Fresh Homemade Bagels

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Fresh Mini Homemade Bagels

I’ve been sick since Monday. Being sick is not fun. Just when I think things cannot get worse, they do and I feel worse. Yesterday evening I felt like death and I was really tempted to go to the emergency room to get some hardcore codeine laced cough syrup. Luckily, I was too weak and tired plus it hurt to talk and no one could really hear my whispers anyways. On the bright side, I had a good night’s rest, so that tells me I am on the mend. Oh, also, I have successfully gone through two entire kleenex boxes all by myself. If that doesn’t tell you how sick I was, then I don’t know what will.

Now, moving on. Remember in THIS post how I mentioned I was on a ‘making everything from scratch’ kick? Well, here’s something else I made this week before I felt like digging my own grave. Fresh mini bagels made from scratch in my very own kitchen! How about that! Aren’t they cute? I’ve always wanted to learn how to make different breads from scratch because I feel like a super mom and really really domestic. I also am addicted to the smell of yeast. But that’s a different story.

Fresh Mini Homemade Bagels

This recipe today comes from Peter Reinhart via Smitten Kitchen. If you’ve never been over to Deb’s site, I would highly recommend it. I love love love it. For this particular recipe, I found and used Barley Malt Powder or ‘malt extract’ {what they called it at the beer store}. If you can’t find that, then malt or barley syrup, brown sugar, or honey are acceptable alternatives. I couldn’t find high gluten flour in this small town of mine, so I used bread flour. Overall, these were really delicious lightly toasted with butter and tasted like a bagel. Shocking, I know. Not the best I ever tasted, but if I had that darn flour, I bet they would have been even better. The joys of living in a small town.

Anyways, if you have some time on your hands, I would recommend making these. They make your kitchen smell wonderful and working with dough seems to be therapeutic. At least for me, it was. So, without further ado, here is the recipe!

Homemade Bagels

These Homemade Bagels are a delicious treat. Try them lightly toasted with butter for breakfast, lunch or a snack!
servings 16 large bagels
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins



  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups unbleached high-gluten flour or bread flour, see note below
  • 2 1/2 cups water room temperature


  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar *see note below

To Finish

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
  • Sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • kosher salt
  • rehydrated dried minced garlic or onions (*Deb note: this was what I chose, and found the taste very authentic, or chopped onions that have been tossed in oil – optional


  • First, make the sponge for the bagels. Stir yeast into the flour. Stir in the water until it forms a sticky thick batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm spot in your kitchen for about 2 hours or until the mixture is foamy, bubbly and almost double in size.
  • To make the dough, stir in the rest of the yeast to the sponge using a stand mixer {use the dough hook}. Stir in 3 cups of flour, salt and malt powder or syrup. After a minute or two, the dough will come together into a ball. Continue to sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup flour into the dough with the machine on low. {At this point, I had to remove the dough and knead the rest of the flour in by hand.}
  • If you keep your dough in the mixer, continue kneading for 6 minutes. If you transfer the dough to the counter to knead by hand, knead for 10 minutes. At this point, all the flour should be incorporated into the dough and the dough should be soft, smooth and firm. If the dough is too dry {rips} add in a little water. If the dough is tacky {sticky} then add in a little more flour.
  • Divide dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for normal ‘standard size’ bagels and 2 1/4 ounce pieces for mini bagels. Roll dough into smooth balls and place on lightly greased parchment paper. Cover rolls with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let them rest for 20 minutes or so.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with non stick cooking spray. Take each roll in your hand and carefully pinch a hole into the center forming a bagel. Try to keep the bagel as even as possible doing your best to avoid thick and thin spots. {You can also roll the dough into a rope and form bagels that way–I just thought it was easier to poke the hole in the center.}
  • Place each bagel 1-2 inches apart on the prepared pans. Mist the bagels with non-stick cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, check to see if you’re ready to finish the bagels. Drop a bagel into room temperature water. If it floats within 10 seconds, then they are ready to be boiled and baked or retarded in the fridge. If the bagel doesn’t float, pat it dry lightly and return in to the pan to continue to proof. Check back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. Once a tester floats, place bagels into the fridge until you are ready to cook them OR get ready to boil and bake!
  • When you are ready to bake the bagels, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the baking soda and optionally, a few tablespoons of barley syrup.
  • Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit. After 1 minutes flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. {I didn’t have any semolina so I just kept the same parchment covered baking sheets and sprayed a little more non stick cooking spray on them and it worked just fine!} If you want to top the bagels with sesame or poppy seeds, do so as soon as they come out of the water so they stick!
  • When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer. I ended up baking mine 15 minutes to get the golden color I like, turning my pans 3 times, once every 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and cool the bagels 5-10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.


  • I didn’t have semolina flour to dust on the bottom of the pan before baking, so I just left them on the lightly greased parchment paper and they were fine. I had no problems with them sticking.
  • Right after you boil the bagels, top them with your desired toppings right away so they stick! Don’t wait. Do that pronto.
  • I baked my bagels closer to 15 minutes to get a golden brown. Every oven is different, so keep close watch!


Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade bagels

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12 Responses
  1. beautiful job, lauren. Aren’t homemade bagels the best?! And I love these ‘minis’..portion control, and all 😉 Keep hunting for that high gluten bread does make alll the difference in bagel “chew”…
    cathy b.
    P.S. sending get well wishes your way! Being sick is no fun at all!Fingers crossed, the Mister and I have made it to March without any colds/flu all winter. And just saying that makes me feel like I’m jinxing myself!!

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  3. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels

    Oh my goodness how cute are those bagels? They look soooo good. I LOVE bagels (obviously, haha!).

    I hope you get better soon 🙂

  4. hatice

    At this point, all the flour should be incorporated into the dough and the dough should be soft, smooth and firm. If the dough is too dry {rips} add in a little water. If the dough is tacky {sticky} then add in a little more water

    Is this right? So if the dough is too dry we add water and if the dough is sticky we still add water or flour? Wouldn’t adding water make it sticky??

      1. Jo-Anne

        you might edit the post; I had the same correction to note! someone not reading comments might not understand. Otherwise, these sound great and I’m adding them to my to-do list for 2015!

  5. Judy

    I was thinking about an art class I go to on Saturday mornings. We usually have finger breakfast food members bring in. I Am going to try the mini bagels. It will be perfect with butter and maybe jelly on the side. Thank you for posting!

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