How to Make Bagel Dough Easily (With Video)

how to make bagel dough

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Bagels are very common food. They are dense breads that feature a ring shape and made from yeast dough. Well, this food might seem complicated to make at home but its surprisingly easy. You might have grabbed some bagels in your nearest store and they turned out so airy and other times chewy.

A bagels’ chewiness or softness is determined by how the dough was prepared. Good thing is that you do not require any special tools or special techniques to get them ready. I will guide you on how to make the bagel dough to achieve those irresistibly chewy and fresher bagels.

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Ingredients that you will need

To make your bagel dough, you will need:

1. High gluten flour

Making bagels with flour containing high gluten levels means that you will end up with elastic chewy bagels. Bread flour is a perfect flour to use as it contains 12% gluten. When compared with all-purpose flour, which has 10% gluten, the bread flour wins it all.

  • 2. Barley malt syrup

  • The barley malt syrup helps in releasing the natural sugars that are trapped in the flour. It also brings out an old school shop bagel flavor. The barley malt syrup gives your bagels some color and leaves them with a glossy shine. Once opened, the syrup should be stored in the refrigerator. Other great substitutes to this syrup is brown sugar or honey.

  • 3. Active dry yeast

  • This is one useful ingredient in bagel making. It is responsible for raising your flour. It is sold in packets in baking aisle and check to ensure that its active before purchasing it. Saf-instant yeast is another great option to use as it works faster compared to active yeast. Whichever you choose to use, it will work good on your dough.

  • 4. Salt

  • Salt is used as a flavoring to your bagels. You can use kosher salt or table salt.

  • 5. Water

  • You will need water to mix your dough. Use some warm water between 100-1100 F/ 38-430C. The water helps activate yeast and bind the flour to make a dough.

  • 6. Oil

  • Adding oil into your dough makes the bagels stay soft. Some people choose to skip the oiling part but you will still need oil to oil the bowl that your dough will sit in.

    Dough preparation

    Here is a simple way to make your bagel dough:

  • 1. Proofing yeast

  • Proofing is another word for activating yeast. To activate it, you will need to add yeast and sugar into the warm water and leave it to sit for 5 minutes. After that time, you will notice some bubbling of the yeast that indicates that you can stir the mixture till all dissolved.

  • 2. Mix the dough

  • Add salt, oil and flour, mix well till the dough is stiff. If you are making bagels for the first time, then it is better to work by hand. You can also work with a stand mixer with a hook attachment and set the time to 5 minutes.

    Ensure that the end dough is moist and firm after mixing. The amount of water you use to mix the dough will depend on some factors like the flour brand, climate and humidity.

  • 3. Leave the dough to rise

  • Apply some oil onto the insides of a bowl and place your dough into it, cover with an oiled cling film and let it sit for up to 2hrs if you had added little yeast. You can also cover it loosely and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.

    Check to ensure that the flour is deflated. To do this, poke your finger into the dough. If there is impact after poking, the dough has risen but if the dough bounces right back after poking, then it has not risen enough and should be left to sit for more time.

    Another way to check if the flour is ready is by taking a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. If you can almost see through the dough, then its ready.

    If you leave it in the refrigerator, ensure that it sit at a room temperature for 30 minutes before you start working on it.

  • 4. Shaping your dough into balls

  • You can then go ahead and make divide the dough into portions and dig straight into making and shaping your round balls. When making these shapes, avoid as much to flour the working surface.

    Bagel Dough Recipe Video: How to Make Bagel Dough


    If you prefer to make your bagels a day before you prepare them don’t forget to spray the top sides with cooking grease. You can then go ahead and prepare your water bath and let the bagels boil before baking them.

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