If you’ve never made bagels before, I hope this Homemade Whole Wheat Bagel Recipe gives you the confidence you need to give them a try. If I can do it, so can you!
Have you ever made your own homemade bagels? If so, kudos to you! The thought of making homemade bagels never even crossed my mind until recently…as in a month ago.I thought the way bagels got their hard, glossy shell was from a really intensive process that normal human beings couldn’t replicate. How wrong was I?! Bagels are not hard to make at all and this whole wheat bagel recipe with step-by-step instructions will help you believe that. I make these whole wheat bagels almost weekly now and we love to smear them with my homemade Nutella, classic hummus, or buffalo chickpea salad. If I can do it, you can do it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
- Going through the steps of this whole wheat bagel recipe will make you feel like a professional bread baker. Seriously, it’s so rewarding to make homemade bagels!
- Like most bread recipes, the list of ingredients is minimal and you probably have most of the ingredients needed for these homemade bagels already.
- The possibilities are endless when it comes to making bagels. Switch up the dough mix-ins and toppings for a new bagel flavor every week!
- These homemade whole wheat bagels are delicious plain, toasted, smeared with your favorite spread or used as the bread for bagel sandwiches. They are so helpful to have on hand.
- Whole wheat bagels freeze beautifully. I love to make a double batch at the start of the week and freeze them pre-sliced so we can enjoy homemade bagels for days!
- Warm Water – To know your water is at the right temperature, you should be able to place a finger into it without it being too hot. Think bath water! I usually just add some boiling water to tap water until it’s warm.
- Active Dry Yeast – I’ve never made this recipe with instant yeast. Active dry yeast is always my favorite yeast when making this whole wheat bagel recipe!
- Whole Wheat Flour – Obviously, you need whole wheat flour when you’re making whole wheat bagels. I personally love Bob’s Red Mill’s whole wheat flour, but any brand should work.
- Maple Syrup – Maple syrup is my go-to liquid sweetener when making this whole wheat bagel recipe. If you aren’t vegan, however, honey should do the trick.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
- Cinnamon Raisin Bagels – Add some cinnamon and raisins to your dough.
- Everything Bagels – Top your bagels off with onion and garlic granules and seeds after they’ve boiled.
- Chocolate Chip Bagels – Add dairy-free chocolate chips to your whole wheat bagel dough!
- Onion Bagels – Add some finely minced onion or onion granules to your dough and top them off with more onion after boiling.
- Poppy Seed Bagels – Once your bagels have boiled, sprinkle on some poppy seeds.
- Sesame Bagels – Top your boiled bagels with white and black sesame seeds for some crunch!
- Rosemary Salt – Add fresh, minced rosemary to your dough and top your bagels off with flakey sea salt after boiling.
- Blueberry Bagels – Mix dried blueberries into your bagel dough.
How to Make Whole Wheat Bagels
Step 2: Mix on low until most of the loose flour has formed into a dough and it looks somewhat shredded.
Step 3: Mix on medium for 8-9 minutes until you get a smooth, stiff, elastic dough. Remove the dough from the mixer, form it into a ball and place it in a bowl coated with oil. Cover it with a damp towel and set it in a warm place to rise for about 20 minutes.
Step 4: Once the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.
Step 6: Pinch the center of each ball of dough to form a hole, gently stretching the hole bigger to form a ring.
Step 7: Boil the bagels 3-4 at a time for 30 seconds on each side. Remove them with a fine-mesh strainer and place on a wire rack to let some of the water drip off.
Step 8: While the bagels are still wet from boiling, press your desired topping onto the top of the bagels.
Step 9: Bake the bagels at 425°F / 220°C for 15 minutes. Then rotate the baking sheets and bake the bagels for about 8-10 more minutes until golden brown on top. Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool for at least 20 minutes to allow the inside to finish cooking.
- I used to roll small amounts of bagel dough into a snake and then try to reattach the ends to make a circle. Don’t do this! Simple poke a hole in the center of a ball of dough to create the iconic bagel shape. Your bagels will hold together so much better and you won’t end up with a seam.
- Be sure to press your bagel toppings onto the boiled bagels well. Otherwise all your toppings will fall off.
Best Bagel Toppings
Bagels can be enjoyed just how you would enjoy toast. The toppings and combinations are endless! I’ll list out some of my favorite toppings and/or ways to enjoy bagels below:
Oftentimes, store-bought whole wheat bagels also contain white flour or a combination of different flours and are completely whole grain. These homemade whole wheat bagels are made entirely from whole wheat flour!
Yay for fiber, whole grains and protein!
One of the best part about bagels is that they can come in so many different flavors and you can create an entirely different flavor of bagel just by switching up the toppings. Some bagel topping ideas are
1. Grated garlic and onion
2. Sesame seeds, poppy seeds and salt (for an everything bagel)
3. Cinnamon and sugar (for a sweet bagel)
4. Rosemary and salt (this is our favorite combo that we get from a local farmers market)
5. Cheese and black pepper
7. Sun-dried tomatoes and Italian herbs
Fresh, homemade bagels can get stale pretty quickly. For this reason, I almost always freeze my homemade bagels. Let your homemade bagels cool, then slice them and put them in a freezer-safe zip-lock bag. That way they’ll be pre-sliced when you’re ready to take them out of the freezer.
How you reheat your bagel will depend on how you stored it. If the bagel has been in the fridge, simply toast the bagel, using the bagel button if your toaster has one If you’re pulling a bagel from the freezer, allow it to thaw so you can pull the halves apart. Then select the frozen setting on your toaster and toast the bagel.
There are so many different spreads you can enjoy on bagels. Some of the post popular or cream cheese, flavored cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, avocado, smoked salmon and egg. You can also use bagels as the bread for your favorite sandwich!
More Whole Wheat Bread Recipes!
Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels!
If you’ve never made bagels before, I hope this post gives you the confidence you need to give them a go. If I can do it, you can do it!
Place the warm water and yeast in a bowl and allow the yeast to dissolve completely. Set aside.
Combine the flour, syrup, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Pour in the yeast mixture, making sure all of the yeast gets into the mixing bowl.
Mix on low until there isn’t much loose flour left and a dough looks shredded (about 2 minutes).
Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until you get a smooth, stiff, elastic dough (about 8-9 minutes). If the dough starts separating into 2 sections or gets stuck on the hook, stop the machine and push the dough down to the bottom of the bowl.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl coated with oil. Turn the dough in the bowl so that it gets coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set it in a warm place for it to rise. This will take about 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it gets slightly larger and the dough slowly springs back when you press it with your finger. It won’t double in size!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place a rack in the middle. Fill up a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low so that the water is at a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid until your ready to boil the bagels.
Get out 3 baking sheets. Line 2 with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for baking the bagels and place a wire cooling rack over top of the third. This rack will allow the bagels to drip off excess water after they have been boiled.
Turn the dough onto a dry surface and divide it evenly into 12 equal pieces, rolling each piece slightly to form a ball. Keep the dough you’re not working with covered with a damp towel so that it doesn’t get too dry. Pinch the center of each ball of dough to form a hole, gently stretching the hole bigger to form a ring.
Once you have finished forming all of your bagels you are going to boil them 3-4 at a time. Do this by placing 3-4 bagels into the simmering water and let them cook on each side for about 30 seconds. They will sink to the bottom of the pot at first and slowly begin to rise over the course of the minute. Don’t forget to flip them over after 30 seconds! Remove the bagels with a fine-mesh strainer. Place the boiled bagels onto the wire drying rack and press your desire topping onto the top of the bagels while they are still wet. Continue this process until all of the bagels have been boiled and garnished with optional toppings.
Place the bagels onto the parchment lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart and bake for 15 minutes. Then rotate the pans and continue baking the bagels until they are golden brown on top, about 8-10 more minutes.
Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes so that the inside can finish cooking.
Store in a zip-lock bag for about a week or slice and freeze!*
*To warm up the frozen bagels, simply place them into a toaster straight out of the freezer.
Serving: 1gCalories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 390mgPotassium: 174mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg