Bagels are the perfect breakfast fare and taste fantastic as a snack, too. These circular dough rounds can be eaten smeared with different flavors of cream cheese, piled high with gooey melted cheese, a sausage patty, and an egg round for a breakfast sandwich, or smothered with healthy peanut butter and a glob of jelly. What more could you want from a breakfast treat? And while you can always grab a bag of bagels at your local grocery store or bakery counter, you may want to enjoy something that tastes fresher and more homemade. So why not give them a try?
Bagels incredibly versatile and surprisingly easy to whip up, so they’re definitely worth learning to make at home. Just exercise some patience, and you can make your own bagels anytime you want. Learn how to make this bagel recipe at home with this tasty recipe from Maren Epstein of Eating Works.
Gather up the ingredients to make this bagel recipe
To whip up this bagel recipe, you’ll need only a few ingredients, all of which can be found at the store. Grab a bottle of rice syrup, a packet of active dry yeast, warm water, olive oil, salt, and flour. Epstein said she hasn’t prepared this recipe using gluten-free flour, but those who can’t have wheat could still give it a shot. When selecting active dry yeast, she buys whatever she can find at the store and doesn’t have a preference. Be sure to grab active dry yeast and not instant yeast, however. Active dry yeast is a living organism that’s dormant until proofed or dissolved in lukewarm warm water.
But when it comes to olive oil, Epstein prefers stone-ground cold-pressed olive oil out of all the options available. Rice syrup can be found in the baking aisle with other sweeteners and is used in the same manner as honey, Epstein said.
It’s worth the time to make this bagel recipe
Even though this bagel recipe takes about two and a half hours to prepare and 25 minutes to cook, it’s most definitely worth it in the end. This recipe produces 16 delicious bagels and may give your upper arms a workout at the same time since you’ll need to knead the dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine one-fourth of a cup rice syrup, one tablespoon of active dry yeast, and two and two-thirds cups warm water. Place the mixture in a warm spot for ten minutes and allow it to proof.
"Allowing the yeast to proof means to allow it to eat the sugars and activate," Epstein explained. "I’m in Florida, so every spot in the kitchen is a warm spot. If I was in a colder kitchen, I would try to put the dough above the stove somewhere or on top of the fridge to warm up."
Once the mixture is foamy or frothy, add in two tablespoons of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt. Begin pouring the flour into the mixture one cup at a time until you’ve added all seven cups. Stir in the flour until a dough forms.
How to properly knead dough for this bagel recipe
Once the bagel recipe dough forms, you will knead it for ten minutes inside the bowl, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands while you work with it. Kneading dough calls for pushing the dough away from you with the heel of your palm, then folding it over itself with your fingers and pulling it back. You’ll continue to knead the dough until it’s well-incorporated. If you don’t knead the dough long enough, it won’t rise enough because it won’t have the gusto to capture the gases produced by yeast and get some height.
"This dough isn’t that hard or thick. Just knead it in the bowl, and when it gets thick, turn it out and knead it on a surface. I prefer to do the whole thing in the bowl so I don’t get the countertops dirty. I just fold the dough over and press it down and repeat. Never stretch or break the dough," Epstein said.
Why punch dough for this bagel recipe?
Once the bagel recipe dough is smooth, place it in a bowl greased with oil and cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes. Then, punch it down to squeeze the gas out and repeat once more. So, how do you punch dough and why?
"’Punch the dough’ is an expression. Just press the dough down with the flat of your hand. I guess you can really punch it if you’re feeling angry," Epstein joked.
Punching is a common technique used when working with dough and yeast breads. It deflates the dough and releases the air so you can more easily knead it and form it into a loaf or other shape, like the circle of a bagel.
Separate the dough into 16 pieces that weigh approximately 100 grams each. Form each dough into a ball and punch a hole through the center of the ball. Stretch the newly formed bagel and make the hole 50 percent larger than you would want the finished product to have. Set the bagels aside on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
Add extras to the bagel recipe dough
If you want to customize your bagel recipe, be sure to add the ingredients after you boil the bagels but before you bake them. You could try adding ingredients like garlic powder and dried onion, oregano and cheese, or a dusting of cinnamon. If you want to put an ingredient inside the bagel dough, like raisins or chocolate chips, add those elements to the dough when first mixing it, Epstein advised.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil each bagel for 30 seconds, flipping them over a few times. Set them back on the baking tray and brush with rice syrup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Just have fun and pick up the bagel. Don’t worry about stretching it out. It’s going to fluff up anyway once it hits the water. Boiling the bagel gives it its fluffy texture. My family likes eating bagels with butter."
Did you know you can make bagels in your own kitchen? Learn how to make this bagel recipe at home with this tasty recipe from Maren Epstein of Eating Works.
- ¼ cup rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 ⅔ cups warm water
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 cup flour plus extra for dusting
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice syrup, yeast, and water. Place in a warm spot for 10 minutes and allow it to proof. Once the mixture is foamy, add olive oil and salt.
- Start pouring in the flour one cup at a time. Stir in the flour until a dough forms. Knead the dough for 10 minutes inside the bowl, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Once the dough is smooth, place it in a bowl greased with oil and cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes. Then, punch it down to squeeze the gas out and repeat once more.
- Separate the dough into 16 pieces that weigh about 100 grams each. Form each dough into a ball. Punch a hole through the center of the ball. Stretch the bagel and make the hole 50 percent larger than you would want the finished product to have. Set aside on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil each bagel for 30 seconds, flipping them over a few times. Set back onto the baking tray and brush with rice syrup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.