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Web's Best Bagels Recipe

This recipe for bagels has several variations.

Trivia: According to legend, bagels were invented in 1683 by a Jewish baker in Poland. Bagels are thought to be the only bread product that is boiled before it is baked.

Tip: Try these bagels with soup. Did you know you can get a FREE - Soup Pouch Trio . Leslie (aka The Soup Lady) is so sure you are going to love her delicious Soups - she'll actually send you three FREE Pouches! That's soup for 12 Hungry People! She only asks that you pay only the s/h. You need to check this out!

Basic Bagels Recipe

2 cups warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
5 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, approximately
12 cups water with 1 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water


Combine water and yeast in the large bowl of an electric mixer and let stand five minutes. Stir in sugar and salt. Mix in 4 cup of the flour. Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.

Using a spoon, mix in around 1 1/4 cups more flour. Dough will be stiff. Turn it out on a floured board and knead five about fifteen minutes. Use additional flour as needed. Dough will be smooth, firmer than you get for most yeast breads and no longer sticky. Place it in a greased bowl, cover and rise for about forty minutes or until doubled.

Knead the dough again a little, then divide into twelve pieces. Shape the pieces into balls, then poke your thumb through the center. Work them with your fingers to form a donut shaped bagel, approximately three inches or more across.

Place bagels on a floured board, cover, and let rise for twenty minutes. Bring your water and sugar mixture to a boil, and keep it boiling lightly. Grease a baking sheet and cover with cornmeal.

Place about four bagels in the boiling water and boil for about five minutes. Turn often. Lift out with a slotted spatula. Drain on a towel and place on baking sheet.

Brush the bagels with the egg yolk glaze and bake at 450°: for 35 minutes or longer. Your bagels should be browned and crusty. Cool on a rack.

Tip: A product like the BAGEL BITER - THE ORIGINAL BAGEL GUILLOTINE SLICER makes slicing your bagels a snap.

Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe

Use the basic bagels recipe above, but use 3 tbsp honey instead of the sugar. In place of all purpose flour, use two cups of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of wheat germ and 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour. Mix together the whole wheat flour, wheat germ and 14 cups of all purpose flour before you beat the dough. Mix in additional 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, knead, and finish as outlined.

Tip: Try these J.K. Adams BT-1M Bagel Tongs for pulling your bagels out of the toaster.

Other Bagel Variations

  1. Onion Bagels: Add 1/2 cup instant toasted onion to the yeast mixture along with sugar and sale. This works with both the whole wheat or basic bagels.
  2. Poppy Seed or Sesame Seed Bagels: Sprinkle 1/2 tsp poppy or sesame seeds on each glazed bagel before baking.
  3. Salt Bagels: Sprinkle 1/2 tsp coarse salt to the glazed bagels before baking.

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