There is nothing like a homemade bagel, dense and chewy, fresh from the oven. This recipe comes together in under two hours. If you are new to baking bagels and bread, I highly recommend you consult my Bagels Primer before beginning, and read this recipe over completely before starting so you know what to expect.
- Kitchen Scale, Slotted Spoon
- 6 g active dry yeast 2 tsp
- 19 g honey 4 1/2 tsp
- 300 g warm water 11/4 cups at about 95F
- 440 g bread flour 3 1/2 cups
- 10.5 g Diamond Crystal kosher salt See Notes, below.
- 7 g Diamond Crystal kosher salt 1 1/2 tsp. See Notes, below.
- 14 g baking soda 1 tbsp
- 28 g honey 1 1/2 tbsp
- large pot of water 2-3 quarts
- Measure all ingredients by weight, if possible, including the ingredients for the poaching water. Lightly oil a large bowl for the dough to rise in.
- Stir honey into 120 mL (1/2 cup) of warm water. Add yeast and let sit 5 minutes without stirring. Meanwhile, whisk salt and flour together in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir the yeast and honey mixture until the yeast dissolves, then add it to the flour and salt mixture. Add about 80 mL (1/3 cup) more water to the flour mixture, then stir everything together with a wooden spoon. If the mixture seems very dry, add water a bit at a time. You do not want to add too much water. The dough should be shaggy when you are done mixing. See the gallery below for an example.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and begin kneading it. See the Bagels Primer for instruction. Add a bit of flour, as needed, to prevent stickiness. Knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until it is no longer sticky. This can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.
- Shape the kneaded dough into a ball, then place it in the oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, then let it rise for about an hour or until at least doubled in size.
- When there is about 5-10 minutes left in the rising time, preheat your oven to 425F (220C). Fill your pot with water at least four inches deep, then set over a burner to come to a boil. Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and lightly oil the paper.
- When the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl. You may need to lightly flour your surface, but don't add too much flour; you want the dough to have some tackiness to roll it. Measure the total weight of the dough, then divide by 7 to determine the weight you need for each bagel. You will likely have a number in the range of about 113g. Cut the dough into 7 pieces, then measure each to arrive at the number you calculated, or close to it. (It doesn't have to be perfect, just within a few grams.) As you finish weighing each piece, roll it into a ball shape.
- To shape the bagels, use both hands to roll a ball of dough into a strand about 8-10 inches long. Wrap the strand around your hand and roll the ends together to form a circle shape. See the gallery below for an example. Place the bagel on the prepared baking sheet, then repeat the shaping for the remaining bagels. Let the shaped bagels sit for about ten minutes.
- When you are ready to boil the bagels, add the honey, salt, and baking soda to the water. Drop 3 or 4 bagels into the water and let them boil for one minute. (You may want to oil your parchment again in the spots vacated by the boiling bagels.) Flip the bagels with a slotted spoon, and let them boil for one more minutes. Flip them again, then remove each one from the water with a slotted spoon, shaking it gently to remove excess water, then placing it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all bagels are boiled.
- Top bagels with any toppings you might like, or leave them plain. Place them in the oven and bake for about 12-13 minutes or until they are golden brown. You can also test their doneness with a thermometer; if they have reached about 200F, they are done.
- Let the bagels cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then place them on a wire rack to cool completely. To freeze, sliced cooled bagels, then put them in freezer bags.