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How to Make Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels

I do love bagels! And I’m pretty sure that many folks feel the same way as I do. That’s why I would like to show you how to make homemade bagels yourself. And since we always try to make things a bit healthier here, we’re going to make whole wheat bagels using two different kinds of flour. But trust me, it’s super easy to do and they will taste absolutely delicious. So, without further ado, let’s talk how to make homemade bagels!

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howto make homemade bagels

Are Bagels Healthy?

As with any pastry, you can’t give a simple answer to this question. If you choose the very classic white flour plain bagels, then you will have the same problem as with white bread. They contain hardly any nutrients and do not keep you full for very long.

But if you choose whole grain bagels, they become much richer in vitamins and fiber. If you’re interested in the difference between whole wheat and white flour, you can stop by my post for my 100% whole wheat no-knead bread, since I go more into detail about the differences over there.

A Healthy, Well-Balanced Bagel Meal

Alright, that means that a whole wheat bagel is generally the better choice. But it also depends on your bagel’s topping, whether your bagel will be a healthy and well-balanced meal.

Therefore, I always try to incorporate a protein and healthy fat source as well as some vitamins into my bagel sandwich. For instance, I will put some cream cheese, cooked chicken breast and some low-fat cheese on top and serve it with some raw veggie sticks such as celery, carrots, cucumber or bell peppers. And just like that you’ll end up with a well-balanced plate, which corresponds perfectly to the idea of the plate method.

how to make homemade bagels


The quantities for this recipe on how to make homemade bagels will end up with eight whole wheat bagels. If you want to make more or less, you can easily adjust the amounts based on that.

I always love to make a big bunch of these bagels, since you can freeze them so well. This way you can make bagels last longer! Just let them cool down completely before putting them in the freezer. And whenever you’re in the mood for a bagel, you can pull one out and give them a quick defrost on the toaster.

Ingredients for Eight Whole Wheat Bagels

  • 300 milliliter or 1 ¼ cup of lukewarm water
  • 21 grams or 0.7 ounces of Fleischmann’s fresh active yeast or 2.5 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup
  • 250 grams of bread flour
  • 250 grams of whole wheat flour (spelt or wheat)
  • one teaspoon of salt
  • one egg white (approximately two tablespoons)
  • some sesame or poppy seeds

How to Make Homemade Bagels – Here’s How It’s Done!

Okidoki, the first part of this how to make homemade bagels recipe is pretty classic as with most recipes for bread or rolls. So first, crumble the yeast into your water, add the honey and stir the mixture until the yeast is completely dissolved.

Now put both flours and the salt in a mixing bowl and then slowly stir in the yeast mixture. You can either use your kitchen machine, the dough hooks of your hand mixer, or just a wooden spoon to do so.

Once the dough is halfway combined, it’s time to knead. If you have a kitchen machine, you can let it do the work. If not, just think of it as a little mini-workout and knead the dough with your hands for about five minutes.

After about two to three minutes of kneading, whether with your hands or the machine, you can check if your dough is still too dry. If so, add about 20 to 50 milliliters or one to three tablespoons of water a little at a time. But be very careful with this and test how much more water you really need.

After kneading, you can form the dough into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and put it in a warm place for 90 minutes, so that the dough can rise nicely and approximately double in volume.

how to make homemade bagels

How to Form a Bagel?

So, now we get to the part that’s a little different than baking bread or rolls. Once your dough has risen nicely, you can lightly dust your work surface with flour and take it out of the bowl. Knead it briefly and shape it into a ball, then divide it into eight equal-sized pieces.

Grab the first piece of dough and shape it into a ball. Then take your fingers and make a hole in the center. And now you can use your fingers and a twisting hand motion to form a bagel with a hole of 1.5 to 2 inches.

Put the whole wheat bagel on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover it with a cloth and move on to the next piece of dough. Now repeat the process with all seven remaining pieces of dough.

How to form a bagel

How to Make a Bagel Water Bath?

To prevent the bagels from losing their beautiful shape in the oven, we first place them in a bagel water bath. But before we do that, let’s preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F convection or 200°C and 400°F regular heat.

Then grab a large, deep pan (or a wide pot) and fill it with water. The pan should be filled with about five to seven centimeters of water. Bring the water to a boil, then stir in a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup and reduce the heat a bit so that the water only simmers very gently.

Now carefully place two or three bagels in the water, preferably with a spatula. Let them float there for about a minute before you put them back on the tray and put the next bagels into the water.

bagels in a water bath

Finally, we brush our whole wheat bagels with some egg white and sprinkle the top with some sesame or poppy seeds. And now they are ready to be baked in the oven. So, pop them in and let them bake there for 20 minutes.

If you have divided them on two trays, then do not forget to change the trays after 10 minutes, so that each was once on top.

how to make homemade bagels

Super Easy Homemade Bagel Recipe for Whole Wheat Bagels

I hope you like this simple recipe on how to make homemade bagels! If so, make sure to give it a try. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes).

And in case, you’ve tried this recipe for homemade whole wheat bagels, I’d appreciate your comment and rating on this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,

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how to make homemade whole grain bagels

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how to make homemade bagels

Homemade Whole Grain Bagels

Julia Schmitt
This recipe covers everything you need to know about how to make homemade bagels. To make bagels last longer, you can freeze them directly after cooling down and defrost them on your toaster whenever you feel like having a bagel.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Resting Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Bread, Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Bagels
Calories 232 kcal


  • kitchen machine or hand mixer or wooden spoon
  • mixing bowl
  • 1-2 baking trays lined with parchment paper
  • 1 large, deep pan or pot


  • 300 ml lukewarm water (~1¼ cup)
  • 21 grams Fleischmann's fresh active yeast (~.7 oz) or 2.5 tsp of instant yeast
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup + one tbsp for the water bath later on
  • 250 g bread flour (~2 cups + 1 tbsp)
  • 250 g wholewheat flour (~2¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white (~2 tbsp)
  • some sasame or poppy seeds



  • Dissolve the yeast together with a teaspoon of honey in 300 ml of lukewarm water. Place the flours and salt in a mixing bowl, slowly stir in the yeast mixture using your kitchen machine, the dough hook of your hand mixer or a wooden spoon until dough is well combined.
    how to make homemade bagels
  • Now knead the dough with your hands or with the kitchen machine for about 5 minutes. After 2-3 minutes, check if the dough is to dry and needs a bit more water and if so add 20 to 50ml of 1 to 3 tbsp in sips if necessary.
    Shape the dough into a ball, place it inside the bowl and let rise, covered, in a warm place for 90 minutes until the dough has approximately doubled in size.

Shape Bagels

  • Place the dough on a floured work surface, knead it briefly, form it into a ball, and divide it into eight equal-sized pieces. Now form the dough piece one by one first into a ball and then use your fingers to form a hole of about 3-5cm or 1.5 to 2 inches in the center. Place the bagels on a baking tray (or two) lined with parchment paper and cover them with a cloth.
    how to shape bagels
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F convection or 200°C/400°F regular heat. Fill the pan ¾ (about 5-7cm high) with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat so that the water just simmers very gently and stir in a spoon of honey. Carefully place two to three bagels in the water by using a spatula and let them float in the water bath for about a minute. Return bagels to the tray and repeat the process for all remaining bagels.
    bagels in a water bath

Bake Bagels

  • Finally brush the bagels with egg white and sprinkle them with poppy seeds or sesame seeds as desired. Bake them in oven for 20 minutes. If using two trays, make sure to swap the position of the bottom tray for the top tray after 10 minutes. Let them cool down on a cooling rack.
    sprinkle bagels with seeds before baking


nutritional values per bagel:
  • calories: 232 kcal
  • fat: 2.3 g
  • carbohydrates: 43 g
  • protein: 8.3 g


Calories: 232kcal
Keyword Homemade Bagel Recipe, Whole Grain Bagel Recipe
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