Bagel, also historically spelled beigel, is a bread product originating in the Jewish communities of Poland and it’s traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring from yeasted wheat dough that is first boiled for a short time in water and then baked. Bagels are often topped with different kind of seeds baked on the outer crust, but the traditional ones are poppy and sesame seeds. The earliest known mention of a boiled-then-baked ring-shaped bread can be found in a 13th-century Arabic cookbook, where they are referred to as ka'ak. Bagel was first mentioned in 1610 in Jewish community of Krakow, Poland which state that it is permissible to make a gift of bagels to the woman who has given birth, the midwife, and the girls and women who were present.
It is believed that the name originated from beugal (old spelling of Bügel, meaning bail/bow or bale) because traditional handmade bagels are not perfectly circular but rather slightly stirrup-shaped. Others have suggested that the round hole in the center of the bagel allowed Russian and Polish bakers to carry many of them on a long pole as they walked the streets selling their fresh bread.
Jewish families had a tradition to make bagels on Saturday evenings at the conclusion of the Sabbath. They were nt allowed to cook during Sabbath and compared to other types of bread, bagels were easier to bake. The preparation of the dough for bagels was done prior to the start od Sabbath, left to rise slowly and was ready to be cooked when Sabbath was over.
Jewish immigrants brought their skills at making bagels to North America at the end of the nineteenth century, more exactly in New York City, where these bakers formed their own union. The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
The bagel has become a popular bread product in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom especially in cities with large Jewish populations, such as Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto and London.
I didn't make the original boiled recipe but I promise this recipe is as good as the original one and you won't regret it if you try it.
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 214 kcal


  • 330 g flour
  • 6 g salt
  • 25 g yeast
  • 20 g sugar
  • 185 ml water
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g sesame seeds


  • Mix the yeast with the sugar until the yeast softens. In a large bowl put flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil and knead until you get a smooth, non-sticky dough that is resistant when pressed with your finger (knead it for about 10-15 minutes by hand). Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes.
  • When the dough has doubled in volume, take it out of the bowl and divide it into 5 equal pieces (5 bagels come out of the above quantities). We make round shapes like buns and then we make a big enough hole in the middle, the hole has to be bigger because they will grow when baked and the hole will close, so they need to be bigger. Put bagels in a tray lined with baking paper, cover and leave to rise for another 20-30 minutes. After the time has elapsed, grease them with beaten egg, put sesame seeds over and put them in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • You can serve them with anything you want. I chose to make a variant with avocado and soft-boiled egg and a vartiata with cream cheese, cheese, bacon and salad.


Keyword bagel, bagels, breakfast bagels, breakfast ideas, savoury bagels

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