Homemade Bagels with the Perfect Crust
These Easy Bone Broth Bagels are the best homemade bagels I’ve had in a long time! The bone broth adds nutrients and delicious flavor, and the baking soda boil along with the egg wash leads to a perfect, chewy consistency. The crust is a dream! I do use a dough hook in this recipe, but you can definitely make these bagels by hand. You’ll just need to add a bit more kneading time.
When I think brunch, I think bagels. However, the South Carolina market for bagels is pretty slim. Getting a bagel through a drive-through just doesn’t sit right with me. Therefore, I started making my own and experimenting with flavors and toppings so that I could control what goes into the recipe and ensure the bagels aren’t overly processed or loaded with too much sugar.
Baking Bread is Easy!
Hear me out! I understand that baking with yeast can be scary, but bread does NOT have to be intimidating. Just be realistic. Don’t set out to be the next Paul Hollywood in a day. Start with the basics and work your way up to more advanced bakes. With this post, I am guiding you through the process so that you can get over the bread scaries and impress everyone at brunch. Once you’re on a roll (so punny), you can go conquer my Foolproof Soft Pretzels!
Bone Broth: Bone broth contains brewed bones and connective tissue. Consuming the broth has been shown to be beneficial for digestive and joint health. My go-to brand for broth is Bare Bones. Bare Bones’ broth is made by slow simmering real bones to extract protein, collagen, and nutrients. The anti-inflammatory benefits are out of this world! The bone broth is non-GMO and certified gluten free.
Yeast: Please don’t skip the yeast. I’m sure there are recipes out there that just use baking powder or baking soda as the leavening agent instead of yeast, but the end product will disappoint! Don’t cut corners. The yeast is essential and will make the bagels rise while adding delicious flavor. I use instant yeast in this recipe but you can evenly swap active dry and get the same result.
Bread Flour: I use bread flour for my bagels. You’ll see several recipes out there that use all-purpose flour and that is perfectly fine in a pinch. However, bread flour has a higher amount of gluten which adds to the chewy texture.
Stand Mixer and Dough Hook: I use my stand mixer and dough hook attachment as much as possible when baking bread. The dough hook kneads the dough to the perfect texture and is so much easier than kneading by hand. This recipe will mainly refer to timing in the mixer. Please note that you can totally knead by hand. You’ll just add to the kneading time and may need to take some breaks.
Baking Soda: I know, I just told you not to use baking powder or baking soda as the leavening agent. You’ll use baking soda for boiling the bagels. The baking soda is used in the water bath to give the bagels color and add to the chewy crust. Skipping the boiling part of the recipe will result in paler, less crisp bagels.
Egg: The egg wash is used right before popping the bagels into the oven. The egg helps your chosen toppings stay on the bagel while also leading to a nice shine on the bagels post-bake.
Let’s Make Bagels
- Large glass measuring cup
- Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Plastic wrap and dry kitchen towel
- Two large baking sheets lined with parchment
- Large boiling pot (lid not necessary)
- Pastry cutter
- Small bowl
- Pastry brush
- Slotted spoon
- Wire cooling rack
- 1 1/2 cups beef bone broth, room temperature – divided
- 2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (1 packet)
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar – divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Approximately 4 cups bread flour – more as needed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Cornmeal – no exact amount – just for dusting (flour can be substituted)
- 1 large egg – beaten
- Toppings as desired – Everything But The Bagel seasoning, nutritional yeast, poppy seeds, cinnamon, dried fruit – the opportunities are endless.
Yield: 8 bagels (I don’t recommend doubling this recipe)
Measure out 1/4 cup broth into a large, glass measuring cup. Add the yeast along with a pinch of sugar and mix in lightly. Set aside for 5-10 minutes for yeast to activate. The mixture will become foamy and creamy when it’s ready. *If the mixture does not change in texture, it means your yeast is not live and you will need to start again.
In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the remaining broth and stir in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. When it is ready, pour in the yeast mixture. Turn mixer on low and add in 2 cups of the flour and the salt. As the dough hook is on low, add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough comes together as a rough, sticky dough. You will most likely use between 3 1/2 and 4 cups to get to the desired texture. You want it to be slightly sticky and not too dry. It should stick to the hook.
Turn the mixer to medium and let the dough hook knead the dough for 7-8 minutes. When the kneading is done, the dough will be soft, smooth, and elastic and easily formed into a large ball. Don’t be afraid to handle the dough and knead by hand at the end to get that right texture.
Brush a large bowl with the melted butter and place the ball of dough in the bowl. Lightly brush butter on the top of the dough ball and then cover bowl with plastic wrap and a dry kitchen towel. Set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.
Line both baking sheets with parchment paper. One will be used for baking and the other will be for prepping the bagels after boiling and adding the egg wash. Coat the prepping sheet with a dusting of corn meal (or flour).
Fill a large pot a little more than 1/2 way with water. Place on a burner turned to high and bring to a boil. Preheat the oven to 425F and ensure baking rack is in the middle of oven.
Punch the dough down to release air bubbles. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 pieces. If looking for uniformity, use a kitchen scale to get 8 equal pieces. I divided by eye. Roll each portion into a ball. Working one piece at a time, pull up the sides of the dough from the bottom of the ball and pinch at the top. Rotate and with the pinched pleat at the bottom, poke your index finger into the middle of the dough ball forming the bagel hole. Make the hole bigger by twirling it around your finger with your other index finger. You will want the opening to be about 2 inches as it will shrink slightly in the water bath and in the oven.
At this point, the water should be boiling. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and the 1 tsp of baking soda. Carefully put bagels into boiling water, 2-3 bagels at a time and let float for about 30 seconds per side. Remove with slotted spoon and place on baking sheet with corn meal/flour. Complete the process with all bagels and turn off heat and remove pot.
Crack egg into small bowl and beat egg. Use pastry brush to coat the top of each bagel with egg wash. Sprinkle desired toppings at this point.
Use a spatula to move the bagels to the clean baking sheet with parchment. No need to space the bagels out too much, they will not expand very much at all. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Turn the heat off and let the bagels sit in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
You can serve immediately or let cool completely and store in airtight container until ready to toast and eat. The bagels also freeze really well in an airtight freezer bag. Just make sure to cool the bagels completely before placing in bag!Print