Basic Bagel Recipe

Author Becky's Mindful Kitchen


  • 3 1/2-4 c bread flour or all purpose flour or 1:1 GF flour (bob's red mill works best of all that I have tried)
  • 1 packet yeast (can be instant or active)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 T sugar (add extra 1T for GF version)
  • 1 1/4-1/2 c warm water
  • Olive oil or melted butter or egg wash
  • 1.5 T Olive oil or melted butter for GF version only
  • Favorite toppings!


  • In a small bowl add in 3/4c warm water, sugar and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes before stirring.  In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl, combine dry ingredients and then add in the yeast mixture and remaining water.  Mix well to form a dough ball.  
    Knead for 10-12 minutes by hand or 8 minutes with a dough hook to form a firm dough ball. Let rise covered with a damp towel in a buttered bowl for 1 hour until dough has doubled.
     Punch down and let set for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into equal pieces.  I normally do 8-10 pieces and will sometimes use a scale if I'm feeling the need for some control in my life.  
    Roll each piece until it becomes a smooth ball.  I read on another website a technique which works well,  use the palm of your hand to firmly press down on the dough while moving in a circle and slowly releasing pressure as it forms into a ball.  Using your finger create a hole in the middle, stretching it to form a ring of dough.  
    Let sit for 10 minutes under a damp cloth.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Boil water (optional- a few T of molasses can be added to the water) in large pot/s (I normally have two pots going) and slightly reduce heat while boiling bagels 1-2 minutes per side.  2 minutes equals a chewier bagel.  I found just over a minute was the sweet spot for the bagels to not be too chewy the next day.  If you are going to top your bagels, use an egg was of one egg and 1 T water to help the topping stick.  I like to brush mine with melted butter or olive oil.
    GF INSTRUCTIONS: Do everything the same but only knead dough until it comes together in a nice ball- no need to knead (hehe) for as long as there isn't any gluten to activate.
    Bake on parchment paper for ~20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Different Variations

  • If you want to add chocolate chips or blueberries- add them to the flour- I toss my blueberries in flour first to help keep them from sinking.
    I will sometimes increase the sugar when doing cinnamon sugar bagels or really any sweet bagel- and add probably 1T of cinnamon. I also do a crumble topping on those bagels or just add a lot of sugar and cinnamon on top to make a crunchy caramelized sugar topping.
    Herbs and spices I add with the flour- my rule is: if I can't smell the seasoning, I won't be able to taste it.


If you are going to freeze the bagels, slice before freezing. 
For asiago, cinnamon crunch and other bagels like that, skip making the hole and cover the entire top of the bagel before baking. 
You can add cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips, etc to the dough in the first steps of mixing the dry ingredients.  The same goes for herbs and other ingredients such as rosemary, thyme, basil, sundried tomatoes...
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