Simple Life, Simple Ingredients: Homemade Bagels

homemade bagels

Simple Life = Simple Ingredients

I like to bake my own bread because I get to choose the ingredients that go in it. Store-bought breads and bagels can have 17+ ingredients and additives, all things that I do not want in my body and are absolutely unnecessary to have in bread! Real bread is flour, salt, water, yeast, and maybe a little bit of sugar. No additives or preservatives here! We’re getting back to the basics, because simple living means simple ingredients.

These bagels are fairly easy to make, use only 5 basic ingredients, and taste better than any store-bought bagel out there!

homemade bagels



  • 1 1/4 cup of warm filtered water (between 100 and 110℉)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of organic unrefined cane sugar

  • 1 packet of organic active dry yeast (one packet is about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 3 1/2 cups of unbleached organic all purpose flour OR organic ancient grain spelt flour (I’ve used both whole grain and white spelt flours and both work amazing!)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt


  • 2 quarts of filtered water

  • Local, organic honey (optional)


  • Sesame seeds

  • Poppy seeds

  • Course sea salt

  • Minced onion flakes

  • Garlic powder or flakes


Heat the filtered water to 100℉-115℉ (Water that’s too cold will not activate the yeast, while water that’s too hot can kill it. Make sure you have a thermometer to check the temperature of your water) and combine in a bowl the warmed water, sugar, and yeast and stir until dissolved. Let this mixture sit for 6-8 minutes until it appears foamy. Once the mixture is foamy, mix in the flour and salt. I use my KitchenAid mixer for this using a paddle/dough hook, but you can also knead it with your hands. Mix and knead until the dough is elastic-like, but not sticky., adding more water if needed, one tablespoon at a time.


Once combined, form the dough into a large ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I like to let my oven warm up a bit, turn it off, and let the dough rise in there, covered with a tea towel.


In the last 10 minutes of your dough rising, begin boiling 2 quarts of water in a large saucepan. You need depth, not width. Bring water to a boil and add in a tablespoon or so of honey if desired.


Divide your dough into 8 balls for regular sized bagels, or more for tinier bagels. Form them into balls and stick your thumb through the middle to form a hole. Let them rest for about 10 more minutes while your water finishes coming to a boil.


Boil each bagel for 1 minute on each side. You can put 2-3 in the pot at a time as long as they have room to float around. When you take them out of the water, place them on a towel to lightly drain the water from them so they don't become soggy in the oven.


Transfer the boiled bagels to a baking stone or baking sheet. Bake plain or add desired toppings! It works best to put your toppings on while the bagels are still wet from boiling, but if you need extra help making them stick, try brushing the bagels with plant milk first.

Bake at 425℉ for about 17 minutes until they are golden and the outer crust is hard to the touch.


Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool before serving. Enjoy!

Let me know how this turns out for you if you make it! I love seeing pictures of your creations using our recipes. Tag us @calicoandtwine or @girlincalico so we can see + share! Until next time!

With care,


Kaetlyn Kennedy