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 white platter with homemade bagels surrounded by a lox platter and three bowls of 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.

Breakfast

Easy Homemade Bagels

Bypass the bagel shop and get ready for The Complete Guide to Easy Homemade Bagels, including five toppings and three flavors of cream cheese.
5 from 11 votes
A white platter with homemade bagels surrounded by a lox platter and three bowls of cream cheese
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 bagels

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

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!

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Three clear bowls containing cream cheese and various other ingredients

Breakfast

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese

Skip the lox and whip smoked salmon and fresh herbs directly into cream cheese.
5 from 11 votes
Three clear bowls containing cream cheese and various other ingredients
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

  • 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.)

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Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

Breakfast

Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese

Transform plain cream cheese into a hearty favorite with this quick-fix recipe for Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese.
5 from 11 votes
Three clear bowls containing cream cheese and various other ingredients
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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).

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Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

Breakfast

Garlic Herb Cream Cheese

Jazz up classic cream cheese with a quick-fix recipe for Garlic Herb Cream Cheese.
5 from 11 votes
Three clear bowls containing cream cheese and various other ingredients
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

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

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Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

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Recipe by Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 636mg, Potassium: 129mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 120IU, Vitamin C: 2.1mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 1.1mg

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Comments

  1. I made the bagels, I must have did something wrong, everything was fine, till the oven, came out fine, But after cooling the got flat, &small, I’m a good baker, so what did I do,

    1. Hi Joan! When bagels are over-proofed, or if you leave them in the boiling water for longer than you have to, they just go flat immediately after you take them out of the water.

  2. I noticed that after you shape the bagels you don’t let them rise before boiling. How do the bagels rise?

  3. 5 stars
    These turned out AMAZING for me, so easy to make and so delicious! I had very little confidence in my homemade bread skills after a horribly failed loaf of bread but gave it one last go with these and they turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Made your bagels today. Turned out absolutely delicious, but a bit misshapen on my first try. Made them just a little too thin. Next time thicker.

  5. 5 stars
    I made these today on a whim because I had all the ingredients and I had been promising my daughter I would try them out. I was hesitant to try. No need. These were easy and delicious. For a few (for said daughter) I finely chopped jalapeños and cheddar and worked it into the dough. Those ones came out even better! Next time I will work the dough a bit before boiling. Thank you so much!! Can’t wait to make more.

    1. Hi Ari! Bread flour gives the bagels their dense and chewy texture but all-purpose flour can be used in a pinch. Just note that the bagels won’t be nearly as chewy!

  6. These look great. I remember years ago buying bagels with cheddar cheese mixed in with the dough. Afraid if I just added it to the dough I might mess up your recipe and they’d not come out right. Any idea how I’d make those?

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve been keeping this recipe on my ‘to-make’ list since you first posted it and I finally got around to making it today. As with all dough recipes, I was very hesitant and nervous because I was sure I would mess it up, so I only made half a batch (with sesame seeds) just to test it out. My five kids gobbled up the bagels in no time, saying, “These are SO good!” so I guess that’s an indication of success! I need to go out and buy some bread flour now so I can make these again so my husband can taste them…if the kids don’t get to them first! Thank you for an amazing recipe!

    1. Hi Diana! The honey is listed in the 7th paragraph following the instruction to preheat the oven, “In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil then stir in the honey.” :)

  8. Hi Kelly!

    The bagels look so good! Thank you for sharing. I don’t have a dough hook. Could I I mix / knead these by hand, or would it ruin the texture? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Naomi! I’ve never tried making this recipe without a stand mixer, but I think you could do it by hand. It should work out without any issues (although the texture might be slightly different), you’ll just want to make sure the ingredients are well incorporated. Looking forward to hearing your results!

  9. Hi Kelly,
    Most bagel recipes usually contain Barley Malt syrup, these do not. How do these compare? Are they chewy? I’m from NY where the bagels have a chewy interior and nicely browned exterior. Great spread recipes!

    1. Hi Mike! These are so chewy and the perfect bagel texture. And I totally hear ya’ on the barley malt syrup front. You can actually use that in place of the honey (an equal amount), if you prefer it. The honey is just a more readily available (and identifiable!) ingredient for most :)

    1. Hi Kathleen! The yeast is listed right after the sugar :) It’s 2 1/4 teaspoons (or one 3/4-oz. packet).