How To Make Bagels At Home


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Our detailed step-by-step guide makes homemade perfection doable

In the early 1900s, waves of eastern European Jews began landing at Ellis Island and laying roots in New York City’s Lower East Side. They brought their bagel know-how with them, and in doing so, forever changed the way we eat. Today, bagels may be as commonplace as sliced bread, but dressed up in seeds and seasonings, they’ve got triple the taste, texture and personality of a plain old loaf. A bagel truly is a thing of joy — even more so when you make it yourself!


Bagel Forming

Make this bagel dough recipe, then here’s where you start to feel like a real bagel maker, as you craft it into perfect rounds of 12 bagels.

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1. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a long rope, then cut into 12 equal pieces.

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2. Roll each piece into an 8 to 9-inch (20 to 23-cm) long rope. Pinch the ends together to form a bracelet — a bagel bracelet.

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3. Roll with the palm of your hand to seal the ends. Cover the bagels with a tea towel and let rest on the floured surface for 15 minutes.

4. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 450F (232C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Bring a large pot of water (at least 10 cups/2.5 L) to a boil and add the remaining ¼ cup (60 mL) honey. 

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6. Lower the heat to a simmer. Add 4 bagels at a time, simmer for 2 minutes, flip each bagel over, and simmer for 1 minute more. Remove bagels and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with 2 more batches of 4 bagels.

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7. Divide bagels equally between the prepared baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle each bagel with sesame seeds or poppy  seeds (or place seeds on a plate and gently press bagels into seeds).

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8. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cooked through and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.


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The toppings

It’s nice to give bagels a little more personality, and that’s where the toppings come in. Sesame and poppy seed may be the most popular, but why not switch things up? The following measures are per batch of 12 bagels.

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1. Everything Bagel

Stir together 1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds, 1 tbsp (15 mL) dehydrated onion flakes, 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) poppy seeds, ¼ tsp (1 mL) garlic powder and a pinch sea salt.

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2 Poppy or Sesame Seed

You’ll need ¼ cup (60 mL) seeds per batch of bagels.

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3. Za’atar

A deliciously earthy mix of toasted sesame seeds, sumac, dried thyme, oregano and salt, it’s found at Middle Eastern grocers. You’ll need approximately ¼ cup (60 mL) za’atar per batch.

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4. Rosemary & Sea Salt

Stir together 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried rosemary and 1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt.

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5. Dukkah 

A nutty, sparky blend of toasted cashews, sesame, coriander and cumin seeds, dried mint, salt and pepper, it can be found at Middle Eastern grocers. Approximately ¼ cup (60 mL) dukkah per batch will do.

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6. Cheddar 

Extra sharp, coarsely grated. You’ll need approximately ½ cup (125 mL) cheese per batch.


The schmears

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Lemony Lox Cream Cheese

Mix together ½ block (115 g) softened cream cheese, 2 tbsp (30 mL) softened butter, 3 tbsp (45 mL) minced lox (smoked salmon), 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest and 1 chopped green onion. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

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Veggie Cream Cheese

Mix together ½  block (115 g) softened cream cheese, 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced red pepper, 2 tbsp (30 mL) grated carrot, 1 chopped green onion and 4 chopped green olives. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

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Cinnamon Butter

Mix together 1 stick (125 g) softened unsalted butter, 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon and ¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla.


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The Perfect Bagel Sandwich

This is the work of generations of Jewish people, gathering together at brunch tables and brises and, over time, coming up with this unparalleled bagel combo.

1. Schmear of full-fat cream cheese
2. Thick slice of ripe tomato
3. Whisper thin sliced red onion
4.  Sprinkling of briny capers
5. Squirt of fresh lemon
6. Quality lox (smoked) or gravlax (cured) salmon