Try our homemade bagels recipe then check out four quick and easy bagel topping ideas. If you're looking for brunch recipes take a look at our eggy bread, homemade crumpets, brunch sharing board and more exciting brunch recipes.

We've also got more brilliant bread recipes to make at home, including a simple white bread loaf, soda bread and rye bread.

How to make bagels

  • Kneading the dough until smooth and elastic will help the finished shape and texture.
  • Create the classic bagel shape by pulling the dough down and tucking under to form a rough ball, then use your hands to roll into a smooth ball.
  • The bagel hole needs to be a particular size (3cm) to allow for dough expansion in the oven. If you don’t make the hole big enough it will close up again in the oven. Use a wooden spoon to first make the hole then expand to the right size.
  • Simmering the bagels first in a pan of boiling water and bicarbonate of soda allows the bagels to puff up slightly and to create a skin.

A bagel should crack as you bite into it and be a little chewy.

Bagel recipe


  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • poppy seeds, sesame seeds or sea salt, to finish


  • STEP 1

    Pour 300ml warm water into a large bowl and stir in 2 tsp salt, the sugar, yeast, oil and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour, mixing with your hands or in a mixer with a dough hook until you have a soft, pliable dough. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic and a finger indent pressed into it pops out quickly. Shape into a ball and put in a cleaned, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, or put in the fridge to prove slowly overnight.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 10, each about 85g. Start to shape each piece by pulling it down and tucking under to form a rough ball.

    How to make perfect bagels
  • STEP 3

    Cup your hand over and move your hand and the dough around in a circular motion to further shape the ball.

    How to make perfect bagels
  • STEP 4

    Take a wooden spoon and use the handle to make a hole in the middle of each ball.

    How to make perfect bagels
  • STEP 5

    Slip the end of the spoon into the hole, then twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole about 3cm wide – it needs to be this wide as it will shrink as the dough expands again. Cover loosely with clingfilm while you shape the rest.

    How to make perfect bagels
  • STEP 6

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil and tip in the bicarb of soda – it will fizz madly. Slip the bagels into the boiling water – no more than four at a time. Cook for 1 minute, turning over in the water until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed – if you cook them for longer they will get chewier and look a bit bobbly after baking. Remove with a flat slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Put on an oiled baking tray.

    How to make perfect bagels
  • STEP 7

    Glaze with the egg and add any toppings you like. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

    How to make perfect bagels

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Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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