Have you ever made bagels?


I personally love the texture of a good bagel – slightly chewy and dense. As you’d expect, nothing beats home baked ones – and they’re easier than you think. Brilliant toasted too, bagels are the perfect vehicle for lashings of butter. But be creative, there are so many delicious toppings/fillings. I have given one of my favourites at the bottom of this recipe.

makes 12 bagels

  • 750g strong white flour
  • 375ml warm water
  • 1tsp dried yeast (or one packet)
  • 3 heaped tsp of malt extract
  • 2 tsp salt


  1. Place the warm water, yeast and the malt extract in a small bowl or jug, and stir or whisk to combine. Leave for five to 10 minutes to get frothy.
  2. Place the flour and salt into a large bowl or stand mixer.
  3. Once the wet mixture is frothy, pour into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Once it has formed into a dough, knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is soft (slightly less time if using a stand mixer with a dough hook). If your dough is too soft, add a little more flour – too dry, add a little more water.
  4. Leaving your dough in the bowl, oil the sides of the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size (this could up to two hours, but check after an hour).
  5. Line two trays with parchment paper. Then cut 12 squares of parchment paper (5cm square-ish but it doesn’t need to be accurate) for the bagels to sit on and lay these out evenly across the lined trays. Give the whole lot a little oil. This might seem a weird extra step, but trust the process!
  6. Once proved, tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead again before dividing the dough into 12 even pieces and roll them balls.
  7. Take each ball of dough and simply poke a hole in the centre, then gently spin them on your finger to make them widen into a hoop shape, with a 2cm-size hole.
  8. Place each dough hoop onto a square of paper on your trays.
  9. Cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film and leave to prove again for 45 minutes.
  10. Once the bagels have proved for the second time, take a large saucepan full of water and bring to the boil. At this point, preheat the oven to 200º fan/gas 6.
  11. Using the squares, carefully tip each bagel into the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds each side. You may need to do this in batches of two or three bagels at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Try not to knock the air out of the bagels as you do this. The little squares of paper help to transfer the bagels to the water.
  12. Drain them on a wire rack until all the bagels have had their boiling dip in the pan. You can brush with a little beaten egg if you wish and then bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Heather’s favourite bagel filling:
I love a toasted bagel filled with butter, soft cream cheese, a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, crispy streaky bacon and a generous squeeze of sriracha mayo. Its a delicious combo of sweet, spicy, creamy and salty!


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