Homemade Bagels – Recipe

I love bagels, I really do… plain ones with butter for breakfast, cinnamon and raisin for a treat, toasted with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for lunch, or cream cheese smothered on. Yum! But they aren’t really the lowest calorie – mainly because they are too big. Half is sufficient to fill me up (but of course, then the other half taunts me, so I have to eat that too). So last night, I happened to come across a recipe, and decided that today I’d give them a go.

lunchIt was actually a lot easier than I expected, and tasted completely fabulous. I confess I made them smaller than the recipe suggested, meaning they cooked quicker, had fewer calories (by my reckoning, about 80 calories each), and actually were just the right size for a snack, or with salad for lunch.

Here’s what I did:


  • 7g Allinson fast action yeast
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • seeds to sprinkle on top (optional) (I used pumpkin seeds)


1. Put the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar into a large bowl, and pour over 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 mins until the mixture becomes frothy.

2. Pour 200ml warm water into the bowl, then stir in the salt and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour (you may not have to use it all) and mixing with your hands until you have a soft, but not sticky dough. Then knead for 10 mins until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1hr.
Bagels 1

3. Heat oven to 220C. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into approx 16 pieces, each about 40g. Roll each piece into a flattish ball, then use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hole in the middle of each ball. Twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole about 2cm wide. Cover the bagel loosely with cling film while you shape the remaining dough. You can, of course, make your bagels bigger, in which case make the hole bigger too.

4. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and tip in the remaining sugar. Slip the bagels into the boiling water – no  bagels 2more than four at a time. Cook for 1-2 mins, turning over in the water until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Sprinkle over your choice of topping and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in the oven for 15 mins until browned and crisp – the bases should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then serve with your favourite filling – I had mine with ham, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and baby leaf salad… delicious!

bagels 3

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6 thoughts on “Homemade Bagels – Recipe

  1. These look yummy. I made some bagels the week they made them in the Great British Bake Off last autumn and I too thought they were easier than I was expecting, though I did have an issue with the rise, I think because I didn’t knead for long enough.

  2. Claire says:

    Thanks for the lovely comments. Ruth , I felt like I kneaded for forever! My arms certainly got a good workout. They are a bit denser than bigger, bought ones, but i think that’s really due to the size. Perhaps next time I should reduce the heat a little, to aloow them to cook slightly more slowly.

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