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Homemade Bagels

I always wanted to make my own bagels, so I searched to find a bagel recipe I could try. For variation and flavor, I sometimes add cinnamon and raisins or honey and sesame seeds to the dough.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 dozen


  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sesame or poppy seeds, optional


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk; mix well. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Shape into 12 balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-1/2-in. hole. Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring. Place on a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes; flatten bagels slightly.
  • Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil. Drop bagels, 2 at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels.
  • Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Homemade Bagel Tips

How do you make bagels fluffy?

The key to making fluffy bagels is to avoid overboiling. Doing so will cause them to sink and lose the air you incorporated during the rise. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Learn how to make bagels by following our bagel making guide!

How do you make plain bagels taste better?

You can make plain bagels taste even better by adding toppings. Once your bagels are boiled, top with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or everything bagel seasoning. Don't forget to add a spread on top like garlic-herb bagel spread, cranberry cream cheese spread or a smoked salmon cheese spread.

Do you have to boil bagels?

Boiling bagels gives them that distinct chewy exterior. Plain water will do the job, but you can also add barley syrup to the water for a slightly darker colored bagel. Some people add baking soda, lye or sodium carbonate for a more pretzel-type crust.

How do you make bagel toppings stick?

Most toppings will stick to the moisture of a just-boiled bagel, but you can also brush the tops with beaten egg white.

Can I make bagel dough the night before?

Yes, you can make bagel dough the night before! Shape the dough into rings; place in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. In the morning, boil the bagels as directed. Try whipping up these other homemade bagel recipes the night before, too.
Nutrition Facts
1 bagel: 237 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 271mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Jaxson
    Feb 11, 2021

    i havev yet too try but im excited!

  • Jean
    Jun 21, 2020

    I gave this 2 stars because as a bread recipe, it's okay. It's not a bagel recipe. I made it per the instructions exactly and what I go were not chewy tasty bagels but little round loaves of bread. The bread wasn't bad. A true bagel recipe is made with a lean dough (that is, no fat of any kind in it) and usually doesn't have eggs in it although some do. Also, the bath generally has honey or some sort of syrup in it to give it a chewy dark brown crust. So this isn't even close to a bagel recipe. I though I'd try it because I love making fresh bread as well. But it falls short on that count. It's too heavy to produce a really good loaf. If you want to use this as a bread recipe, I recommend adding another teaspoon of yeast, using a whole egg and increasing the salt to 1 1/2 tsps. Decrease the flour depending on where you live to around 3 1/4 cups maybe less. Bake at 375 for around 30-45 minutes.

  • Charlotte
    Apr 15, 2020

    While these look like kind of like a bagel, a very small flat bagel, they taste nothing like them and the consistency is wrong. Bagels are supposed to be chewy and fluffy/large and these came nowhere close. They are flat and taste like a slice of bread. This would almost be better listed as a bread loaf recipe instead of bagels.

  • tammycookblogsbooks
    Dec 22, 2019

    The end product of this recipe looked like bagels. But they were missing the bagel flavor and were more like bread to me.

  • Rebecca
    Jun 18, 2018

    I LOVE this recipe, I make it so often that I actually have it memorized. I have been wondering, though, if anyone has tried making a larger batch and freezing some? And if so how it turned out, if they boiled the bagels before freezing or after thawing them out, any other things they noticed? I'd love to have some frozen for when I have a super busy weekend that would be hard to fit baking into.

  • Fatima
    Nov 2, 2017

    Great recipe. OMG amazing. I have done it easily and so delicious. Worth to try. I have shared with my family and friends. Many thanks

  • sstetzel
    Feb 18, 2015

    No comment left

  • Melissaclymer
    Feb 17, 2015

    Excellent! Wonderful recipe that made superb bagels. If it didn't turn out for you, you most likely killed your yeast. I let my yeast pouf before I mix it together. Get your milk to about 120 degrees and stir in the sugar to dissolve it. By the time the sugar is dissolved, the milk should be the right temp to add yeast. Add yeast to milk/sugar mixture and let stand for 10 minutes so it gets creamy and activates. I let my dough raise in my warm oven (turned on to warm, 170* for a minute then shut off) for about an hour. Then let the shaped dough raise on the warm cooktop as the water in my pot heated up. Be careful how you remove them from the boiling water, any mark left when removing will be there for good. I suggest putting them in upside down then carefully flipping. When you remove with the slotted spoon, any marks will be on the bottom. I sprinkled the bagels with garlic powder, sun dried tomatoes, herbs, cheese and other things before putting in the oven. So very yummy!

  • Aula
    Feb 17, 2015

    Wonderful recipe. Always easier to make the second time:)

  • Aula
    Feb 17, 2015

    Wonderful recipe. Always easier to make the second time:)