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Homemade Bagels {Easy to Freeze}

Homemade Bagels Lazuli Farms

What makes a bagel so chewy and crispy on the outside and soft & delicious on the inside?

You might be surprised to learn that bagels are boiled before they are baked!

The process of boiling the shaped bagels causes the exterior of the bagel to cook & set their shape before cooking them in the oven.  The boiling gives the bagel its characteristic chewy exterior.

After boiling, the bagels won't rise as much as other breads in the oven since the exterior is partially cooked.  The bagel will hold its shape while cooking resulting in a denser-than-bread interior that's soft & chewy.

Top 3 Reasons Why You will Love Bagels:

1 - Best bread for "sandwiches"

Affectionately called "bagelwiches" in our household, bagel sandwiches are a favorite.  They are easy to pack in lunches or on the go and there are so many options for bagelwich fixings! 

Give one of these a try:

  • fried egg, bacon, and cheese is a classic breakfast bagelwich
  • top with pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozza, and broil open faced to make a pizza bagelwich
  • top with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and swiss cheese for a classic BLT

2 - Long Shelf-Life

With the crispy exterior, bagels don't tend to dry out as quickly as other breads.  So you've got a bit more time to eat through your batch of bagels - they'll stay fresh tasting for a few days ... but I'd bet you money you and your family will eat these up so fast!

3 - Easy to Freeze

Bagels keep their freshness, flavour, and texture intact after freezing - they'll taste just like you took them out of the oven that day!

Once your bagels cool completely, tuck 4 to 6 bagels into a large zippered freezer bag, remove as much air as possible before sealing, label, and tuck them in the freezer for up to 3 months.  We always freeze in groups of 5 so we'll have enough for our family when we pull out a pack.

This recipe can easily be doubled to make a bigger batch of bagels to freeze.  A single batch makes 8 to 10 bagels depending on how big you like your bagels.  A double batch will yield you 16 to 20 bagels.

We often make TWO double batches of bagels to restock the freezer.  I make two separate double batches at the same time.  I find the dough gets way to BIG to handle if you try to make more than a double batch in one bowl.  So having two double batches going simultaneously works great for me.

Homemade New York Bagels Recipe

Recipe makes 8 to 10 bagels.


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • toppings for bagels:  everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, grated cheddar


In a glass measuring cup (1 or 2 cup size), sprinkle yeast and sugar over the 1/2 cup water.  Stir to mix.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Mixture should be frothy.

In a large bowl. mix 3 1/2 cups flour and sea salt.  Pour the yeast water mixture into the bowl.  Pour in an additional 1/2 cup of water.

Use a fork to combine.  Once water is incorporated, start mixing with your hands.  Continue to add a tablespoon of water at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add up to 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) until all of the flour is incorporated.  The dough will be firm and moist after incorporating the ingredients.

Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until the dough is smooth, elastic, and stiff.  It will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes to knead.

Transfer the dough ball to the bowl and cover with a plate or a damp, clean tea towel.  Let rise in a warm part of the ktichen for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  You can fit 6 to 8 bagels on each baking sheet.

Transfer the dough to a table or counter.  Use a dough/pastry cutter to divide the dough into 8 to 10 equal pieces.

Take each piece of dough and roll them into balls.  You can create tension in your dough ball by folding the edges in to the centre of the dough ball, then turn the dough ball a quarter turn, and pull the edge in to the centre.  Continue until you have turned the ball 360 degrees.

Set aside each dough ball after you shape each one.  Once you have formed them all into balls, you can now start creating the hole in the middle of the bagel.

While holding your dough ball with two hands, push your thumb and forefinger through the centre of the dough ball by pinching from both sides.  Once the hole is through, use your hands to stretch and shape the bagel.

Place each bagel onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Set them aside to rise while the oven heats, and you bring the water to a boil, and you prepare your toppings.

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Fill a large pot or dutch oven with water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.  Bring the water to a boil.

Place toppings (except cheese) onto plates or shallow dishes such as pie plates.

Once water is boiling, drop 3 to 4 bagels into the water.  The bagels may sink, then rise to the surface.  Boil for 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to flip the bagels over to their other side.  Boil for 1 minute on the second side.  Use the slotted spoon to lift the bagels out of the water and place them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.

Dip your bagels directly into the toppings on their plates.  Toppings will stick to the moist bagels.  Sprinkle bagels with cheese if making cheese bagels.

Continue to boil the remaining bagels and top them until all the bagels are ready to go into the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes on the top rack of the oven until golden brown.  If cooking two pans of bagels, switch the pans from top to bottom partway through.

Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack until completely cooled.

Freezing Bagels:

Place 4 to 6 bagels in a large zippered freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

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