Plain Bagel Recipe

Sometimes in the kitchen I love to try to make things from scratch that you traditionally buy. Bagels are one such example. I know that you can run to the store or the bagel shop to pick some up, but half the fun of this recipe is trying to make something you’ve never made before. Bagel making takes a bit of time and moderate bread making knowledge, but it really isn’t as hard as you would think. Think of bagel making more as a journey and enjoy the process, plus the end results are delicious. Perfectly chewy little circles of happiness just begging for some butter and jam or cream cheese can’t be bad.

This bagel recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour test kitchen. They did a knock-off Panera bagel recipe and broke it down step by step with pictures and detailed instructions. I highly recommend checking out their post if you are new to bagel making; it was very well written and thorough.

Mmm. This recipe has been a long time coming and now I wish I had some. I’m eating clean for the next two weeks (no sugar, only whole grains, and no processed ingredients) so I might have to play around with a whole wheat version!

Thanks so much for reading. You all are the best. Keep Calm and Bagel On.

KAF plain bagels 2, Plain Bagel Recipe

KAF plain bagels


King Arthur Flour’s Plain Bagels

  • Yield: Make 12 bagels 1x


  • For the sponge/starter:
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • pinch of instant yeast, about 1/16 teaspoon
  • Plus:
  • 1 1/4 cups cool water
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • For Boiling the Bagels:
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. To make the starter, mix all of the ingredient together in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to sit at room temperature overnight
  2. To make the dough add all of the starter, after it’s overnight rest, the water, salt, yeast, and half of the bread flour called for. Using the dough hook of your stand mixer, mix these ingredient for 5 minutes. Continue adding the rest of the bread flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together. The dough should still stick to the bottom of the bowl but it will pull away from the sides. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is lightly tacky. Form into a ball. Let the dough rise in a lightly greased bowl for one hour. Gently deflate the dough and let it rise for another half hour.
  3. While the dough is rising prep the water for boiling. Mix the water, baking soda, and brown sugar in a large pot. The water needs to be at least one inch deep.
  4. When the dough has risen a second time, remove it from the bowl and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat the water in the pan over medium heat until it starts to gently boil and the baking soda dissolves. Reduce the heat so that the water stays at a very gentle boil. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking mat.
  6. Take one piece of dough and poke your finger through the center. Using your finger gently stretch the hole in the center until it is about a 2 inch circle. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Gently drop 2 or 3 bagels in the boiling water and let them boil on the first side for 2 minutes and then flip them over in the water and let them cook on the second side for 1 more minute. Remove from the water with a strainer or the end of a wooden spoon and place the bagels on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat the boiling with the remaining bagels.
  8. Bake the boiled bagels in the hot oven for 25 minutes or until they are a deep brown. Let the bagels cool on a wire rack before enjoying.
  9. Store extras in an airtight container or brad bag.

KAF plain bagel recipe

Have I convinced you to try your hand a bagel making?!

38 Recipes for Busy Moms
5 Responses
  1. A C

    I just happened upon your blog, looking for a homemade oreo recipe, and I am SO HAPPY! First of all, because you had the recipe I was looking for, and then I start looking around and your blog is SO cute! I read your bio and I am amazed at the things you do! I thought, “this must be a good strong woman….Hmmm…I wonder where she lives?” “Look, she’s dressed modest in all these pictures, and they look HAPPY!” Then I found it, the “Yes, I live in Utah” button, with a link to I KNEW IT!!! It makes me so happy to see that something makes us different, especially when I can see it in 5 minutes, from 3 pictures and the way your blog makes me feel. Thanks for having the button, the recipe, and the glow!

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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