Bypass the bagel shop and get ready for The Complete Guide to Easy Homemade Bagels, including five toppings and three flavors of quick-fix cream cheese.

A go-to carb. We’ve all got one (or some). For me, it has been and always will be the good ol’ trusty bagel.

My earliest childhood food memory dates back to when I was 5 years old, and happens to involve a very particular bagel sandwich. It was an egg bagel loaded up with sliced turkey and cheddar and slathered with my condiment-o-choice, mayonnaise. I can still taste that perfect bagel sandwich, with every chewy bite.

A variety of bagels topped with seasonings on brown parchment paper

Fast forward two-and-a-half decades and the bagel sandwich would still hold a prominent spot in my culinary lineup, this time as my #1 pregnancy craving (with both of the boys!).

It’s hard to resist a warm-from-the-oven, perfectly chewy bagel with endless topping and filling options. But do you want to know the major spoiler?

A clear glass mixing bowl containing homemade bagel dough

Brace yourself because this news is going to forever change your carb game…

A wood cutting board containing unbaked, shaped bagels and balls of bagel dough

Homemade bagels are actually one of the absolute easiest and most fool-proof carbs you can make.

And not only make, but master.

Yes, you will be a homemade bagel master.

A large pot filled with water and homemade bagels

Check out the ingredient list below. It’s a very short list of easily available items, many of which you likely already have in your pantry.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you’re essentially 50% of the way to the finish line. And that is a finish line draped in perfectly chewy bagels dressed up and feelin’ fancy with all of your favorite toppings.

A baking sheet with unbaked bagels topped with seasonings

The family favorite around our house is the tried-and-tested “everything” bagel, topped off with the classic seasoning blend that you can either buy online or mix together yourself.

A baking sheet with two rows of bagels with assorted toppings

A close second place for the non-toddlers in our home is the perfectly cheesy and slightly spicy cheddar-jalapeño bagel. Just look at all that melty cheese!

A close-up of a cheddar-jalapeno bagel

Are you ready to give homemade bagels a go? Gather your ingredients, preheat your oven and read on for the recipe, plus three quick-fix recipes for flavored cream cheese.

Because what’s a perfectly baked homemade bagel without a thick slathering of DIY cream cheese? Take your pick from Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese, Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese (my personal fave!) and Garlic Herb Cream Cheese.

Easy Homemade Bagels

For the bagels:

  • 4
    cups
    bread flour, plus more for shaping dough
  • 2
    teaspoons
    kosher salt
  • 1 1/2
    cups
    warm water (approximately 110°F)
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    sugar
  • 2 1/4
    teaspoons
    (one 3/4-oz. packet) active dry yeast
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing bowl
  • 1/3
    cup
    honey
  • 1
    large egg beaten with 2 Tablespoons water or milk

For the toppings:

  • 1
    Tablespoon
    “everything” seasoning (See Notes)
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    poppy seeds
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    toasted sesame seeds
  • 2
    slices
    sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1
    jalapeño, seeded and sliced into thin rounds

Make the bagels:

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the warm water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved then add the yeast and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes or until it is foamy. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour and salt. With the mixer on LOW speed, pour in the yeast mixture then allow the stand mixer to knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it comes together into a cohesive ball. 

Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil then add the dough to the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the dough in a warm, dark location for 90 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Lightly flour your work surface then turn the dough out and punch it down. 

Divide the dough into 8 portions then flatten each piece into a 4-to- 5-inch disk. Using your thumb, poke a whole through the center of each disk to form the bagels, stretching them slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil then stir in the honey. Arrange the bagel toppings in small bowls (“everything” seasoning, poppy seeds or sesame seeds; See Notes for jalapeño-cheddar).

Boil the bagels, two or three at a time, for 1 minute and then gently flip them over once and boil them an additional 1 minute. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the boiling water and arrange them on the baking sheet.

Brush the tops of the bagels with egg wash then press them into your preferred toppings.

Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before serving.  

Notes:

The toppings listed are enough to make two “everything” bagels, two poppy seed bagels, two sesame bagels and two jalapeño-cheddar bagels. 

To make the jalapeño-cheddar bagel, top each baked bagel with a few slices of jalapeño then lay a cheese slice on top. Broil the bagel for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted.

After baking and cooling, the bagels can be frozen for up to three months. Wrap them securely in plastic wrap and store them in sealable plastic bags in the freezer. 

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition Facts

Easy Homemade Bagels

Amount Per Serving

Calories 333
Calories from Fat 45

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 5g
8%

Saturated Fat 1g
5%

Cholesterol 27mg
9%

Sodium 636mg
27%

Potassium 129mg
4%

Total Carbohydrates 60g
20%

Dietary Fiber 2g
8%

Sugars 13g

Protein 11g
22%

Vitamin A
2.4%

Vitamin C
2.5%

Calcium
8.9%

Iron
6.1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Three clear bowls containing cream cheese and various other ingredients

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese

  • 8
    oz.
    cream cheese, at room temp
  • 6
    oz.
    smoked salmon, flaked
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    chopped fresh chives
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    chopped fresh dill

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth then beat in the smoked salmon, chives and dill. (Alternately, using a firm spatula, stir together all of the ingredients.)

Nutrition Facts

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese

Amount Per Serving

Calories 244
Calories from Fat 189

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 21g
32%

Saturated Fat 11g
55%

Cholesterol 72mg
24%

Sodium 515mg
21%

Potassium 152mg
4%

Total Carbohydrates 2g
1%

Sugars 1g

Protein 11g
22%

Vitamin A
17.6%

Vitamin C
1.1%

Calcium
6%

Iron
3.2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese

  • 8
    oz.
    cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1
    cup
    chopped cooked bacon
  • 1/4
    cup
    thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2
    cup
    grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1
    jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth then beat in the bacon, scallions, cheddar cheese and jalapeño (optional).

Nutrition Facts

Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese

Amount Per Serving

Calories 283
Calories from Fat 234

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 26g
40%

Saturated Fat 14g
70%

Cholesterol 81mg
27%

Sodium 317mg
13%

Potassium 123mg
4%

Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%

Sugars 2g

Protein 7g
14%

Vitamin A
20.1%

Vitamin C
6.5%

Calcium
16.2%

Iron
2.2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

×

Garlic Herb Cream Cheese

  • 8
    oz.
    cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/3
    cup
    finely diced cucumber
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    minced garlic
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    chopped fresh parsley
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    chopped fresh chives
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    chopped fresh dill
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    grated lemon zest

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth then beat in the remaining ingredients. 

Nutrition Facts

Garlic Herb Cream Cheese

Amount Per Serving

Calories 213
Calories from Fat 171

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 19g
29%

Saturated Fat 11g
55%

Cholesterol 62mg
21%

Sodium 186mg
8%

Potassium 226mg
6%

Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%

Sugars 2g

Protein 4g
8%

Vitamin A
23.2%

Vitamin C
10.7%

Calcium
10.5%

Iron
8.5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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