Homemade Soaked Bagels


Here are the results from our bagel making today! My sister in laws, Autumn & Larissa, and cousin Amy joined me in the fun (along with all the little munckins)! We made cinnamon & raisin and plain sprinkled with poppy seeds & sesame seeds. This was incredibly easy to make! Well forth it! These were especially good right from the oven! You can use all or a portion of whole wheat flour as desired.

1 1/2 cups warm water (112-115 degrees F), divided
2 Tbsp acid medium (yogurt, kefir, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, etc)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups unbleached white flour PLUS 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (all whole wheat works as well!)
8 cups of water, for boiling
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
cinnamon & raisins, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, optional toppings


  1. Combine 1 cup water, acid medium, flour and honey. Cover and soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  2. After soaking, combine yeast, the remaining 1/2 cup for warm water with a dab of honey. Allow to puff up for about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Combine soaked flour, yeast, and salt and knead dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary to prevent it from sticking. Dough should be fairly smooth and somewhat firm.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.  Punch dough down (if making cinnamon raisin bagels, add the cinnamon and raisins now — knead just enough to swirl the cinnamon through the dough).
  5. Divide and shape into 12 balls. (For larger bagels, make only 8 balls.) Allow to rest for 5 minutes.When soaked, the dough will expand more significantly than unsoaked flour, so be sure to keep them on the smaller side.
  6. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil.
  7. Make a hole in each ball of dough and pull open about 2 inches, making a bagel shape. Place the shaped dough onto a cookie sheet and cover for 10 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Drop 2 or 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water for about 45 seconds to 2 minutes, turning each once. Drain cooked bagels on a wire rack.
  10. Mix egg white and water; brush tops with egg white mixture and top with optional toppings, if using.
  11. Place bagels on greased baking sheets.Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, turning once half-way through baking. (If making plain bagels, you can flip the bagels; otherwise, just rotate.) Bagels will be lightly browned and shiny.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

47 Responses to Homemade Soaked Bagels

  1. news article February 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    One more thing I would like to convey is that in place of trying to suit all your online degree lessons on days and nights that you finish off work (as most people are exhausted when they go back home), try to arrange most of your instructional classes on the week-ends and only a couple courses on weekdays, even if it means a little time off your saturday and sunday. This is beneficial because on the week-ends, you will be much more rested plus concentrated with school work. Thanks alot : ) for the different recommendations I have learned from your site.

  2. Brianne January 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Made these today with 100 % freshly ground spelt. They tasted wonderful. This was my first try at a bagel. The dough was pretty sticky, but we just added flour to reach the consistency it needed to be. My girls and I will definitely be making them again!

    • Kyle L December 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      My wife and I made a batch with sprouted spelt as well today. They turned out fantastic. We only did a half batch to make sure we liked them and that was a mistake! Oops, half are gone already. We are going to make a bunch and see how they freeze. Also, with the sprouted spelt you will need either more flour or less water. Just FYI, I am no baker, just relaying what the wife told me.

  3. Michelle December 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    I started the recipe today and want to make sure I am reading it right. I am to use 2C white flour PLUS 2 1/4c ww flour, yes? That is what I did and it looks really, really thick.
    Thanks so much for all you do.

    • Lindsay December 10, 2011 at 7:38 am #

      Yes, that is correct.

  4. Pamela August 17, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Hi, Lindsay,

    Thank you for all the valuable information, recipes, and resources on your site! I have a question – if I start with sprouted flour, then is it necessary to still soak the flour in my various recipes that call for flour? Or, is the benefit even greater if I use sprouted flour AND soak it anyway?

    Thanks for your thoughts,

  5. Billie June 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Help! I’ve made these twice now and while they taste incredible…they keep coming out flat! I’m following the recipe, I did use whole white wheat only as others say they have with good results. The second time I made them they also fell apart when I tried to boil them. I put all the dough back together, added some white flour, cause I figured it needed it to help stay together, made them smaller and that did help, but they still came out flat. Any suggestions? Thank you I love your site!

  6. Carrie February 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Looking forward to finally trying this recipe this week. But since its just me eating them, I’m wondering if these freeze well?

    • Lindsay February 28, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Yes, they freeze very well. One batch is usually too much for us at one time so I freeze most of them to keep them fresh.

  7. kelly cogswell January 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    do you find cooking for only 45 sec a side is enough? I followed heavenly homemakers recipe and directions and she says broil for 2 min per side, boil for 3.5 per side and bake for 35 min on 375, most of my bagels were great but the ones that did not boil long enough were raw in the middle. I am wondering if you have any trouble with them being raw, what the secret is???

    • Maria (WriterGig) January 30, 2011 at 7:28 am #

      I’ve made this recipe several times (1 1/2 dozen medium bagels are currently baking in the oven!) and they are cooked thoroughly every time with just 45 seconds total boiling time and 35 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.

      Great recipe!

  8. Megan January 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I have a question, I totally messed up! I soaked the flour for about 36 hours, as I let them soak before bed, was busy the next day, then too tired last night to make them. Then I added the yeast and water and honey to the flour before letting it rise. Now it’s in a greased bowl to rise, and it’s not rising! Can I fix it, or should I just throw it out and try again?

    • Lindsay January 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

      Did you activate the yeast separately with the honey and water? You want to mix these in a separate bowl and allow it to puff up first. This is essential whenever using active dry yeast with your baking projects.

  9. Robin December 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Hey, I was wondering if this could be converted to sourdough. Would you know how to do that? I’m VERY new to sourdough and am trying to use it in place of yeast. Thanks. I can’t wait to try these out!

  10. Lucille Korvin November 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Does anyone know of a good soaked whole grain recipe for doughnuts?

    • Lindsay November 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

      Their is a good sourdough one in Wardeh’s Sourdough ecourse. I haven’t found a soaked one. It wouldn’t work very well with the texture.

  11. Dawn September 23, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    I made these today. I did not follow your recipe for ingredients, only your method, as I wanted to use part of my bread dough to make these. I have a Kitchenaid mixer so I can only make 2 loves of bread at a time, sigh! One day my Bosh will come! I usually make about three batches per week to make bread, rolles, and now BAGELS for my family. We eat about 3 – 4 loves each week plus dinner knots and buns for hamburgers or sloppy joes. I decided to use my bread as it is a very sticky dough and makes the softest all wheat bread I have ever eaten. My bagels are huge because I only made 8. Next time I will make at least 12. They turned out awesome. They have a chewy crust and a very tender and airy middle, (probably because I used my bread recipe). So yummy! You are such an inspiration to me Lindsay! I appreciate all your hard work which paves the way for so many of us trying to figure it all out. Your passion is contagious! Thank you.

    • Nicole S. October 21, 2011 at 9:06 am #

      Would love to know your bread recipe!! I’m having a hard time finding one I like. Please share!

  12. Rachel September 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    I’ve found when making bagels and pretzels that when the recipe says to boil I need to simmer. For me a boil breaks whatever I am making apart and makes it become to water logged and gluey. A very gentle boil only!

  13. Alisa July 30, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Hello. I’ve never made anything from the website before, but I love to bake and cook, so I’m excited to try this one out. Quick question, though. I’m having a neighbor come over and bake these with me, trying to teach her about baking, and I’m planning on soaking the day before, but when the dough is kneaded and you put it in the greased bowl to rise, how long does it take to double in size? Jst didn’t want to have her over, work for 5 mintues, then have to wait 3-4 hours before we could do the next step.

    • Lindsay July 30, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      It takes about 1 hour.

  14. Kayla July 12, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    I am excited to make these! I have one question…on step B it says “allow to puff up.” I thought this was the dough, but then step C says to combine the soaked flour and yeast…so does the yeast/water/honey combination puff up on it’s own and then get combined with the flour mixture? Thanks!

    • Racheal July 15, 2010 at 12:38 am #

      I made these once before with great success and am making them again. To answer your question, yes. The yeast/water/honey mixture puffs up on it’s own and then you add this to the flour mixture. Enjoy!

  15. Kate June 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Lindsay, these were great! A little time-consuming, but worth it! They seemed a bit dry when I went to soak them, so I added a bit more water. Then I found I had to add a LOT more flour to them when I was kneading. But they turned out well. I wish I would have followed your advice and made them smaller…I had trouble getting them out of my water because they were so big and they kind of fell apart. (But that’s okay….little bagel bites were yum!) Also, boiling them at least a minute helped keep them together. Next time I’ll make cinnamon! :) Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Amy June 17, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    What kind of honey do you use? I have raw honey and “regular” honey at home and I’m not sure which I should use.

    • Lindsay June 17, 2010 at 5:34 am #

      I always use raw honey personally as that’s all I buy.

    • Lauren March 24, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Well, it depends on the quality of your “regular” honey. If it’s just as nice as your raw honey, I’d use it. Since you’re cooking everything, there’s not much point is using raw unless it’s all you have around. I’d say use up your regular honey and save your raw honey for raw uses. :)

  17. Donna May 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I tried this recipe out. The first time, I was in too much of a hurry to soak the flour, so I just skipped that step. I also used 100% whole wheat flour. Whilst the bagels were a little flat, they tasted great. That night, I soaked flour. The next day I made the 2d batch of bagels. These were definitely much rounder, fuller and tastier (still used 100% ww flour). Either way, this is a great recipe. THANKS!!

  18. Faith February 1, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    I am so excited about this recipe! Thanks, Lindsay!
    However, I *thought* I followed the soaking directions when I attempted to make them today, but instead the flour mixture was tough and had little pieces of dried flour clumps throughout the dough. I went ahead and kneaded it, but there was no improvement. I’ve never had troubles making bread, but I am new to soaking so I’m guessing I did something wrong? I mixed about 7/8 cup of water with 1/3 cup of homemade yogurt (not very thick) and then mixed that with the honey, salt and 4 1/4 c of flour. It sat covered on the counter overnight. Does that sound right?

    • Lindsay February 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

      No, I would do more liquids. You only need to leave 1/4 cup of water for activating the yeast after soaking, so use the rest of that liquid (1 1/4 cup water) for soaking. That should help significantly. If you need to add more, do that until it is a moist dough. The flour absorbs the liquids as it soaks. You want to make sure that it is all combined well before soaking otherwise it will get more dry like you mentioned.

  19. Geoff August 1, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    Question about the honey. Your ingredient list calls for 1/4 cup honey, but I can only see where 1 tablespoon is used in the recipe itself. Did I miss a step somewhere?

    • Lindsay August 3, 2009 at 4:25 am #

      Opps…I included in the soaking step but didn’t mention it in the regular recipe. I updated it above.

  20. Hannah July 5, 2009 at 2:54 am #

    What kind of yeast did you use? I generally use a quick rising yeast when I make whole wheat bread and it means that we get to skip one of the rises (I shape the bread as soon as I am done kneading it, then let it rise). What kind did you use, and do you think it would work with the other kind?

    I am VERY eager to make some bagels!


    • Lindsay July 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

      I use a standard active dry yeast that I purchase in a large quantity from Costco. It stores and preserves very well in the freezer. I am sure this recipe would work perfectly fine with quick rising yeast though.

  21. Sarah April 18, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    I was looking at this recipe and wondering about the flour. Is it say 2 cups white AND 2 1/2 cups wheat for a total of 4 1/2 or is it saying one or the other? I was a little unsure.

    • Lindsay April 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

      A combination of both unbleached white and whole wheat is what I was referring to (half and half pretty much), but you can use whatever flour you desire.

      • Carrie July 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

        Just wanted to triple check (sorry!)… so is it a total of 4 1/2 cups flour then, of our choice? Didn’t want to read it wrong and have a big waste of ingredients.

        Have you ever tried spelt, or even kamut, in this recipe? I’ve never made bagels so I don’t know what would work best, but I’m trying to use other grains than wheat.


        • Lindsay July 23, 2010 at 10:23 am #

          Yes, that is correct. I have not tried adding a cup of kamut and that seems to work well.

  22. Christy February 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    I’ve got to give these a try! I have had two horrible flops bagel making but my little girl loves bagels so I need to try again. Do you know if this would work in the bread machine? Can I just put everything in on the dough setting and then when its done shape them and go from there? My previous bagels were really strange, they had gooey glue like parts to them, even after baking. I think I boiled them too long. Do you do 45 seconds on each side or 45 seconds total? Thanks for the help!

    • Christy February 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

      I did make these in the bread machine today, on the dough cycle. I used 2 1/2 Teaspoons of yeast, and 1 Teaspoon of salt, not sure if those were typos or not (they say Tablespoons) but it seemed like too much. I boiled them for 45 seconds total, 20-25 on each side. Thanks for the great recipe! I’m excited, like I said, I already had two flops, lol. ;)

  23. Liz Lange September 24, 2008 at 5:47 am #

    I am so blessed by your website and all of the wonderful whole wheat recipes. Thank you so much!
    I have been passing this on to my friends. They will be blessed as well by your time and effort.
    God bless you!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  24. Leah March 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    I just pulled mine out of the oven. SO YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration. My husb is excited to have bagel sandwiches for dinner.

  25. Rebekah March 19, 2008 at 8:14 pm #

    I made some of these tonight all whole wheat and they are GREAT!! Much easier than I would have thought!

    • Lindsay March 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

      Awesome! I am so glad to hear they worked out great with all whole wheat. Bravo! You beat me to the punch, Rebekah!

      • Bronwyn Brown June 14, 2010 at 5:42 am #

        So is it tablespoons or teaspoons like another reader asked?
        I would love to try it but want to know which one first?

        • Lindsay June 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

          The recipe is accurate.

  26. Toni March 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    Sounds like you guys had alot of fun!They look very good!