How to Make Bagels from Scratch

5 from 8 votes

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Making bagels from scratch is much easier than you think and the process has been around for hundreds of years.

Sure, buying a bagel is marginally easier, but there is nothing like that warm doughy goodness fresh out of the oven. 

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Serve them at your next brunch or enjoy any day of the week.

Eat them plain or with toppings like everything bagel seasoning, cinnamon and sugar, salt, or garlic and your favorite cream cheese. 

Or make them with a twist with this tie-dye rainbow bagels recipe!

The best part about learning how to make bagels from scratch is that you can make a little bit of everything.

It’s like having your own bagel shop! You can even celebrate holidays like we did when we made green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day

Keep the decadence going with this whipped hazelnut mocha on the side!


Who invented Bagels?

Bagels have been around for more than six centuries, and not only do they taste amazing, they actually have a pretty fascinating history.

There are a few versions of the origin of the bagel, but one that stood out to me takes us all way to Poland during the Nobles’ Democracy (somewhere between the 13th and 18th centuries).

Did you know that there was a time where Jews in Poland were not legally allowed to bake bread?

Eventually, a rule was put into place that it would be permissible if it was boiled first and voila, bagels!

There is obviously much more to it than that. If you want to read about it, check out The Secret History of Bagels.

Homemade Bagels Shopping List

On to the ingredients!

To make plain bagels from scratch, you only need a few ingredients, listed below.

  • Bread flour
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Instant dry yeast

You also may want some toppings like cinnamon and sugar, everything bagel seasoning, pretzel salt, or minced onions.

To use toppings, you will also need an egg.

How to Make Bagels from Scratch

Gather your dry ingredients and pulse together using a food processor or mixer with a bread hook. 

green bagel ingredients

Once combined, add the water and mix until it forms a ball. 

bagel ingredients in food processor

Spray a bowl with oil and allow dough to rise, covered, for about an hour. 


The dough should roughly double in size. 

Press onto a floured surface and divide into equal parts. I make eight using this recipe.

Roll each section out and use your hand to create a loop and stick ends together. 


The next step is boiling the dough and you don’t want to skip this part!

The boiling process is what gives bagels that delicious chewy exterior that is sooooo good to bite into.

Boil bagels in water with added sugar for about 30 seconds on each side and place on a baking sheet. 

bagels boiling

If you want to add toppings, beat an egg in a small bowl and dip the tops of your bagels first in the egg, then your toppings.

Our favorites are everything bagel seasoning and cinnamon sugar. 

everything seasoning

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes on each side.

Can You Freeze Leftover Bagels?

You will definitely want to plan on eating at least one bagel fresh out of the oven. That said, yes you can definitely freeze leftover bagels.

In fact, freezing bagels helps them stay fresh longer.

To reheat, all you need to do is wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 30 seconds when you are ready to eat. 

I recommend storing topped bagels in their own freezer bags to keep flavors separate. 

Eat plain or with your favorite cream cheese or serve to a group with this delicious breakfast casserole.

how to make bagels from scratch

How to Make Bagels from Scratch

5 from 8 votes
Once you learn how to make bagels from scratch you will never want to buy them again! This easy recipe is delicious and versatile!
Prep: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 8


  • 3.5 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 pkg Instant Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 Cup Water


  • Combine all dry ingredients in a food processor or mixer with a bread hook
  • Add water gradually until the dough forms a ball
  • Place dough ball in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap
  • Let rise for about an hour
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Boil water with about 1.5 Tbsp sugar
  • When dough is ready, press onto floured surface and divide into 8 sections
  • Roll each piece and loop it around your hand, sticking ends together
  • Add bagels 2-3 at a time to boiling sugar water for 30 seconds on each side
  • Remove and add toppings if desired (dip first in egg wash then toppings)
  • Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
  • Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip over and bake for up to another 10 minutes or until done


Bagels can be frozen. Use separate bags for each flavor. Reheat by wrapping in a damp paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds.


Serving: 1g, Calories: 230kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 875mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Polish

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to

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