Homemade Bagels

homemade bagels

Homemade bagels are easy to make and delicious. I put off making them for 3 years and when I finally started making them, I couldn’t believe how much better they tasted!

We love bagels at our house, my kids would eat them all day if they could. When I realized how easy, healthy and inexpensive making homemade bagels was, I was sold!

When I shared that I was making bagels every week I received many questions on how to make bagels. Hopefully, this post will answer those questions.

The cost of making homemade bagels is under $2 for 13 large bagels. Compare that with the supermarket prices or Panera, and you can see that making your own is a great deal.

This is a modified version of the recipe from the Bread Becker’s Recipe Collection.

Homemade Bagels


  • 2 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups flour (you can use all white, half white/half wheat, or all whole wheat)
  • 1 tablespoon gluten
  • 2 teaspoon instant yeast


  1. Combine water, honey, and salt.
  2. Add part of the flour, yeast and gluten, mix well.
  3. Continue to add flour until you have a slightly sticky dough, kneed for about 10 minutes.
  4. Let dough rise until it has doubled.
  5. This is the time to add any extras if you so desire. You can mix in onions (for onion bagels), assorted seeds or nuts, cinnamon and sugar, it is up to you. I kept these bagels plain for the pictures.
  6. After the dough has risen (and you've added your extras if you want), divide into 11-13 balls. I can usually get 13 bagels out of this recipe, but today I only got 12.
  7. After you have divided your dough, take the balls and put your thumbs through the middle of the ball. You will make the bagel shape by doing this. You need to work the hole to a pretty large diameter (almost 2 inches) because the hole will shrink when they rise.
  8. Allow the bagels to rest (covered) for 20 minutes. It is best if you watch the time on this. You won’t ruin your bagels if they rest for 25 or 30 minutes, but 20 minutes is ideal.
  9. While the bagels are resting, start boiling a pot of water on the stove.
  10. Add honey or sugar (about 1/3 cup) to the water (I have no idea why you do this but every recipe I have tried recommends this step).
  11. After the bagels have rested and your water is boiling drop the bagels (one or two at a time depending on how big your pot is) into the boiling water.
  12. Boil for one minute. Let me repeat this, boil for one minute. Do not over boil. Your bagels will fall apart. You can under boil them, but do not over boil.
  13. After a minute remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on greased cookie sheet.
  14. After the bagels are boiled you can brush them with an egg wash (one egg white and about 3 Tbs of water) but it isn’t required. The egg wash gives the bagels that shiny look. These bagels were not brushed with egg.
  15. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can flip them if you think they are getting too brown on the bottom, but they won’t be as pretty.

Homemade Bagels at The Happy Housewife

More Homemade Bread Recipes to Try:

See all of The Happy Housewife recipes here.


  1. Ignorance speaking here. Do you use the KitchenAid mixer to knead the dough?

  2. I’ve had bagels on my to-do list for years. Thanks for making it look so easy! We love bagels and I hate paying for them. I wonder if they would work with my sour dough starter.

  3. Dd and I like the french tst flavored ones. I wonder how you could make them taste that way? What is gluten?

    • I think you’d just add cinnamon to your flour and vanilla to your wet ingredients.

      Gluten is the part of wheat that allows dough to get stretchy. You can also buy gluten as a separate ingredient to boost the elasticity of your dough recipes.

  4. I just wanted to add that i also make bagels from “scratch” but i use my bread machine to mix/knead & complete the first rise. The cookbook that came along with it years ago includes a bagel dough recipe. Then i just take the dough out, divide, roll into a ball, & make a hole. Then while they are on the baking sheet, they rise again for 30 min before the boil/bake process. I agree that they are very yummy & they get gone fast around here. The convenience of the bread machine is great because it can get the “long” part of the process done for me while i am cooking dinner & be waiting for me to afterwards! If i can do it, anyone can because i am NO BETTY CROCKER!

  5. I forgot to add one more thing….
    My sister & I also save money by making batches of muffins, waffles, & pancakes & freezing them to use throughout the weeks. It is a great time & money saver & so easy to pop the muffin in the microwave for 10 secs for breakfast or the waffles/pancakes into the toaster like a regular ‘eggo’ waffle. They are quick, cheap, easy, & best of all- Yummy!

    • How do you freeze your waffles? Mine turn out flat.

      • you dont cook your waffles all the way, just till they start getting a little color. Let them cool completly and then freeze. When you are ready for them just put in toaster.

  6. Yum! I am glad I stumbled onto your site here! I LOVE bagels, but can’t find “healthy” ones. Now I can make them at home to suit my needs! And fresh too! MMM!!! Thanks! 🙂

  7. I had to come back and tell you that I made these today. I used my sour dough starter instead of yeast. It worked and they were amazing! I can tell we are going to be making these every week. Thanks again for the great instructions!

  8. Toni, I haven’t posted any of my new recipes yet but i will. I have been learning about using sour dough at Breadtopia. It is so much healthier than regular quickrise breads using yeast so I’m trying to use it with everything I bake.

    You can try making your own starter but it may not work so it’s best to get a start from someone who already has some or you can order one from Breadtopia. I got mine from a friend. Let me know if you get one and I can tell you more about how I use it.

  9. I’ve always wanted to try bagels, and now I can! I’m going to try it tomorrow! Thanks!

  10. Can you do this without gluten? I was planning on making these and *just now* realized it calls for this, and I don’t have it?

  11. Beth Ann says:

    Just a question…I’ve never been a big bread maker. Can I make this without a mixer and knead with my hands?

  12. Made my first attempt to make bagels tonight and it didn’t go very well. My dough didn’t rise to double the size. I used RapidRise yeast and I don’t know if that made a difference or not…and I didn’t have any gluten?? Do you need to use bread flour or would unbleached white whole wheat flour work? I may not have given it enough time (waited about 1 hr). Any suggestions? I plan to try it again over the weekend.

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      Hmmm, I would try bread flour, gluten and maybe letting it rise a little longer. You could also try kneading the dough a little longer to work the yeast into the flour. You might also try half white/ half whole wheat. Dough is so weird, it varies depending on temperature, humidity, type of yeast… etc…. Keep trying, I am sure you will have success.

  13. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe! My kids eat a lot of bagels too! We’ll have to try these.

  14. Thanks for recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  15. Lori M. says:

    These look yummy! Where would I find gluten in the grocery? Would this be in the baking aisle? And how does it come? In a box, bag, jar?? I have no clue 😉

    • TheHappyHousewife says:

      It is usually in the baking aisle and it comes in a small box about the size of a paperback book.

  16. Ohh this was a mess for me…..but it was my fault! I’m new in baking and I’m sure that I did not knead enough and did not let it rise correctly. Anyway I went the whole way and baked them….there were not bad completely…a little bit hard but with good flavor. I need either a goid mixer or a good bread making machine. I’ll let you know the results.

  17. Yum! love them! two thumbs up!

  18. So we want to try these but have a gluten-free kiddo and no sodium adult…Is there any possible way to still make these???
    thanks in advance

    • You need the sodium as it keeps the yeast from getting out of control, Gluten is a protein that helps control the rise of the product you are baking. If you want bagels don’t give them to the sodium restricted adult. Don’t give the kiddo with the gluten-free problem. Sorry.

  19. Anne Marie says:

    I love homemade bagels. I make them a little small to cut calories. They’re so much better than the kind at the grocery store and the house smells wonderful.

  20. can you add blueberries or other things to these bagels???

  21. Definitely going to try these! Just Pinned them..thanks!!

  22. I made these today and they turned out great! Thanks for making me feel like I could actually do it! In addition to these, I did Baked Oatmeal, the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins and some Pumpkin muffins. I think these bagels will get added to my weekly list.

  23. Do you think these would freeze well?

  24. I can’t wait to try the homemade bagels. Do you have to use gluten? One of my kids has a gluten allergy.

  25. I just stepped out of my old bagel recipe and tried this recipe. I omitted the gluten simply because I was out of it at the moment, and this is our new favorite bagel recipe. We made plain ones as we always do with a first time recipe, but will be making additions in the next batch… Thank you for sharing your bagel magik.

  26. Do you flip the bagels over when you boil them?


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