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Heather Brown - Food writer, photographer, website help and recipes


I personally love the texture of good bagels - slightly chewy but soft and dense. Brilliant toasted too, perfect for just lashings of butter, but also the perfect vehicle for some delicious toppings/fillings. I have given one of my favourites at the bottom of this recipe.


Makes 12 bagels.


750g strong white flour

375ml warm water

1tsp dried yeast (one packet)

3 heaped

tsp of malt extract

2 tsp salt


in small bowl or jug, add the warm water, yeast and the malt extract and stir or whisk to combine. Leave for 5-10 minutes to get frothy.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Once the wet mixture is frothy, pour into the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Once it has formed a dough, kneed for 5-10 minutes until the dough is soft (slightly less time if using a stand mixer with a dough hook). If your dough is too soft, add a little more flour, too dry add a little more water.

Leave your dough in the bowl and oil the sides of the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size (this could take 2 hours, but check after 1 hour).

Line 2 trays with parchment paper. Then cut 12 squares of parchment paper (2” square ish but it doesn’t need to be accurate) for the bagels to sit on and lay these out evenly across the lined trays. Give the whole lot a little oil. This might seem a weird extra step, but trust the process.

Once proved, tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead again. Break the dough into 12 even sized pieces and roll them balls. Take each ball of dough and poke a hole in the centre and gently spin them on your finger to make them into hoop shapes with a 2cm size hole. Place each dough hoop onto a square of paper on your trays.

Cover and leave to prove again for 45 minutes.

Once the bagels have proved for the second time, take a large saucepan and fill it with water and bring to the boil. Preheat the oven to 200fan/gas 6.

Using the squares, carefully tip each bagel into the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds each side. You may need to do this in batches of 2 or 3 bagels at a time, depending on the size of your pan. You want to try and not knock the air out of the bagels as you do this and the little squares of paper help to transfer the bagels to the water.

Drain them on a wire rack until all the bagels have had their boiling dip in the pan. You can brush with a little beaten egg if you wish and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Bagel filling:

I love a toasted bagel filled with butter, soft cream cheese, a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, crispy streaky bacon and a generous squeeze of sriracha mayo. Its a delicious combo of sweet, spicy, creamy and salty!


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