First try rustic bagels

Hi all!

So I promised that I would use this to challenge myself on new recipes and share the experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly). I decided that my first challenge for this blog would be rustic cinnamon raisin bagels! Rustic meaning you shape them by hand so each looks a bit rough and individual. You can pick if that is artisan or messy. I like them!

They were definitely a bit of a surprise with some steps that were deceptively difficult and some being deceptively easy. I got the original recipe from here. The blog was pretty helpful and there were certainly very thorough instructions to follow. I have made some tweaks, however, as I found certain steps and instructions not so helpful. Hopefully the result is a slightly easier recipe to follow.

I certainly saw my own skills improving as I made each bagel and would be more than happy to try the recipe again as I think it will get a lot easier with practice. A final warning pre-recipe, this is MESSY! I was covered in sticky dough, the counters were covered in sticky dough, and even the floor got a nice dousing of honey water bath.

I have included some of my thoughts and ideas into the recipe’s instructions, hopefully they will help you too!

Now for the recipe!


Rustic Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Makes 8 bagels.

Each bagel is 328 calories.

This recipe is designed for making with a stand mixer and dough hook, instructions for using a bread maker instead can be found by following the link to the original blog above. DSC_0286


  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 and 3/4 tsp easy or quick rise yeast
  • 4 cups strong white bread flour
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar (or barley malt syrup if you can find it, I couldn’t)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3 Tbs castor sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Water Bath

  • 2.2L water
  • 1/4 cup honey (or barley malt syrup if you can find it)


  • 1 egg white beaten
  • 1 Tbs water



  1. Combine water and yeast in a measuring cup or bowl and whisk until yeast is fully dissolved. Allow this to sit for five minutes.
  2. In the stand mixer beat the flour, brown sugar and salt for a few seconds to combine.
  3. With mixer running on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the water/yeast mixture. Make sure all yeast winds up in the recipe!DSC_0288
  4. Keep mixer running and add vanilla.
  5. Switch mixer to low speed until all combined then increase the speed to medium and beat for 8 minutes.The dough should be stiff and dry, don’t add more liquid.
  6. In the last two minutes, add in the raisins.
    • The recipe had the raisins added at the last minutes, but they did not combine very well and I had to kneed the dough by hand to include them better. By adding them a minute earlier, I hope the problem with be fixed.DSC_0293
  7. Shape the dough into a rough ball.
  8. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it all onto the a clean surface.
  9. Kneed the dough into the cinnamon sugar making sure all of the sugar is picked up in the dough and well incorporated. This is nicer than stand mixing as it gives swirls of sugar in the bagels instead of just spread evenly throughout.
  10. Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough ball into bowl, turning it over to oil on all sides. DSC_0295
  11. Let dough sit to rise, this will take about 70-100 minutes, for me it took the 100. The dough needs to rise and become more puffy, but does not need to quite double.
  12. Divide the dough into roughly eight even balls, punching out any air bubbles if they are in the dough.
  13. **THIS IS WHERE I DEVIATE FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS BECAUSE OF PROBLEMS: The recipe had you shape the bagels into their traditional form and leave on parchment paper. The dough becomes sticky as it sits and this meant that when the time came, I could not keep the bagels in the right shape to life them. I had to re-shape them anyways, so I think this step can easily be skipped.DSC_0298
  14. Instead place the dough balls on a floured or oiled surface and cover with a damp paper towel as you let the the dough rest and prep the water bath.
  15. For the water bath pour the water and honey into a large pot (deep and wide is good).
  16. Whisk the honey and water together while bringing the water to a boil then reduce the heat so water is still simmering.
  17. Shape the bagels individually by pocking a hole through the middle of balls of dough and shaping them into rough rings.
  18. Drop each ring into the water and allow to float to the surface and cook for 1 minute on each side.DSC_0301
    • Couple of notes here: Max have two bagels in at the same time, you don’t want them sticking together or getting trapped under each other (also this allows you to pay more attention to each). My first bagel didn’t float right away, give it a little poke and it probably will come up to the surface.
    • I found using a spatula very helpful for lifting and moving the bagels without them falling apart (THEY ARE VERY FRAGILE) and tongs did not work well at all.
  19. Remove the bagels from the water bath and place on a wire rack to drip dry a little.
    • I had to create a drying rack as we don’t currently have one, but I thought it worked well, even if it was a bit ugly. Function is what matters!DSC_0299
    • The nice part is the bagels are semi-solid and definitely not sticky anymore.
  20. Combine egg white and water and brush over the tops and sides of the bagels.DSC_0302
  21. Move bagels onto baking trays. I would be cautious about using baking paper. My bagels stuck quite badly to paper that usually never clings to my baking. (They are pretty ugly at this stage).       DSC_0303
  22. Bake bagels for 20-25 minutes, carful because they brown very quickly with the egg wash. The recipe suggested 218 C for the oven, but this seemed very high when I was baking. I would suggest 200 C and maybe leave them in for the longer side of the baking.DSC_0304


Finally enjoy! I am nibbling one of the bagels right now and it is pretty delicious!

This recipe is definitely really fun to make and my skills at shaping the bagels noticeably improved between just the eight ones I made. I also loved this recipe because I had all the ingredients in the house already (except the malt stuff, but Tesco doesn’t seem to carry that anyways). It is a bit of a messy process and it takes a bit of time as the dough has to rise, but it was really fun and tasty experiment that I plan on carrying out again sometime soon!


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