How to Make Your Own Bagels

I love bagels so much! One of my favorite things do do on the weekends is going out to breakfast at my favorite bagel shop. When I went to Tonga, I missed my favorite breakfast food (bagels are impossible to find there), so I decided to try my hand at making my own. I was pretty intimidated at first, but it turns out they’re really easy to make and sooooo delicious!

Today, I’ll show you how to make your own bagels…

You’ll need:


3 cups warm water
3 T yeast
8 cups flour
2 T salt
2 T sugar

(recipe courtesy of Peace Corps Tonga cookbook)

Step 1: Proof the yeast

Put your water (lukewarm- not too hot or it will kill the yeast) in a plastic or glass bowl with about a tablespoon of sugar mixed in, and then pour your yeast in. Mix it in as best you can with a wooden or plastic utensil and then leave it for a few minutes. Meanwhile, mix your other dry ingredients (flour, salt, and sugar) together in your mixer (or just a large bowl).

Note: This was actually the first time I made these using an electric mixer (I didn’t have access to one in Tonga, of course). While mixing a kneading the dough manually is certainly do-able, and a great arm workout at that, I was loving how simple and mess-free the mixer made everything. Love you Kitchenaid!

This is what your yeast/sugar/water combo will start to look like after a few minutes- I should have used a bigger bowl!

Step 2: Mix up your dough
Slowly pour the liquid into the dry ingredients as you turn the mixer on low (as low as possible). The dough will begin to take shape after a few minutes. You might have to stop the mixer a couple of times and push everything down so it mixes well.

The dough is done when it’s uniform in texture, and all of the dry ingredients are mixed in. It should be sticky, but not messy.

Step 3: Let the Dough Rise

Place the dough in a large bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour (or until it roughly doubles in size). 

Step 4: Shape the dough

To shape bagels, grab a large handful of dough, roll it into a “snake” shape, and then knead the ends together to form a circle.

All of my bagels shaped and laid out on plates to be boiled.

Step 5: Boil Them
Start a large pot of water boiling while you shape the bagels. As soon as it’s at a rolling boil, drop the bagels in a few at a time. Boil them for about a minute and a half on each side, then take them out and drain off the water (cooling racks work well for this). 

Step 6: Bake!

 A little lumpy…but still delicious!

Place them on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, until they are light golden on the tops. They freeze well (I put them in individual baggies for convenience) but make sure and eat at least one straight out of the oven- they’re amazing that way!

Hope you all enjoyed this post, have a great weekend and happy bagel making!