Delicious Homemade Bagels – Without The Machine

bagels homemade n

Chewy homemade bagels smeared with cream cheese and an icy glass of cherry almond tea – a delicious lunch to enjoy while working from home. Next project? Making our own cheese spread for these tasty bagels.

We’ve discovered one place to purchase really good chewy bagels in Ulaanbaatar. We still prefer to make our own, even with the time it takes, instead of trekking out to the deli. Back in Alaska, I used a Zojirushi bread machine to create the dough for my bagels (see bagels three ways). We sold the machine when we left Alaska, and in our efforts to simplify our kitchen I did not replace it when we moved to Ulaanbaatar. That means taking my trusty bread machine bagel recipe and rewriting it to eliminate the machine. My adapted recipe’s results are just as tasty and chewy. You can still adorn the bagels with whatever your heart desires. Without the appliance, these bagels can be made in a galley or a tiny kitchen in a camper. Enjoy!

Homemade Chewy Bagels


  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees F/40 degrees C)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 qts water
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • toppings such as poppy seeds, toasted onions, sesame seeds, etc. (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, stir together yeast, 1 1/2 tbsp sugar and water. Let sit for about 5 minutes to make sure the yeast is good. (It will foam.)
  2. Stir in salt and the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The last 1/2 cup, you will need to knead in by hand.
  3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Coat the inside of a large bowl and place the dough inside.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces.
  8. Roll pieces into balls.
  9. Flatten balls slightly.
  10. Poke your finger through center of ball and twirl dough around your finger to enlarge the hole.
  11. Place bagels on parchment-lined baking sheet to rest.
  12. Bring 3 qts water to boil in large pot. Stir in 3 tbsp sugar.
  13. Place 4 bagels in boiling water. Boil for 1 minute. Flip bagels and let boil for another minute.
  14. Place boiled bagels on clean, dry towel.
  15. Place remaining 4 bagels in boiling water. Repeat boiling process with these bagels.
  16. Take bagels from towel and place them on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  17. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  18. Brush bagels with beaten egg.
  19. Sprinkle desired toppings on bagels (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, charnushka, minced dried onion and minced dried garlic are some of our favorites).
  20. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until browned.


Rosemary Tomato Bread

A friend here in Point Hope lent me a book called 300 best Bread Machine recipes. Of the 300, I picked out about a dozen to try. The first was a honey wheat oat bread, and it was absolutely terrific. The evening it came out of the bread machine, Jack and I put our other dinner plans on hold and instead stuffed ourselves with warm slices of this bread slathered in butter and honey. After a few days, some breads crumble or dry too much. Not this one.  It was dense and flavorful and help up nicely.

The oat bread recipe was a safe pick. I knew how it was supposed to taste and look. Next it was time for a leap to the recipe that made me borrow the book in the first place – Rosemary Caesar Bread featuring tomato-vegetable juice, sun-dried tomatoes, and rosemary. The beautiful color and aroma of this bread makes it a centerpiece loaf.  Following is my adaptation of the recipe, including a name change. “Caesar” makes me think of anchovies (Caesar dressing), so I think “Rosemary Tomato Bread” is more accurate.

Rosemary Tomato Bread


  • 1 1/4 cups tomato-vegetable juice
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dry rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Measure ingredients into the baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Basic cycle to bake.

Makes 1.5 lb loaf. This is an excellent bread to serve with breakfast eggs or for making egg salad sandwiches.