Homemade bagels will change your breakfast game for good; they’re chewy and soft, with fresh rosemary and sea salt flakes.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with bagels. Well, at least as far back as my early teen years. Back when my suburban teenage goal was go to Panera every chance I’d get.
I would immediately order a cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese and the most sugar-filled “latte” that was on the menu. It was like I was asking for diabetes and a cavity in every tooth.
Then I went through a strawberry cream cheese phase. Like, give me ALL the cream cheese on my bagel. Please, and thank you.
But something happened over the years. Maybe it’s what they call “growing up”, but the sweet tooth has (somewhat) subsided and now more than ever, I’m reaching for savory breakfast items over the belly-achingly sweet ones.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’d down a cinnamon crunch bagel in a heartbeat. But now that Rosemary Bagels exist in my life, and I’m able to make them in my own kitchen, the chances of that are slim.
Just so we’re clear, I still put ALL of the cream cheese on my bagel. Only now I’m obsessed with the tanginess of good ol’ plain cream cheese.
So these Rosemary Bagels.
You guys. My lovely food friends.
THESE ARE LIFE CHANGING. And also, the fact that you’re going to be able to make bagels AT HOME is equally fan-freakin’-tastic and dangerous.
Dangerous, because if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to eat, oh, about 3.75 bagels before realizing that you should maybe only eat one per sitting to maintain some sort of health in your life.
It’s ok, I support living a little (or, ahem, a lot). And carbs are life, right?
How to Make Homemade Bagels
First things first, do not, I repeat, do not, be afraid.
I know homemade bread, let alone bagels, can be intimidating at first. I get it. But once you make them (and realize how easy it really is) you’re going to be high-fiving yourself with every bite. It truly is worth it.
There are a few things to keep in mind for making homemade bagels, so let’s dive in!
Use a Stand Mixer if You Have One
Using a stand-mixer with a bread hook is going to make life a whole lot easier. In go the ingredients, and the bread hook does all the major work.
In theory, I’m sure you could mix the dough by hand using a wooden spoon, and then kneading for a while and be absolutely fine.
I’m going to test this out for you ASAP (hello, any excuse to make bagels). I just haven’t yet, hence the in theory caveat. Everyone should have homemade bagels, stand mixer or not!
Plan Ahead: Overnight Bagels
The best version of these requires an overnight rise. And a little additional planning to make sure you have time to mix them up the day before.
The bagels rest overnight as part of a slower fermentation process, deepening the flavor and enhancing the texture.
I did test a couple bagels without their overnight rise. I let them rest for about an hour and then proceeded with the baking part. It works for all intents and purposes, but the overnight rest is absolutely worth the wait!
Boil the Bagels
Yes, you read that right. Before going into the oven, boil those babies. In honey water for an additional leg-up.
Boiling is what gives the bagels their chewy, shiny exterior and prevents the bagels from rising too much, resulting in the dense interior we all love.
The longer the boil, the more dense the bagel will be. I like about 30 seconds on each side: chewy exterior and a softer interior.
Well, because the people say so. Kidding. Kind of.
Many resources recommend using barley malt extract to get the distinct bagel flavor and texture. However, being that I have a pretty regular kitchen set up here (and I’m sure you do too), I wasn’t about to set out to search for it.
Honey (or whichever sweetness you add – barley malt extract or a little molasses) helps with the color, the chewy, shiny exterior, and adds a hint of additional flavor.
How to Shape Bagels
Intimidated on how to get “perfectly” round bagels, with just the right size hole in the middle? Just like making the dough, it’s easier than it seems!
Simply divide the dough into equal parts (I use a kitchen scale to make sure they’re equal!) and roll each part into a ball – as uniformly as you can.
After one of their rests, you’ll simply poke a hole in the middle and begin to gently stretch out the inside.
Done and done! No weird seam where two ends of a dough “rope” come together, and no mis-matched sized bagels. #winning.
All About the Rosemary
Once you go rosemary, you may never go back.
I love an Everything Bagel as much as the next (and you can TOTALLY make these into Everything bagels!). But there’s something about fresh rosemary baked fresh into bagels.
And a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top? Get out of here. I said dangerous, and life changing, and out of this world, didn’t I? Good, I’ll leave you with that then.
One more thing – remember to snap a pic and share it! I love to see recipes come to life in your kitchen!
Love bagels? Try this Romesco Breakfast Bagel Sandwich!Print
With a chewy exterior and soft, yet slightly dense interior, these homemade Rosemary Bagels will change your brunch game!
- 1 1/4 teaspoon instant active yeast
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour
- 2 Tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 T flavorless oil
- Water for boiling
- 1 T honey, or maple syrup/molasses for vegan
- Optional: sea salt flakes for topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with bread hook attachment, add yeast, brown sugar, kosher salt, and water. Stir on low for a minute until combined. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- Add flour and rosemary, mixing on low until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and let it knead for about 8 minutes; you may need to push the dough back into the bowl, mine likes to grow tall. The dough will be slightly tacky, but not sticky.
- In a new bowl, coat the bottom and sides with about 1 T flavorless oil (like vegetable). Remove dough from mixer and smooth into one large ball. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, turning to coat. Optional: spray the top of the dough with cooking oil to ensure it doesn’t dry out if using a towel to cover. Cover with a tea towel and let rest in a warm area for about an hour, until dough has approximately doubled in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl onto a cutting board. Cut the dough into six equal portions, using a scale to measure equal parts for best results. Roll each portion into a smooth ball, ideally until most “cracks” are out. Place balls on a baking sheet and cover again while forming the rest, to ensure they don’t dry out. Let the dough balls rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Using your thumb, poke a hole in the middle of the dough ball and begin to gently pull the dough outwards to create a bagel shape; you want the hole to be approximately 2 inches wide. Remember, the bagels will continue to rise overnight and when they bake. Return to the baking sheet and form the remaining bagels. Cover with plastic wrap and then a tea towel (again, you can spray with a bit of cooking oil if you feel your dough is a bit dry). Let rest for an additional 5-10 minutes. Place covered baking sheet in the fridge to rest overnight.
- The next morning, remove baking sheet from oven approximately 1 hour before baking. As bagels come to room temperature, preheat oven to 500°F. Bring a large stockpot of water, with the honey, to a low boil. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silpat.
- Once the oven is preheated, reshape the bagels as needed (depending on your rise the hole may have shrunk). Add bagels, 1-2 at a time, to the boiling water. Be careful to not crowd the pan. Simmer each side of the bagel for 30-45 seconds. Place boiled bagels on your lined baking sheet and sprinkle with flaky salt if using. Continue until all bagels have been boiled.
- Place bagels in the oven and immediately turn down the oven temperature to 450°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the exterior is golden brown. You may want to turn the pan 10-15 minutes in, depending on your oven, if they aren’t browning evenly.
- Let the bagels sit for about 15 minutes before slicing (torture, I know!). This will ensure the crumb is set and they aren’t a mess when you cut into them. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
If you want to make these same day, let the formed bagels rise in a warm area for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Following remaining directions as written. Remember, these aren’t quite as good, but will do in a pinch!
Other fun additions: garlic, freshly ground black pepper, everything seasoning on the outside… your options are limitless!
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
Keywords: homemade, brunch, vegetarian, bread
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, thank you for your continued support!