Bagels, Bagels & more Bagels!


Week 3 in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge – Bagels! Yes I made it another week! I know, I’m just as shocked as everyone else! Sadly, I must start out with news that, my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer has gone on to greener pastures. Yes, Alice is no longer with us. Artos killed her! Boo hoo hoo! So working on this challenge was a little more challenging than I expected because all of the kneading had to be done by hand! I used muscles in my arms I haven’t used since … well let’s just say it’s been a while!

Not one to let a little setback get me down, I pressed onward. I started out every challenge the same way, reading through the commentary & recipe in Peter’s book. This one was a little daunting, 6 pages worth of daunting to a newbie baker like myself. There were a few ingredients that I could not find locally, malt syrup & high gluten flour but luckily Peter (I feel we’re on a first name basis now since I am afterall in week 3, hope that’s okay with you Peter!) gave me substitutions.. Whew. Yes, I know I could have ordered them online but I ran out of time.

I was very excited about making Bagels! I LOVE Bagels! There’s just something about a fresh, warm Bagel from your local Bagel shop. Walking in, seeing the hundreds of Bagels, ah the smells. Intoxicating! I, of course, had never attempted to make fresh homemade Bagels before but was happy I finally did! Here goes…

This was another 2 day process. I’m getting the feeling that it’s going to mostly be a two day deal with all of these breads – LOL. I made my sponge, let it ferment (sit around for a bit, bubble up & double in size)


and then added in some more ingredients, turning it into dough. Ah now here come the tears from missing Alice…the kneading part. This took a novice like me a little longer to actually knead the dough until it was at the right temperature & texture but I got there (eventually) & it was rewarding to know that I could actually do it (when forced to). Then it was time to divide the dough up into 4 1/2 oz pieces.

Okay here is where I am happy that I broke down this week-end & went and invested in a nice scale. I put it to very good use! Once they were rolled into balls, they were covered & allowed to rest for a bit. It was a much needed rest for me too! {wink wink!} Once they rested it was time to shape the balls into actual bagels. Peter gave us 2 shaping methods. I went with the wrap around the fist method.


It was very straightforward and worked like a charm. The shaped bagels were placed onto parchment lined baking sheets & allowed to rest again for a bit! I for one am thankful for the resting periods because I sure did need them as well! tee hee.

Now for the moment of truth, the float test.


We were to drop one of the bagels into water to see if it would float. I was a little nervous here. I was hoping and praying that I had kneading the dough properly & followed the rest of the instructions. HOORAY! It floated & straight away no less! Brava! Now it was time to put the Bagels into the fridge overnight!


Day Two:
I fired up the oven & put on a large pot of boiling water & pulled the Bagels out of the fridge. They were calling my name. I was ready to get the show on the road. While the water was coming to a boil I prepared my toppings. A seed mixture and also a cinnamon sugar mixture. Time to boil those babies.


I dropped in the bagels, boiled them according to directions, added the seed topping to a few & returned them to their baking tray & then baked them. Ah the smells coming out of my oven! I could hardly wait to enjoy these treats. Secretly hoping they would surpass my expectations & they did! They were delicious. I was at first a little concerned that there were only 12 Bagels. But these were large Bagels and one certainly filled you up. I will definitely be making these again. Would be great to do on Friday & have them ready to cook on Saturday for the week-end!




What type of bagels do you like?

Remember, you can bake along with me. Just pick up Peter’s book here The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. & come & join me.

Sneak peek: Next week’s Challenge: Brioche! Ah, the buttery goodness!


  1. 1

    Those look FANTASTIC!! 🙂

    • 1.1

      Thanks Nicole! I was a little nervous about Bagels but they were much more fun & delicious than I thought 🙂

  2. 2

    YUM! These look awesome. 🙂 Can’t wait to get started on my bagels!!

    • 2.1

      Thanks Sara! They were so yummy. Great texture. We were so ready to eat them we couldn’t resist one straight out of the oven!

  3. 3

    Love your photos. Great looking bagels.
    Nice baking along with you.

    • 3.1

      Hi Susie! Thanks so much! I’m have the best time with the #bba’ers. So happy that I decided to jump in!

  4. 4

    Those look absolutely PERFECT! Gorgeous. I hope mine turn out half as pretty. 🙂

    Well done!

    • 4.1

      Ah, thanks Kelly! They’re were much easier than I immagined. I’m sure yours will be fab! Can’t wait to make them again.

  5. 5

    Just beautiful pictures. I thought that my arms were going to fall off. I’m sorry that your Kitchenaid is dead. Mine is 23 years old and I’m afraid that the challenge may put her under if I use her for all the mixing.

    • 5.1

      Hi Anne Marie! Yes, Alice was a great kitchen friend 🙁 I had her for MANY years! But no worries, my hubs surprised me & ordered a new more sturdy KA stand mixer so that I can complete the challenge with arms intact! Whew…

  6. 6

    How sad about your Kitchen Aid Mixer. I know my arms would be sore, too.

    Your bagels look fantastic!

    • 6.1

      Ciao Carole! Thanks so much! Well the good news is that I learned that I could actually do it myself when push came to shove. The even better news is my hubs ordered me a new one w/lift & it will b here next week in time for Brioche! Insert happy dance here!

  7. 7

    Oh no..sorry to hear abt your mixer! Your bagels look perfect! Love the seeds on them!

    • 7.1

      Thanks Ann! These were so much fun! I can’t wait to try some with blueberries!

  8. 8

    So…. how much for a dozen shipped to Chicago??? 🙂

    • 8.1

      Ciao Mara! Next time I make them I’ll double the recipe so there’s leftovers 😉 & I’ll also be sure to freeze some. Would love to have some more right about now!

  9. 9

    Wow! Bagels are no small feat. When my brothers and I were younger, we thought it would be fun to try to make some except we were young and dumb and our inedible bagels became projectiles.

    • 9.1

      Ciao Rachel! That’s funny. I’m so glad mine turned out well otherwise my 3 bambini might have had the same idea 😉

  10. 10

    Your bagels look amazing! I am getting very hungry, sitting here at my desk and reading your post. I’m tackling mine this weekend.

    Congratulations on a bagel well-baked!

    • 10.1

      Hi Dianne! Thanks so much! I’m really kicking myself for not freezing some of them! They had a nice crust & soft warm inside..Delish.

  11. 11
    Mylynka /

    oooh they look fabulous! The “everything” bagel is my flavor of choice! Mmmm makes me want one right about now! I may have to get the book you are using!

    Have you ever seen the Julia Child one “Baking With Julia”? Good stuff and some fantastic breads and other delights!

    • 11.1

      Ciao Mylynka! Oh you def should. It’s AMAZING. I actually think I might know a thing or two about bread by the time I finish going through the book 🙂 I haven’t seen that book. Will have to look for it (am looking forward to the Julia movie this fall though!) Can’t wait to tackle Brioche next week! Fingers Crossed!

  12. 12

    Those bagels look so good!! I love cinnamon raisin bagels. mmmm

  13. 13

    Hi! I just discovered your blog! I love your template and your recipes, I’ll continue to read you for sure 🙂
    Your bagels looks great! Homemade bagels are definitely worth the work and the wait. Brava!

    • 13.1

      Ciao Marta! Thanks so much for visiting! I’m so glad you found us! Yes, homemade is definitely worth it. I was really impressed with the taste & oh the smells of the Bagels!

  14. 14

    I totally LOVE bagels and I make loaf bread but I have been wanting to branch out. I’m so excited to see this can be done at home. I had no idea bagels were boiled and then baked. I can’t wait to try these. I will have to get that book.

    • 14.1

      Hi Leslie! Yes, you should def pick it up. it’s a wonderful book (& I’m only on the 3rd recipe) You can just click on the link on my page if you like. If I can make them, anyone can! They’re scrumptious! Much easier than I ever thought!

  15. 15

    These look amazing! I’m making mine this weekend, so I’m glad to see that things went well for you.

  16. 16

    YOur bagels look fantastic! So sad about your mixer, but I read your tweet today that the new one has arrived. You’ll love it just as much if not more.

    • 16.1

      Thanks Wendy! I was very sad but now I’m quite happy again (I almost feel a little bad about replacing her so quickly, almost) ! I KNOW I’m going to love the new superduty professional one if not more! Can’t wait to break her in.

  17. 17

    I have a bagel recipe in my box to try on a weekend, but I am chicken because dough is not my strong suit. I will be strong and brave and pull it out this weekend.

    • 17.1

      Hi Meseidy! If I can do it so can you! I’m a complete baking novice!

  18. 18

    Very sad about your KA. I’ve only recently gotten one and I am totally attached already. I keep thinking it needs to be named. LOL I love that you named your’s.
    The bagels look amazing. I have to try my hand at those soon.

    • 18.1

      Thanks Michelle! Yes, you def have to name yours too! I spend so much time with mine a name just felt natural! 🙂

  19. 19

    I never imagined myself being capable of making my own bagels, quite intimidating! These are great looking bagels. What a beautiful photos! I love everything bagels 🙂

    • 19.1

      Thanks Rachel! They were intimidating but surprisingly easier than I expected. I am so happy that I joined the bread baker’s apprentice challenge. It has really gotten me to come out of my baking box.

  20. 20

    Beautiful Bagels, Beautiful Pictures, Beautiful Topping. I wish mine looked half as good as yours!

  21. 21

    Those are some gorgeous looking bagels!

    • 21.1

      Ciao Jia! I’m really pleased how they turned out. I can’t wait to make them again!

  22. 22

    These are fabulous! I never thought to make my own bagels, how wonderful the fresh ones must taste right out of the oven!

  23. 23

    Great job! These looks beautiful!

    • 23.1

      Thanks a bunch! These were tons of fun to make. Matter of fact I think I might whip up another batch tonight to have to eat tomorrow 🙂

  24. 24

    Your bagels look wonderful! I’ll be starting mine this week. I LOVE everything bagels! What topping mix did you use on your “everythings?” I’m not officially part of the BBA Challenge, but I’m “playing along at home.” My Christoposomos was, like your bread, comically large. It’s bigger than a plate!

    BTW, nice choice in theme. I almost used this one myself!

    • 24.1

      Ciao SulaBlue! I’m sure you’re going to love your Bagels. They were scrumptious! The mixture I used on my Bagels was: Sea Salt, Celery Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Caraway Seeds & Dried Minced Garlic!

  25. 25

    I am amazed with the floating test, because I never heard that before. Okay floating is good sign, but what’s the explanation behind it? Please tell me =)

    • 25.1

      Hi Spirited Miu Flavor! According to Mr. Reinhart’s book the float test is done to check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refridgerator!

  26. 26

    Oh I forgot, also congrats on making it to top 9! 😀

  27. 27
    John /

    Oh It looks so good and delicious.

  28. 28

    The bagels look fantastic – especially since you had an unexpected setback and had to knead them by hand. I attempted bagels once – they were tough little babies – but this inspires me to try again! They look terrific!

  29. 29

    Wow! That bagels looks delicious =) Believe me or not, but I have never tried a bagel. How it’s possible, I suppose you are thinking xD They were just not very common in Moscow (at least, when I left Moscow ten years ago). Something similar to a fried bagel was sold on street stands (they were not doughnuts, though). I only have seen a real bagel once, in a book shop specialized in books in English in Krakow, Poland. What a strange place to find a bagel, really? That’s because they apart from books, they sold real american baked goods.

    After seeing that photos, I think that maybe I should give them a try =)
    I suppose the most difficult part is to knead the dought, because all the other steps seem quite easy (or at least I hope they are xD)

    And I will be pleased to visit your site ^^ You have the most beautiful design I have seen in ages! (and I’m not exaggerating)

    • 29.1

      Ciao Ksenia! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll give Bagels a try! I agree that the most difficult part was kneading the dough & maybe perhaps the waiting to cook them 🙂

  30. 30

    Your bagels look fabulous!! Bagels are one of the hardest breads to get right. As a native New Yorker who has been eating bagels forever, I have always been wary of making them myself, but you have inspired me!! If mine turn out half as well as yours, I’ll be happy!

  31. 31

    We no longer purchase bagels since we started making our own a few months ago.
    Once a person gets past the perception of that these are difficult to make and actually make their own, they’ll never go back to store bought.
    Our favorites are toasted garlic, kosher salt and white raisin!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe and the pictures support the process very nicely.

  32. 32
    Lisaloo /

    I definitely think P. Reinhart will not mind your chumminess – you are selling lots of books for him; I am about to order one, too. I have been dabbling in breadmaking and have wanted to try bagels – you have inspired me!! I am a sesame girl, but have an allergic kid so will probably go with cinnamon raisin. I got a fancy shmancy Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas this year and tried using it for bread and pizza dough, but I prefer doing it by hand. It is my favourite part of bread making (aside from the smelling and eating parts…) I will be interested in your adventure into brioche – I am also hankering to try a flavoured stromboli which is in my current breadmaking book – smoked mozza and prosciutto in crusty bread…one of these days…

  33. 33

    You made bagels! Honest-to-goodness bagels! I am so jealous – and intrigued. They look wonderful. Do I want a workout? I don’t know. But I do want those scrumptious bagels!

  34. 34

    Your bagels are just gorgeous! I was worried I’d put too much topping on mine ( ) but I regret not putting more on because half of it fell off when I tried to slice them. Did you have that problem?

    • 34.1

      Thanks Cheryl! Yes, some came off during slicing but not too much. They were so flavorful! Can’t wait to make them again.

  35. 35

    I’m loving your bagels! For a new baker you are really impressive. 🙂

  36. 36

    Wow, I am so impressed! I am definitely not at that level! Your bagels look amazing!!

    • 36.1

      Thanks so much Stacey! I’m learning as I go and having so much fun each week tackling new bread recipes. If I can do it, anyone can. Really 🙂

  37. 37

    Yep, those are some good looking bagels! I went with similar scheduling and made the sponge and dough on a Saturday evening for bagels on Sunday morning. We adore everything bagels, so this was great. Good luck on your brioche! I kneading by hand, also, so I feel your pain!

    • 37.1

      Thanks Haley! They were delicious. I can’t wait to make them again with some new twists.

  38. 38

    Beautiful bagels! Congrats on your new scale, hope you get a new mixer soon!

  39. 39

    Your bagels look so chewy and perfect, wonderful!

    • 39.1

      Thanks Natashya! They were soft, & delicious on the inside and a light beautiful crunch on the outside. Just like I like them!

  40. 40

    I’m drooling something awful! Those look amazing!

    • 40.1

      Thanks Latrice! They were drool worthy! I don’t think I could eat another store bought bagel now. They were so tasty fresh out of the oven. You should give them a go. Would be fun to do with kids as well 🙂

  41. 41

    These look gorgeous! And bagels are so good…
    I love so much different types… with tasty cheeses, spices and herbs, sometimes with sun-dried tomatoes, seeds… and I like sweet ones too like blueberry or cranberry & pistachio bagels 🙂 and I have to mention almond or cashew butter bagels!!

  42. 42

    Wow, those look fantastic!!!!! Wish mine had come out that well (

  43. 43

    Oh my Goodness…. I think I just chipped a tooth! I tried biting my computer screen, those bagels look insanely good!

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