Sara Novak Photo
Sara Novak

Homemade bagels have always seemed so intimidating. It seems like a multi-step charade that I was a bit hesitant to take on. Until now. Sunday the husband and I went for it. We were craving a good bagel and to be honest, I haven't found one bagel shop in town that meets expectations. I'm not a snob, but I just want bagels that are warm when I sink my teeth in; where the cream cheese melts into the crevices not because it's been warmed up but because it's come straight from the oven.

You can top your bagels with whatever floats your boat. Consider sea salt and pepper, rosemary, sesame seeds, or cinnamon and sugar. I even used a lavender sea salt that was mildly strange but mostly just salty and delicious.


1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
4 tsp plus 1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 ¾ tsp plus ½ tsp salt
1 cup plus 3 to 3 ½ cups bread flour
4 quarts boiling water



  1. Combine the water, yeast, and 2 1/2 tsp sugar. Let the yeast dissolve, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in butter, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1 cup flour and knead for about 10 minutes. Gradually add in 3 cups flour. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a rope about 10 inches long. Pinch the ends together into a ring and wet to seal. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring water to boil and add in remaining sugar and salt.
  5. Boil each ring, about 4 at a time in the water for 45 seconds.
  6. Sprinkle with choice toppings and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown.

    Recipe: The Joy of Cooking

This recipe appears in: Rolls & Buns
You Might Also Like
Gingerbread Pear Muffins

Learn how to make muffins that everyone loves and that don't take a PhD in Pastry Arts to prepare.

Chocolate-Raspberry Loaf

Making quick breads are simple, especially if you follow our easy-to-use ingredients list and baking instructions.

search recipes
Don't Miss