From the Yiddish בײגל (beygel), this bread is popular all around the world, but nobody makes it the same way.

Round shaped breads with a hole were already made since centuries in many countries such as obwarzanek krakowski in Poland, tarallo in Italy and girde in China.

Obwarzanek krakowski

But the bagel appeared in the 17th century and its first mention was in 1610 in a Jewish community in Poland. From then they traveled in Europe and in the UK, to finally land in New York in the late 19th century with Jewish immigrants.

But the bagel only started to become very popular in the 1970s, when people started to eat “ethnic food”. A family called the Lenders started to mass-produce frozen bagel and called them “the Jewish English Muffin”. Few years later in 1984, Kraft Foods bought the company. And what does Kraft Foods sells? Cream cheese of course! This became the “wedding of the century”.

Every city in the world has its way of making it. For example, in New York City, the bagel contains malt and salt and is baked in a regular oven. While in Montreal, the dough is sweeter and baked in a wood oven. In the East Coast they use sourdough.

We usually see sesame seeds on top but the traditional topping would be white sesame seed, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion, dried garlic, sometimes caraway seeds, and salt.


A classic, yet very nice bread. Perfect for lunch or takeaway, you can put pretty much anything inside. This recipe calls for some stiff starter to give it a nice taste and a strong leavening. It is very quick to make so if you’re wondering what you will cook for this Sunday’s lunch, here you go.
YIELD: 4 bagels
KNEADING: 10 mins
BAKING: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 mins


Bagel dough

  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 5 g salt
  • 3 g fresh yeast or 1g dried yeast
  • 50 g stiff starter
  • 75 g water at room temp.
  • 75 g milk at room temp.
  • 5 g honey
  • 20 g butter


  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried onions
  • 3 tbsp dried garlic
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt


Bagel dough

  1. Mix everything together for 3min in 1st speed then 7min in 2nd speed.
  2. Take the dough out on a floured workbench and divide it in 4 pieces.
  3. Ball them.
  4. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Make holes in the middle of the doughs and spin it around your fingers in order to have a 3cm diameter hole.
  6. Put the dough on a tray and cover them. Let prove for around 45 minutes.
  7. Put the dough in a pot filled with boiling water and boil the bagels for 1 minute on each side.
  8. Put the bagels on a tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  9. Beat an egg and brush it on the bagel.
  10. Sprinkle the topping mix on top.
  11. Bake at 200°C for around 20 minutes.
  12. Take it out and let it cool down on a tray.
  13. Enjoy!
  14. Don’t forget to check out the timelapse video of the baking on my Instagram below :

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