Homemade Bagels

rate this recipe:
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves 8
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Note: this homemade bagel recipe requires overnight resting time, plus 1 hour to proof in the morning. We like to make the dough the night before, and boil and bake the final bagels in the morning.

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or barley malt syrup
  • 1 pkg. (¼-ounce) active dry yeast, (2¼ teaspoons)
  • cups warm water
  • 540 grams bread flour*
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

For the poaching water

  • tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon salt

For the toppings

Instructions

  • Prepare the dough: In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, yeast, and water, and proof for 5 minutes or until foamy.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, place the flour, salt, and the yeast mixture. Mix on medium-low speed for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough is well-formed around the hook. If the dough is very dry after 3 minutes, add 1 tablespoon water. (Note: I don't recommend mixing this dough without a stand mixer, it's a stiff dough that gets nice and smooth this way).
  • Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and barely tacky, then form into a ball and place into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough has risen (it may double in size or slightly less).
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, grease them very lightly with oil, and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a clean, unfloured, work surface and divide into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball by rolling on the countertop with a cupped hand. As you work with each piece through the next few steps, keep the dough that you’re not working with covered in plastic wrap.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the countertop. Take each dough ball and roll into a rope about 9 inches long. Place one hand palm up so that your four fingers are centered on top of the rope. Fold each side of the dough over your fingers, so that the ends overlap by about 2 inches. (see photo above). Holding the dough, turn your hand over and roll your hand on the countertop to seal the two ends together.
  • Place each finished piece onto a baking sheet. Dust the tops with a very slight amount of flour to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the pans from the fridge and let sit at room temp for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Place one bagel into a small bowl of water to make sure it floats. If it sinks, let the dough proof for an additional 30 minutes or until one floats.
  • Prepare the poaching water: In a large pot, bring two quarts of water to a boil with the maple syrup, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add 3 bagels (or as many that comfortably fit) to the pot, reducing the heat if the water starts to boil over. Boil for 1 minute per side. Transfer the bagels back to the baking sheet, flipping them over so the smooth side is on top. Repeat with remaining bagels.
  • Prepare the toppings: Beat the egg white and water together in a small bowl, if desired. Brush the bagels with the egg wash and sprinkle with the seasoning. Alternatively, you can skip the egg wash and dip the top of the bagel straight into the seasoning, but the egg wash helps the seasoning adhere better to the bagel.
  • Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Notes

*Note: I highly recommend weighing your flour for this recipe since it’s a high quantity of flour and measuring with measuring cups can often result in too much flour which will result in dry dough. The cup conversion is 4 1/3 cups, but I can't guarantee results without precisely weighed flour.
This recipe also works with (540 grams) all-purpose flour, they're just a bit less chewy than bagels made with bread flour.