Homemade Rye Bagels

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When I first met the bagel in 2000 in Cincinnati where I was an AuPair, I was not particularly impressed. The notion of shoving a roll like item into the toaster, just didn’t make sense to me. In the absence of “real” rolls like I know them from Germany, I went with it. And slowly bagel and I fell in love. Of course, when I came back to Germany there were no bagels to be found…until a few years later they were all over the Cafes in Berlin.

My by favorite bagel is a pain bagel with dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and arugula – the combination of flavors is just heavenly. My second favorite bagel is a sesame bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jam – wake me in the morning with one of those and you will make my day (are you reading this hubby?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Now back in Germany, Bagels are still far and few between in the grocery stores, so I did what I always do when I can’t find what I’m looking for – I make my own.

One of my favorite foodie bloggers Jessica from How Sweet shared a great recipe for homemade bagels and I just modified it slightly.


for 6 bagels

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. agave syrup (or honey)
  • 11/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups rye flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar (for water bath)
  • toppings of your choosing (sesame, grated Parmesan cheese…) ready in small bowls for dipping


1. Dissolve yeast and agave syrup in warm water until foamy (5min). Add salt and flours and knead in stand mixer for a few minutes until the dough has come together.

2. Turn out on floured surface and knead a few time by hand, the form a ball. Place the ball (lightly greased with oil) in a bowl, cover with a damp towel and let sit for an hour in warm place (I put mine next to the heater), until the size has doubled.

3. Grease a baking sheet with oil. Take the dough out of the bowl, punch it down some and divide into 6 equal balls (mine were ca. 3.5 oz each). Place those on the baking sheet, cover with towel and set them in a warm place again for 30 minutes.

4. With the back of a wooden spoon poke holes in the center of the six risen balls. Then poke your finger through and twirl the hole a round your finger until it has the size you know and love. Place them back on the cookie sheet for another 10 minutes, cover in a warm place,ย  you know the drill – make ’em cozy.

5. Meanwhile get a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the brown sugar. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Drop the bagels 3 or so at a time depending on your pot size into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, then uze theย  back of your wooding spoon and fork and flip them over to boil for another 30 seconds or so.

6. Remove from water, one at a time and dip each one in the topping of your choice then place the bagel back onto the cookie sheet.

7. Bake for 30 minutes, remove and let cool.

We had some for dinner, warm from the oven:

and then of course I had to have my sesame bagel the next morning, and I shoved it into the toaster like a natural ๐Ÿ˜‰



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