Bagels recipe

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Il bagel is a baked product ofJewish tradition and its typical form is that of a donut. Thanks to it it was appreciated in the past because it allows it to be transported easily, as well as allowing it to be displayed in shop windows and stalls, while the particular cooking allows it to be stored for a long time.

He makes his first appearance in Poland, of which it originates, in the seventeenth century.

Legend has it that a Krakow baker created it in honor of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski for his contribution in saving the city of Vienna from Turkish invasions. Other sources claim that it was offered as a gift to women who had given birth.

It is not known exactly when the bagel arrives in the United States, we only know that it was introduced by Polish immigrants and that at the beginning its consumption was limited to the Jewish and Eastern European communities. It was only in the fifties that it began to spread and gain popularity, becoming one of the best known and most appreciated products.

Today it is widespread throughout the Anglo-Saxon world and in American cities where there is a large Jewish community and can be found in both bakeries and supermarkets of large retailers.

As we have said, the typical shape of the bagel is that of a donut. It is made with a leavened dough which is first boiled and then passed in the oven and can be sprinkled with sesame or poppy seeds. The perfect bagel has a soft and spongy texture on the inside while on the outside it must have a shiny and crunchy crust.

The recipe has many variations: some include a sweet component (barley malt, sugar, honey), others the use of eggs, milk and butter, still others none of these ingredients, while a flour rich in gluten is always preferred for favor leavening.

The main US variants are two:

– il “Montreal Style bagel“, It has a sweeter dough. It involves the use of barley malt and sugar, boiling in water sweetened with honey and cooking in a wood oven. It is generally sprinkled with sesame;

 – il “New York bagel“, It is characterized instead by a less sweet taste. The recipe calls for the use of barley malt and salt and cooking in a static oven. It is larger than the Montreal Style bagel although the hole in the center is smaller.

Some variations of the official recipe include the use of different types of flours, such as wholemeal or multigrain or the addition of the most disparate ingredients: onions, garlic, chocolate, blueberries, cinnamon.


  • 500gr farina
  • 180 ml warm water
  • 130 ml warm milk
  • 30gr of butter
  • A sachet of dry yeast
  • Sale
  • Egg beaten with milk for finishing
  • Poppy and sesame seeds


Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with the warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and salt it. Mix the salt very well and add the melted butter. Stir again. Add the activated yeast and continue mixing, adding a little water.

Pour it a little at a time while continuing to knead. Transfer the mixture to the pastry board and work well until the dough is smooth and homogeneous.

Place the dough in a clean bowl, lightly grease the surface with a little olive oil and let it rise for about an hour. Take the pasta back, deflate it and divide it into 20 portions. Obtain from these balls that will be flattened with the palm of your hand.

With your thumb, make a hole in the center of each dough and, gently, spread it out to form donuts.

Arrange the donuts well spaced on the lightly greased baking sheet. Brush them with egg mixed with milk.

Let rise covered for another hour. Turn on the oven at 200 °. Bring water to a boil in a large pan. When the water boils, add the donuts, a few at a time, and boil for a minute. Turn them over and continue cooking for half a minute.

Drain them well and place the donuts on a baking sheet. Sprinkle, if desired, with sesame or poppy seeds and bake.


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