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Among baked goods, bagels are unique; they have a crisp and shiny exterior, a soft and chewy interior, and a taste that is both slightly sweet and somewhat salty. With bagel bread this tasty, you may want to double or triple our quick bagel recipe so you can make enough chewy bagels to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or as a delicious snack. More bagels also mean more opportunities to discover your new favourite toppings and perhaps freeze some for a later time.


  • Pour the milk into a bowl and dissolve the yeast in it. Add oil, sugar, salt, and flour (save a little bit of flour).
  • Mix the dough well with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl, for instance with a lid, and place the dough somewhere warm to proof for about 1 hour.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured countertop and knead it well. You can add the remaining flour if necessary – the dough is firm but still flexible.
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each dough ball into a rope about 20 cm long. Fashion the ropes into rings and seal the ends well. Place the rings on a piece of parchment paper and let them proof a second time, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Boiling and baking bagels:
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (regular oven).
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Turn the heat down so the water is boiling without there being a risk of it boiling over.
  • Boil 2-3 bagels at a time for around 2 minutes on each side (about 4 minutes total).
  • Place the boiled bagels on a lined baking sheet – make sure that the side that was facing up during their second proofing is still facing up – otherwise they will not rise properly.
  • Brush the boiled bagels with egg wash and leave them as they are or sprinkle each bagel with a few tablespoons of grated cheese, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, or 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds.
  • Bake the 8 bagels in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes.

Even when properly stored, homemade and store-bought bagels alike may become a bit hard if they are not eaten the day they are boiled and baked. To ensure the perfect combination of chewy and soft that bagels are known for, you can soften and rehydrate them.


Stale or hard bagels may be revived by being rehydrated. If you are toasting a bagel in an oven, run hot water over it until its outside is damp but not soaked and heat it on a wire rack for 5 minutes at 180°C. You can also reheat your lightly damp bagel in a microwave to the same effect. Wrapping it in a damp paper towel rather than running water over it will also work.

Questions about bagels

With our easy bagel recipe, you can make sure that you always have either freshly baked bagels or frozen ones at hand. Read on to learn a bit more about the beloved baked good by having a look at our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What is a bagel?
Originally made in Jewish communities in Poland, bagels are round baked goods fashioned like rings. Made from yeasted dough, they are boiled before they are baked to achieve a crisp crust and a dense centre. A bagel may be topped with a large assortment of different toppings such as seeds, grains, cheese, herbs, and so on. Bagel bread is somewhat sweet and salty and tastes great with savoury and sweet spreads alike.
How to make a bagel?
Bagels are a delicious treat when you want to prepare a quick breakfast or lunch. Fortunately, making homemade ones is simple with our bagel bread recipe. Prepare the yeasted dough as you would any other with kneading and proving time, then roll it into ropes of 20 cm that you fashion into rings and boil each ring for around 2 minutes on each side before brushing with egg wash, sprinkling with toppings, and baking them to golden perfection. Enjoy your homemade bagels with your spread of choice.
What do you put on a bagel?
There is no one answer to how to eat a bagel and that is a good thing! Bagels are equally delicious with sweet and savoury spreads. You might enjoy one with butter, creme cheese, jam, or peanut butter as a quick breakfast or snack. But you can just as easily use them to make filling lunch or breakfast sandwiches with egg, smoked salmon, lunch meats, vegetables, or homemade salads like egg or tuna.
Can bagels be frozen?
Bagels freeze very well if wrapped properly. In the freezer, they will last for up to 3-4 months. Simply wrap your homemade treats in cling film or beeswax paper and place them into a freezer bag or airtight container. For ease, cut them in half before freezing but make sure to wrap both the sliced surfaces as well as the outside to avoid freezer burn and retain moisture. You can also freeze the raw bagel dough for up to 3 months wrapped in a layer of cling film and aluminium foil. If you are wondering how to defrost a bagel, the good news is that you can reheat it in a microwave, oven, or toaster. Hydrate the bagel by sprinkling it with a bit of water before reheating it to avoid drying it out. Store your thawed or freshly baked bagels in a bag or airtight container at room temperature. Make sure to cool them first to avoid condensation.
Why do you boil bagels?
Boiling your raw bagels before baking them sets and thickens their crust. This ensures that they get the crispy and chewy exterior and shiny coating for which they are known. Setting the crust this way also prevents them from rising too much as they bake which helps give them a centre that is slightly dense and chewy the way a bagel should be.


Milk (approx. 37°C)
250 ml
25 g
Flavour-neutral oil, such as rapeseed oil
1 tbsp
1 tbsp
Coarse salt
1½ tsp
Wheat flour (approx. 7 dl)
400 g
Beaten eggs
Shredded red cheddar cheese, some sesame seeds, blue poppy seeds, or pumpkin seeds
50 g

Homemade chewy bagels

If you enjoy a baked good with a chewy, slightly crisp crust that is soft and dense on the inside, you may be a bagel lover. Though these golden rolls with a hole in the middle were originally made in Jewish communities in Europe, they are popular around the world. The bread type has great textures and a neutral flavour that makes it highly suitable for a vast array of different toppings.

After reading our description of how delicious bagel bread is, you may be thinking ‘but what can I put on a bagel?’ The answer is almost anything you desire! As a quick breakfast or snack, homemade bagels taste great with butter, flavoured cream cheese, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, or fruit preserves like blackberry jam. For a more indulgent breakfast, try serving them with eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese or a fried egg and slices of avocado. A bagel is also delicious as a light lunch dish with tuna salad, egg salad, or the classic New Yorker combination of cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Boiling and baking to get the perfect texture

Making bagels involves both boiling and baking the dough to ensure a dense, yet soft, inside and a chewy outside with a shiny coating. The reason you will want to boil bagel dough is that this sets and cooks the crust before they are baked, meaning they better hold the shape. If boiled briefly, as we suggest in our soft bagel recipe, the crust will be thin and somewhat elastic, meaning that each bagel will still be able to rise slightly as they bake. Boiling them for longer makes the crust thicken, which in turn makes the interior denser because they cannot rise as much.

Boiling bagels is quite simple. Make sure to boil them a few at a time so you avoid lowering the temperature of the boiling water too much. Adding ingredients such as sugar, honey, or barley malt to the water will make the exterior even more golden and crispy due to caramelisation.

Delicious bagel toppings

Bagel bread tastes wonderful with an array of different toppings. Our simple bagel recipe toppings include classic choices like grated cheddar, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Topping a homemade bagel with grated cheddar gives it a delicious, decadent, and slightly crunchy cheese crust. If you enjoy nutty flavours, experiment with topping them with different seeds. Black and white sesame seeds provide a toasty, nutty flavour that becomes more pronounced as they bake, while poppy seeds add a lovely crunch. Pumpkin seeds may also add crunchiness as well as a subtle nutty flavour. Mix and match these classic topping options after brushing your bagels with egg wash so the toppings may better adhere to them.

Add your own touch

Our homemade bagel recipe gives you ample opportunity to experiment with the toppings as well as the bagels themselves for example by turning the recipe into a mini bagel recipe. Making about 12-14 mini bagels instead of 8 regular ones gives you cute, little treats that are perfectly snack-sized, a great surprise in any lunch box, or a fun slider-like entrée at dinner parties. You can also experiment with mixing wheat flour with other flour types like wholemeal and rye or using sourdough as a leavening agent instead of yeast.

In respect to toppings, making a so-called ‘everything bagel seasoning’ with nutty sesame seeds, crunchy poppy seeds, dried minced garlic and onion, and flaky sea salt to enhance the delicious onion flavours is a classic savoury option. A traditional sweet alternative is to add 1 teaspoon of warming cinnamon to the dough and top the boiled bagels with a crunchy cinnamon topping made from butter, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon. A sweet and cinnamon-flavoured bagel such as this one also tastes great with raisins for additional texture and chewiness.