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Classic Bagel

Whether it's with lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese, or with maple-coated bacon and a poached egg, the classic bagel is your go-to breakfast staple. Served fresh, with a cup of coffee, it's the perfect start to a busy day!
Course Afternoon Tea, Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American, European, Jewish, World
Keyword bagel, bake, boil, breakfast, classic, lox, lunch, smoked salmon
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Overnight Chilling 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 Portions


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large wide saucepan
  • Stand mixer
  • Scale
  • Spider/slotted spoon
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • pastry brush
  • Parchment paper



  • 500 ml Water (2 ¼cups) warm - about 43˚C/110˚F
  • 4 gr Instant Dry Yeast (1tsp) You can use Active Dry Yeast, but remember to activate it first!
  • 450 gr Bread flour (3cups)


  • 3 gr Instant Dry Yeast (¾tsp)
  • 30 gr Honey (2Tbsp)
  • 375 gr Bread flour (2 ½cups)
  • 15 gr Salt (1Tbsp)


  • 30 gr Honey (2Tbsp)
  • 5 gr Baking soda (1tsp)
  • 1 egg white lightly whisked
  • poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion flakes, etc for topping



  • To make the starter, Combine all the starter ingredients together in a large bowl - a thick batter will form. Let this rest for 10 minutes.


  • Add the starter, yeast, honey, flour and salt and mix using a dough hook, on a low speed, until a dough is formed. Turn up the speed 1 level and knead for 5-8 mins until dough is smooth and stretchy.
  • Grease a large bowl, and place the dough inside, covering with a tea towel. Allow to rest for 1hr before placing in the fridge overnight.
  • Heat your oven to 220˚C/425˚F,
    Heat a large stockpot or saucepan with approx. 2.5lt of boiling water, and add the honey and baking soda.
    Lining baking trays with parchment paper.
  • Remove dough from fridge and divide the dough into 12 evenly weighted pieces - use your scales to achieve this. Roll each piece into a small ball.

Shaping & Boiling

  • You have two shaping options: Ball & Hole, or Roll & Twist.
  • Ball & Hole – flatten out the ball of dough, then pierce with your finger to begin the hole. Then, wiggle your finger whilst using your other hand to pull the dough away from your finger, creating an ever grown hole in the dough.
    This method will give you a wider and flatter bagel.
  • Roll & Twist – roll each piece of dough out into a 20-25cm (8inches) length is formed, then overlap one end with the other, pressing both ends firmly together.
    This method give a narrower and higher bagel shape.
  • Place the bagels on a parchment lined baking tray and cover with a tea towel. Let them rest for 15-20mins.
  • When ready, use a slotted spoon/spider to carefully lower the bagels into the water. Don't crowd them in the pan, they must have room to swim with touching each other. When poached, use the slotted spoon/spider to place them back on the tray.
    Poach them for between 1½ to 2½ minutes, turning them over halfway through. The longer the poach, the chewier the bagel will be.

Garnish & Baking

  • Coat the top of each bagel with egg white, then scatter a choice of topping.
  • Place the bagels in the oven for 20mins or until dark golden in colour. At this point, turn off the oven, keeping the door ajar, and leave for a further 10mins.
    Place the bagels on a cooling rack, and allow to cool before eating.
  • Bagels are best eaten on the day, but are still great for up to 2 days. You can also toast them, or finely slice them and dry them out as alternatives to croutons!