How to Make Easy Homemade Bagels Using Pantry Staples

  • With so many ingredients still out of stock at stores across the country, I’ve been unable to join the growing bread-making trend. Unfortunately, most bread recipes call for bread flour or self-rising flour, and I’m lucky to even have all-purpose flour in my house right now. I’ve been learning recipes that only use all-purpose flour and have come to love these homemade bagels that you can make with all-purpose flour! Most bagel recipes call for self-rising flour, so this easy bagel recipe was perfect for me. It’s classic and simple, and you can customize each bagel with your favourite toppings. You will need some active dry yeast, but not much. Check with a neighbour if you can’t find any in-stores – I’m sure they can spare a tablespoon!


    PS, if you are looking for a recipe with NO yeast, check out my no-yeast cinnamon rolls for the Instant Pot!

    So what makes bagels different than other bread? It’s all about the water bath. Once the bagel dough has risen, each one is boiled in a water bath with baking soda or (in this case) brown sugar. This is the signature that makes your bagels truly taste like bagels! Then you top them with a light egg wash to help them achieve the golden look while baking. Add your favourite toppings and bake them altogether. For me, the appeal of these easy homemade bagels is that each one can have a different topping. If you buy a pack at the store, you’re forced to choose one flavor. With this recipe, I made a variety of everything bagels, sesame bagels, poppy seed bagels and a cheese bagel.

    I paired down the recipe to make only 6 bagels because most people are interested in small batch recipes right now. Of course, you can absolutely double or triple the recipe to make more of these easy homemade bagels. With minimal flour available, small batch recipes are a great way to enjoy yourself while conserving your ingredients.

    Here’s how to make easy bagels at home with pantry staples!

    Easy Homemade Bagels

    With so many ingredients still out of stock at stores […]

    Servings: 6


    • For 6 Bagels:
    • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp water (9 fl oz.)
    • 2 2/3 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/2 Tbsp + 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
    • Toppings of choice
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • For the Bath:
    • 8+ cups water
    • 4 Tbsp brown sugar


    Note, if you don't have a 1/2 Tbsp measuring spoon, it is equal to 1 1/2 tsp.

    Step 1: Heat the water in your microwave for about 1 minute. Check that temperature is about 110 degrees F.

    Step 2: In your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (if available), combine the warm water, salt, brown sugar and about half of the flour. Sprinkle the yeast somewhat evenly on top. Turn the mixer on an add additional flour a little at a time until the mixture forms a ball of dough that does not stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl. 

    Step 3: Allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes. If you do not have a dough hook, knead by hand. It should not be sticky but also not too firm.

    Step 4: Remove the dough from your mixer. Divide into 6 equal sized pieces and shape into balls. Cover dough with a clean dish cloth and rest 5 minutes. Do not overwork the dough with your hands.

    Step 5: Pick up a dough ball and press your thumb through the middle. Gently work the hole a little larger so that the balls start to resemble a bagel shape. Place shaped bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover with a clean cloth and rest for about 25 minutes to rise. 

    Step 6: While the bagels rise, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then heat at least 8 cups of water on a large pot. Add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to maintain a low boil.

    Step 7: Carefully transfer 2-3 bagels at a time into the water bath. Boil gently for 30 seconds-1 minute on each side. Flip and remove with a slotted spoon back to the baking sheet. 

    Step 8: Lightly beat one egg and use a pastry brush to apply to the top of each boiled bagel. Sprinkle desired toppings on top or leave plain. The egg will help the toppings stick as well as give them a golden finish. 

    Note, I found that cheese over-bakes when applied right away. Instead, I recommend removing the tray halfway through baking to sprinkle the cheese on top. 

    Step 9: Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Then cool, cut and top with cream cheese!

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