How to make Homemade Bagels!!

January 18, 2012

Hmmm Bagelsss…My favourite bagels (so far) are from the Bagel Factory in London. I might just be because I had one of the best week of my life there with Karl a few years ago, so I remember everything as being perfect but honestly, these bagels were amazing!

Anyways, so as usual, I want to make everything from scratch so I decided to try to make so good old bagels!!! I have to warn you, if you are looking for a speedy recipe, this one might not be for you. It does take time but in the end, you get homemade bagels!!

This recipe calls for Sourdough Starter, which you have to make yourself. It’s really not hard but it just takes time for it to be ready for you to use (3 to 5 days). So start by making your Starter and a couple of days after you can make the actual bagels!

Again, this is an old school recipe that my mother in law found in a local newspaper 30 some years ago. I don’t know the exact date, but I know it was written by Catherine Mitchell in the Citizen newspaper.

Enjoy :)

  • Course: Main Course
  • Servings: 14
  • Prep. time: 60 min
  • Cook time: 20 min


  • 1 Cup of milk
  • 3 Tablespoon of plain yogurt
  • 1 Cup of flour
  • 1 Cup of sourdough starter ( ingredients to make it are listed above)
  • 1 1/2 Cup of warm water
  • 6 Cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon of honey
  • 2 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • sesame seeds,poppy seeds, dried garlic and onions, etc to garnish your bagels

Cooking instructions:

  1. SOURDOUGH STARTER: Prepare a jar in which you will be leaving the starter to settle for a couple of days. This jar has to have a tight cap. Warm up a cup of milk (preferably whole, but no an obligation) to about 90 to 100 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of plain unflavored yogurt.
  2. Pour the milk mixture in the jar and put the cap on tightly. Leave the jar in a warm place (between 80 to 100 degrees F).
  3. After 18 to 24 hours, the starter should be at yogurt consistency. If a liquid has formed on top, simply mix it back in. If the liquid has turned lightly pink,discard and start again.
  4. When the mixture is at a yogurt consistency, stir in a cup of all purpose flour until smooth. Cover and let in stand in the same place (80 to 100 F) for 2 to 5 days (until the mixture is full of bubble and smells sour).
  5. During this time, if a liquid forms on top, mix it back in. If the liquid is slightly pink, discard all but 1/4 up of the starter, mix in a cup of warm milk (90 to 100F) and a cup of flour. Let it stand in a warm place until it bubbles and smells sour. If mold forms on top, simply scrape off and discard the mold.
  6. To maintain a goof supply, each time you use a portion of it, replenish with equal amounts of warm milk (90 to 100F) and flour. If you don't use it for a month, discard half and replenish with equal amounts of warm milk and flour.
  7. FOR THE BAGELS: In another jar, put 1 cup of sourdough starter, 1 1/2 cup of warm water and 2 cups of flour. Mix well until smooth and leave in a warm area overnight or up to 36 hours.
  8. Transfer the mixture in a bowl and add the yeast, the honey, 1 egg and the oil and a good pinch of salt. Mix well.Start adding the 4 cups of flour, cup by cup until it becomes a stiff dough. Lightly flour a working surface and continue kneading the rest of the flour in the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Oil a bowl and roll the dough around to coat and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise until in doubles in size.
  9. Punch the dough down, and transfer it on a lightly flour a working surface. Cut 14 to 16 equal pieces of dough. Make dough balls and let them sit, covered with a towel for 10 minutes.
  10. Lightly flatten the balls down a put your thumb through the middle and shape the balls into a bagel shape. flour a surface and place your uncooked bagels on the surface, well spaced, to rest and double up in size. Make sure they are well covered.
  11. Fill about 2/3 of a big, big pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  12. Start your oven at 375F. Take two cookie sheets and grease them.
  13. With the remaining egg, whisk it with about 2 tablespoons of water. Place the mixture near your cookie sheets along with a brush.
  14. Prepare the ingredients that you will be sprinkling on your bagels. When your bagels have doubled in size and your water in boiling heavily, carefully take a bagel a put it in the water. It will rise to the surface almost immediately. With a wooden spoon, flip it and boil it for a minute and a half. With an egg turner, carefully lift the bagel out of the water, letting the leftover water drip out and place it on a cookie sheet. You can do 2 to 3 bagels at a time in your pot, depending on its size. Once the bagel is ready on the cookie sheet. brush it with the egg mixture and sprinkle the topping ingredients. When you are done boiling all of them, Bake one cookie sheet at a time for about 20minutes or until the bagels are golden brown. It took 22 minutes in my oven. Test the firmness of the bagels before taking them out. Place them on a cooling rack to cool down.
  • Kathy N

    I haven’t made this yet, but I can already tell that I’ll love it.
    I’ll definitely have to try it sometime this month!

  • Alex – I Adore Food!

    It was a fun experience! Next time I will be making Cinnamon Raisin Bagels! :)

  • Lauren @ Pass the Plate

    Wow, I absolutely love bagels but have never tried to make them from scratch! This recipe looks easy enough to follow, so I might try them sometime soon!

  • Alex – I Adore Food!

    It does take some time but bagels and awesome!! :) I hope you try it!

  • Jenny Morris

    I have never made homemade bagels but have always wanted to! I am envious!
    Jenny @ Savour the Senses

  • Alex – I Adore Food!

    You should try it, it’s fun :)