by hand you can really tell wheb it’s no longer sticky faster and you’ll have a better feel for how much flour to use. With that said, now I’ll prob try it in the mixer next time so save time! 😉

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