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Homemade Bagels

September 22, 2022 | by Tamar Genger MA, RD

How to make your own NY style bagels.

Bagels and their companions, lox and cream cheese, are a favorite Jewish food, most commonly eaten for breakfast. There are many ways to make bagels at home, but homemade bagels take some time and planning. Luckily, these homemade bagels are worth the effort. The dough is very simple to make and you can freeze the raw bagels for later use. They have a moist interior and slightly chewy exterior. Read on to learn how to make this delicious homemade bagel recipe at home!

Learn more about Bagels and their significance in Jewish history here.

Many people maintain that you must use New York City water to make authentic bagels. Although I agree, I nonetheless make my own bagels, even though the water in Israel is significantly different from what we use in New York City. Since I cannot get real ones and I enjoy cooking, I make my own.

Food4Thought: Did you know that in Jewish thinking any meal that doesn’t include bread is simply considered a snack? Get more Jewish food thoughts here.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 medium-sized bagels


  • 1 ¼ - ½ cups (80 g) warm water
  • 2 teaspoons (7 g) active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ teaspoons (19 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 ½ cups (420 g) bread flour or high gluten flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • Optional Toppings: sesame seeds, everything seasoning, poppy seeds etc.


  1. In a small bowl combine 1 cup warm water with yeast and ½ teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes to make sure it is active.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, and remaining 4 teaspoons sugar. Mix gently. Pour in yeast mixture and use dough hook to mix gently until all flour is absorbed. Increase speed and knead dough for 5-10 minutes to achieve a smooth and elastic dough.
  3. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place dough inside and spray the top with cooking spray. Cover with a towel and let rest to rise for 1 hour.
  4. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and let rest 10 minutes. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  5. Place dough on unfloured counter and divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball and press the ball against the counter to tighten it. Move your hand over the ball in a circular motion so the ball pulls on itself. Repeat with remaining 7 dough balls.
  6. Use a finger to press a hole into the center of each dough ball and then stretch out the circle from the inside. Once shaped, place on prepared sheet pan. Cover with a towel and let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and use a slotted spoon to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you can fit in the pan for 2 minutes, turning halfway through, the longer you boil the chewier they will be.
  9. Remove bagels back to the pan. Add toppings while the bagels are still wet. If you like a lot of topping it is best to press the bagel into a bowl of your favorite seed or mixture, otherwise simply sprinkle them over top.
  10. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and enjoy!

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