Plain Bagels

Plain BagelsTo kick off my Bagel Challenge, I’m sharing my plain bagel recipe. This plain bagel can be topped with about anything. I love sesame seed bagels for sandwiches, and bagels topped with cheddar cheese for chili. The possibilities are endless!



Bruegger’s Challenge Bagels made with this recipe:

  • Plain (duh)
  • Asiago/ Asiago Parmesan
  • Everything
  • Poppy
  • Sesame
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Jalapeño Cheddar
  • Salt

Plain Bagels

Yield: 8 bagels

Plain Bagels


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Toppings (optional)


  1. Mix warm water and sugar in  a large bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes, add the salt and flour and mix well until dough forms a shaggy ball. (For chocolate chip bagels, add ½ cup of chocolate chips here). If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment and mix on low for 3-4 minutes.  
  3. Then increase speed to medium until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Roll your dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.
  4. Let rise for one hour in a warm, draft free place, or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Gently de-gas the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. I find it easiest to do this with a kitchen knife. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, and use a floured finger to make a hole in each ball. Widen the hole to approximately one-third of the bagel’s diameter.
  6. Place bagels on a lined baking sheet (lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat) and cover. Allow bagels to rise for 20 minutes.
  7. While your bagels rise, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  
  8. Once bagels have finished rising, boil bagels uncovered for one minute on each side. Depending on the size of your pot, you should be able to boil 2-3 at a time.
  9. Remove bagels from boiling water using a slotted spoon or perforated skimmer and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat for all bagels and pat dry with a towel before returning to baking sheet.
  10. To give my bagels a nice golden crust, I brush them with an egg wash. Beat one egg with one tablespoon of water and a dash of salt.
  11. Brush the top of each bagel with egg wash. My silicone pastry brush is perfect for this- way easier to clean than a traditional brush.This step can easily be skipped, but the egg wash really helps the toppings stay on and it doesn’t add an eggy flavor.
  12. Egg Wash and Toppings
  13. Optional- add toppings!
  14. -For poppy seeds, sesame seeds or other small toppings, fill a small dish or plate with your toppings and dip your bagels in the topping, twisting and applying light pressure to ensure an even coating.
  15. -Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of your bagels (asiago, parmesan, or my husband’s favorite, cheddar cheese)
  16. -Press small slices of jalapeños into the top of your bagel and top with cheese (I’m a total wimp about spicy-hot food and have not tried this one- let me know if it works!)
  17. Bake your creations for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  18. Cool completely on a wire rack. I’ve never had any trouble with burning toppings- just make sure you are extra careful not to burn yourself transferring bagels topped with melted cheese! Enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from: Bread, by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.

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