Bagels for brunch

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus 1 hr rising

A challenge

Makes 10 bagels
Make a batch of these low-fat bagels to help stave off mid-morning hunger pangs

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per bagel

  • kcal178
  • fat1g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt1g
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  • 7g sachet dried yeast



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 4 tbsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 450g bread flour
  • poppy, fennel and/or sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)


  1. Tip the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar into a large bowl, and pour over 100ml warm water. Leave for 10 mins until the mixture becomes frothy.

  2. Pour 200ml warm water into the bowl, then stir in the salt and half the flour. Keep adding the remaining flour (you may not have to use it all) and mixing with your hands until you have a soft, but not sticky dough. Then knead for 10 mins until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1hr.

  3. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 pieces, each about 85g. Shape each piece into a flattish ball, then take a wooden spoon and use the handle to make a hole in the middle of each ball. Slip the spoon into the hole, then twirl the bagel around the spoon to make a hole about 3cm wide. Cover the bagel loosely with cling film while you shape the remaining dough.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and tip in the remaining sugar. Slip the bagels into the boiling water - no more than four at a time. Cook for 1-2 mins, turning over in the water until the bagels have puffed slightly and a skin has formed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Sprinkle over your choice of topping and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in the oven for 25 mins until browned and crisp - the bases should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack, then serve with your favourite filling.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (81)

Issy33's picture

Really easy to make and tasted great . But I will but will reduce the salt next time as they were too salty for my palette .

I made 6 after reading the comments and they were the right size very moreish.

karania's picture

Well, I failed. The dough was a sticky mess so I added more flour. They looked good whilst in the oven but the taste was disappointing. I blame the extra flour I used to "tame" the dough.

JoannaDennett's picture

Great recipe, first time I've tried to bake bagels and they were perfect. Other reviewers mention the flour to water ratio isn't quite right but I don't see it, for me they worked well and the dough was as it should be. The swinging the bagel on a spoon but didn't help to make them the neatest so I will try and find a different method next time. However I don't think it matters that much, makes them look more homemade!

Leopoldoni's picture

So fun and simple to make, and absolutely delicious. I am tucking into my first of the day now.

spitfire_pilot's picture

please disregard previous, i found when to add the sugar. Doh.

spitfire_pilot's picture

recipe calls for 4 tsp of sugar, but only uses 1. What did everyone else do? did you add the remaining sugar or not? if so when?

camberwellgirl's picture

Made these today and they turned out beautifully with the full 300mls of water! I was using a stand mixer for most of the mixing process though, I don't know if that makes a difference. Very easy and great results, although I did find the bagels had a very crisp crust which I personally would have liked a bit softer, especially as I like my bagels toasted, and this made them a bit hard, but otherwise lovely, will use the recipe again.

elleci77's picture

This recipe is wrong. It calls for 300 ml of water total, which by no means can hold together 450 g. of flour. It has been noted already. Why won't you correct?

ellen_ellen's picture

Just tucked in to bagel number 1 and it is delicious. I used my mixer and dough hook for the mixing and kneading process- just 8 mins in total. After reading the previous comments I lowered my fan oven temperature to 180 degrees. I also made 6 bagels out of this recipe, so they were larger and still baked perfectly in 23 minutes. No need for egg wash on mine; the residual water was adhesive enough for the sesame seeds. Will definitely be making again!

orlandomurrin's picture

Hmmm. Looking at the other comments I feel I'm a lone voice here, but I found 300ml water to 450g bread flour gave me a batter, not a dough. I ended up adding at least 50g more bread flour (sorry, I didn't measure). I checked another recipe on this website (which is so reliable normally) and that uses 300ml water to 500g bread flour, and warns you may need more flour... I think I got there in the end, but thought I should warn anyone trying it what happened to me.

radiance's picture

Substitute raw honey for sugar and no salt then you have beautiful bagel

Issy33's picture

Thanks for the tip will try this next time as found them a little salty for my taste

Frantic Flapjack's picture

These were my daughter's first attempt at making bagels and they turned out great. Tasted fresh and delicious.

katemcd24's picture

Great recipe - 20 minutes in the oven was fine for me though, and would make 6 rather than 10 if you want the perfect size.

MelissaC213's picture

Tried this recipe today - bagels turned out perfectly. I topped mine with some sesame and poppy seeds, great with smoked salmon. Top marks

greensquirrel's picture

Just made a batch of these, one half was plain half white/half malt house flour, and the other half with cinnamon, cardamom and sultanas. They turned out beautifully, and the plain ones were gorgeous with cream cheese, or just by themselves! The entire batch has vanished in less than half an hour! I'll definitely be making these again, they were really simple and delicious - perfect for bringing to work. The texture was gorgeous and fluffy inside.

neelzp's picture

Lovley bagels, soft and slightly chewy texture, will be making these again!

tyejersey's picture

This is moderately easy. The bagels are delicous and fairly forgiving of my pretty poor shaping skills. I'd use a cooler oven next time, 180 fan oven would give a better texture.

footysurfrat's picture

Not a well written recipe, first step says about adding yeast to water then putting it to one side then it doesn't get mentioned again??? when do you add it, is it included with the 200ml water in step 2 or on top of that???

KingOfTheLilies's picture

Where it says "add 200ml water to the bowl" it is referring to the bowl it tells you to activate the yeast in, so once your yeast has sat for 10 minutes, add more water and then the salt & half the flour. If you read the recipe carefully, this is hard to get wrong.


Questions (5)

Gbubemi's picture

Plus they tasted awful

Gbubemi's picture

I tried this recipe and it did not come out right at all. The bagels cooked for an hour but did not get golden brown but was white and uncooked. What could i have done wrong? Any advice?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, we're very sorry to hear you did not have success with this recipe. It sounds like your oven was not hot enough. This recipe requires a hot oven (220C/fan 200C/gas 7) and it needs to be fully up to temperature before cooking. An oven thermometer is one way of finding out if you're oven isn't getting hot enough. Hope this helps.

philly76's picture

I have just made these and I'm not sure what went wrong- very flat and hard, I'm guessing hard would be overcooked but flat..... I'm confused. Still tasted great and will definately be trying again.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear your bagels didn't work out. There are a few things that could have caused this - you may not have let them rise enough, or the yeast could have been killed if the liquid was too hot. Or, they may have been overbaked. Glad they tasted good and hope they work out next time. Best wishes, BBC Good Food web team

Tips (1)

Petra3d's picture

I tried the Bagles today but they needed about 55g more flour.
Otherwise a very nice recipe.