Making bagels at home

Joanna made bagels from scratch last weekend, for the first time, and they turned out wonderfully for a first try. They really aren’t that hard to make, though time-consuming. This is something you might start as a dough on Saturday, coming back to it several times, then finish on a Sunday morning for a nice breakfast treat. While not yet a true bagel, these were easily better than most you can buy at generic stores.

The recipe came from our favorite bread book, “Baking with Julia”, which is equally worthy for beginners and serious bakers. I’m not going to copy it out of the book, which is a worthwhile investment for anyone, and there are all sorts of bagel recipes online for those who prefer that route. But here’s a few more photos of the process to get you salivating:

The dough is shaped by hand into rings, which look very neat arranged on a baking tray.


They are both boiled and baked. Having had two batches now, the results have the beginnings of a nice crust, but are still doughier and softer on the inside than a true bagel should be. Practice, practice.

I suspect Joanna will read this and give me some updates/changes, so check back on this entry for the correct version…

4 thoughts on “Making bagels at home

  1. What should a “true bagel” be like? I find that if you ask 10 different people, you might get 10 (ok, at least 3 or 4) different answers.Here in Toronto there is definitely a bagel divide. Type one is Montreal style, which means they are cooked in a wood fired oven and are a bit thinner and much firmer. The other are “Jewish” style, which really means a Toronto version of the NY style, I think. Anyhow, they are bigger but very fluffy and soft.I’m the rare breed that truly enjoys both…

  2. Joanna’s response? “The perfect bagel is the one your wife makes for you on Sunday morning”. I don’t know that I can give an answer to that; it’s like asking baseball fans what the perfect hot dog is. Depends on where you’re from. From my perspective, it should be airier and chewier inside. Ours, while nicely flavored, had a softer, finer, more bread-like texture internally.

  3. In the words of my mom’s uncle (and retired dairy farmer), “it’s pretty good, but I think you can do better next time.”It’s always high praise from him when he wants more 🙂