Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Homemade Bagel Experiment, Part Two

The second test run of making homemade bagels was more successful than the first.

I used the recipe from How To Cook Everything, which uses sugar as a sweetener and to aid browning. I don't know if it's okay to write out the recipe here, but you can view it if you click through the book title and Search Inside the book. Or just buy the book: I'm going to keep talking about it, so you might as well have it for reference. ;-)

The recipe offers a few options:

1)I used all-purpose flour (How did I run out of bread flour?) and sugar.
2)I don't have a food processor, so I used my stand mixer.
3)I didn't knead the dough by hand, but let the mixer do all the work.
4)I refrigerated the dough overnight, then shaped, boiled, and baked the bagels in the morning.
5)The recipe yield is 8 to 12 bagels; I made eight, and they were maybe half the size of the bagels from the shops around here.


  • These bagels were appropriately dense inside and crispy outside, but were also chewy and fairly shiny. These are much closer to the desired result.

  • The recipe gives two different ways to shape the bagels. I made four bagels using each method. I found that the holes that I simply poked through and stretched out closed during boiling and baking. As a result, the bagels didn't cook through evenly. Next time I'd make all of them by rolling the dough into an 8-inch rope and connecting the ends to make a ring. (In the photo above, the top two bagels were shaped using the rope method, and the bottom two were shaped with the hole-punching method. The picture was taken before boiling.)

  • Topping the boiled bagels with minced onion sounded like a good idea, but the onion was pretty black by the time the bagels were done. Next time I'll try mixing the minced onion into the dough and skip the topping. Or I'll try cinnamon-raisin bagels. Both of these variations are in the book.

I think this is the bagel recipe I'll continue to use, but I'll experiment with variations. This recipe is easy to make, and costs significantly less than bagel-shop bagels. (I didn't work out the cost, but the most costly ingredient may be the 3-1/2 cups (about a pound) of flour. In contrast, bagels at the shop cost something like 75 cents each.)

I don't have a photo of the finished product. We ate the bagels, hot out of the oven, and I completely forgot about taking pictures!


  1. Wow, you're quite the experimental cook!! Good for you! I love trying new things in the kitchen. They don't "always" turn out, BUT it's fun trying!

  2. I am coming over with some cream cheese!!! Looks good.

  3. Mmm...I love making homemade bagels! I've only made onion ones once, and I rehydrated the minced onion FIRST before sprinkling on top...and, they didn't brown too much. In case you ever try again! :-) I use the "Bread Machine Bagels" recipe from


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