Tuesday, 22 October 2013 21:54

Homemade bagels

Bagels are one of the foods that bring back very distinct memories of a time when I had one of them almost daily… those ring-formed, hand-sized breads are hugely popular in the States where they exist in innumerable different kinds - sweet with raisins and cinnamon or savory with garlic, onions, different seeds...

Sweet bagel memories

I commuted to college and that early morning bus ride was nothing to look forward to, but that cinnamon-raison bagel at the cafeteria was. They’d make them fresh in an oven within view of the cashier’s line and I always felt like they actually were homemade bagels, freshly baked just for us students.

I can still remember that feeling when I’d sink into the booth with my coffee in a paper cup and my beloved cinnamon-raisin bagel. It must have contained some whole wheat flour as it was not all white which made the whole dense, chewy, doughy experience with the soft sweet raisins scattered in even more satisfying.

Even though bagels were the staple of the Polish and entire Slavic diet during the 16th and first half of the 17th century, they never seemed to have gained much popularity in Central Europe - then or now. I don’t even recall having had them elsewhere after leaving the States - let alone a homemade bagels.

Baking my own homemade bagels

Once again, a food Mary’s Dinner Club brought back to me. I was organizing a fitness dinner and looking for something healthy, fun and different – homemade bagels (and memories of America) came to mind.  At first I was actually quite embarrassed when I found out about my ignorance on the fact that they had to be ‘boiled’ before being baked, but then I got really excited at the prospect of ‘boiling bread’.

It’s great fun and really easy!


500 g flour 1 tablespoon dry yeast ½ tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons oil 300 ml warm water 1 tablespoon honey 1 egg, whisked flour for working area


Mix flour with dry yeast, sugar and salt. Add water and oil Knead to a soft elastic dough Place the ball of dough into a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for an hour in a warm place. Divide the dough into 8 balls, flatten and make a hole (about 4 cm) into the middle with your finger or the back end wooden spoon. Place them all on a baking tray lined with baking paper (leave some space as they’ll rise more), cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven at 220°C. Boil water in a deep pot and add honey, reduce to a simmer Place a maximum of 3 bagels at a time in the water and let float for about 30 seconds on each side Remove, place on a kitchen towel and then transfer them all onto your baking tray Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown

Here a video with slightly different ingredients to show you the easy steps

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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