The Best Bagels Ever!

It’s finally bagel time! Juleen, this recipe’s for you. Let me know when you’re going to invent an awesome bagel creation, and I’ll bring some vegan cream cheese into the office!

Green Olive Bagels

These bagels are special, as they were the recipe that solidified the decision to start a blog. I cooked them after a particularly stressful weekend, as few things relax me more than slamming dough against the countertop and kneading it into oblivion. They came out so good that I decided that it was time to share my vegan adventures with the world.

These might just be the best things since fresh, non-sliced, non-preserved and non-artificially enriched bread. Thanks to John D Lee for the original recipe; to you, sir, I give a tip of my hat! I made a few modifications to suit my tastes and bagel crispiness preferences.

For a really impressive presentation, why not give someone a Mobius bagel?

Some ideas for customisation:

  • Substitue whole wheat for white flour, or use a proportion (e.g. 3 c whole wheat and 1 c white flour)
  • Additions: Add 1/2 c of: dried blueberries, raisins (and 1 T cinnamon), chopped olives, diced and sautéed onions, &c.
  • Toppings: Roll boiled bagels in 1/3 c of: caraway seeds and kosher salt; kosher salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion powder, minced garlic, and cumin seeds (everything); sesame seeds, poppy seeds, &c.

Here’s a video of rolling bagels:

Here’s another one, in slower motion:

The Best Bagel Recipe Ever

By M. M. Cassidy Published: December 14, 2010

  • Yield: 8 bagels
  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Ready In: 1 hr 30 mins

Once you have your basic bagel recipe down, you can really have some fun and start mixing in herbs or fruits and topping with seeds and spices. This recipe is great for stress relief, and periods of work are interspersed with periods of rest.



  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except baking soda together. If using additions, add now.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface and head for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Roll the dough into a ball. Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 equal portions, like you would pie slices.
  4. Roll each portion into a ball. Cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
  5. After letting them rise, roll the bagels. (See videos above.) To to this, loosen each bagel ball and roll it out on the counter into a rope longer than the width of your two hands.
  6. With the rope still on the counter, hold one end under your palm (with your palm facing down).
  7. Flip the loose end of the rope over the back of your hand, picking your palm up to join the two ends together. Roll to seal.
  8. Repeat for remaining bagels.
  9. Arrange the bagels on tinfoil and let rise, covered with a damp towel, for 15 minutes.
  10. After 15 minutes, remove the towel and let rise for another 5 minutes, or until tops are no longer tacky. This method will allow you to pick up the bagels later without them sticking and getting all spiky, so that you will have nice, smooth, visually pleasing bagels.
  11. While the bagels are rising, bring a large pot of water to the boil and preheat your oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
  12. At the boil, add your baking soda to the pot. This will help your bagels brown up in the oven. For browner bagels, add more baking soda.
  13. Once the bagels are risen, boil them 2-3 at a time. To do this, flip each bagel over so that the smooth top is in one hand and slowly remove the tinfoil from the bottom with your other. Drop the bagel into the boiling water. Boil for one minute, then flip and boil for another minute. Remove to a plate.
  14. If using a topping, dip the prettiest side of each bagel in the topping and place topping-side-up on a ceramic baking sheet. (You could also probably use a silpat, but I didn't try that personally. I did do one batch on a regular baking sheet, but they required turning and didn't brown as evenly.)
  15. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bagels are uniformly golden brown.
  16. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting, spreading, and enjoying. (Hint: you can make anyone instantly love you by serving him or her fresh homemade bagels.)

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