Homemade Bagels Recipe: 20 cents each (approx)!

I worked in New York city for a while in a past life and it made quite the impression on me, I can tell you.

Memories:  a guy getting chased down and held at gunpoint (to his head), working high up in the twin towers and looking down on helicopters flying around (not long before September 11), long lazy Sundays at the Grand Metropolitan Museum of Art, wicked nights around Soho and then there were the BAGELS:  chewy, comforting and in any which way you could ever imagine.

The years ensuing saw an array of attempts at various packet ones but they never really did it for me like New York did. In fact, I bought some recently from the local shop and they were all mouldy.  Bummer Central.

My wonderful Bec Clark used to make these at our MamaBakes a couple of years ago and they always drew gasps of wonder – home made bagels – they just seem so…out of reach in the home made stakes.  But no, they’re really, really not and like with most from-scratch stuff, you really can save yourself – quite literally -a packet.

The kids inhaled these the very moment they could be touched by bare human hands fresh out of the oven.

I sprinkled poppy and sesame seeds on them but had ideas of roasted minced onion and I will give that a crack next time.  This is a fantastic recipe to make with children.  My nine year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed dropping the dough in the water and hooking them out again and my four year old boy enjoyed the knead.

The bagel way is a little more involved than bread but I will definitely make these again for special breakfast occasions and smother them in smoked salmon and cream cheese and freshly chopped chives (I know, I know – soooo nineties, just like my memories).

This is a great addition to any bread themed MamaBake session.

Makes 16


4 teaspoons of dry yeast
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
3.5 cups of warm water
7 cups (1kg) of plain flour or high gluten flour (you will need extra for kneading)
3 teaspoons of salt.




1. In 1 cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Don’t stir it, let it sit for five minutes, and then stir it altogether until the sugar and yeast are dissolved in the water.

2. Measure the flour and salt into a big bowl and stir together. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.

3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as you go.  You are looking for a nice firm dough.

4. Flour your workbench and get one of the kids to knead that dough for about ten minutes. Work in as much flour as you can as you go to create a very stiff dough.

5. lob your dough back in the bowl and let it be to rise in a draft-free place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and then let it rest for another 10 minutes.

6. Divide the dough up into 16 pieces shaping each into a ball and with a floured finger make a hole in the middle, whizzing it around to make the hole bigger and bigger. Do this with all the dough balls and pop on a lightly greased baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest (oh to rest!) for another ten minutes. Preheat the oven to 220degC.

10. Boil a large pan of water then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Drop each bagel in the water and hoik it out when it rises to the surface.  The trick here , to make them ‘NY’ (apparently) is to leave them in a little longer so they are chewier.  As soon as tey are out of the water, sprinkle on your choice of toppings.  I chose poppy and sesame seeds but you might like fenugreek, minced sauteed onion and/or garlic, rock salt etc.

11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them back to the lightly greased baking tray.

12. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

13. Cool on a wire rack and away you all go!  Fresh bagels. Heaven!


weekly meal prep for families

Did you make these? How did they go?

Tell us in the comments.




Adapted from here


  1. How long did you boil them for roughly? Mine didn’t sink (probably did something wrong!) so I was totally guessing on the boiling time – I left the second lot in for longer (forgot about them!)and they got a lot bigger so I’m guessing that was the way to go 🙂

  2. Just pulled these out of the oven and YUM! My two (3 and 4 yr) boys have polished off a couple each so these are definitely being added to the regular cooking list. I have never been successful with bread rolls, so these can become my substitute.

  3. These sound great, just wondering if they can be frozen after cooked.

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