Baby Bagels

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dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: One dozen 3" bagels

Recipe photo

Smaller, taller bagels are light-textured, perfect for toasting, and make a lovely snack-sized serving. High-gluten flour makes them extra chewy. Read our blog about these bagels, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Baby Bagels

star rating (42) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: One dozen 3" bagels
Published: 01/01/2010




Water bath for steaming



see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the starter: Combine the flour, water, and yeast in a small container, stirring till smooth. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours (overnight), until bubbly and expanded.

2) To make the dough: Combine the risen starter with the remaining dough ingredients, mixing till you've formed a shaggy, rough dough.

3) Knead the dough for about 7 minutes in a stand mixer. Or knead it using the dough setting on your bread machine. It's difficult to fully develop this dough manually, so we don't recommend kneading it by hand. The well-kneaded dough will be fairly stiff and perhaps a bit shaggy.

4) Place the dough in a lightly greased container (or leave it in your bread machine), and let it rise for about 90 minutes, till it's puffy.

5) While the dough is rising, pour water to a depth of about 1/2" to 3/4" into a large, deep skillet with a lid; a 12" to 13" skillet is a good choice. Add 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder (for best shine), or 1 tablespoon brown sugar. The malt won't dissolve; that's OK. It'll be fine once the water is heated. Place a round cooling rack, or vegetable steamer, into the pan. Grease the rack or steamer with non-stick vegetable oil spray. If you don't have a large enough skillet, use a canning kettle or or other wide-diameter pan. Set the pan on the stove, but don't turn the burner on yet.

6) Preheat the oven to 425°F.

7) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 12 pieces. Each piece will weigh about 76g (about 2 5/8 ounces).

8) Round six of the pieces into smooth balls, rolling them beneath your cupped fingers on a non-floured work surface. (A floured work surface won't give you enough traction for rolling.) Keep the other pieces covered with plastic wrap.

9) Working quickly, poke a hole in the center of each ball of dough, and twirl it around your finger to make a hole about 1 1/2" wide. As you move from one piece of dough to the next, the holes will shrink; that's OK. While you're doing this, heat the water in the skillet or kettle to a gentle simmer.

10) When you've poked a hole in all six pieces of dough, place them on the rack in the skillet. Turn the heat to high to bring the water to a full boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and steam the bagels for exactly 2 minutes. While the bagels are steaming, line a baking sheet with parchment (preferred), or lightly grease it.

11) Remove the lid, and use a spatula to very gently transfer the bagels to the prepared baking sheet.

12) Bake the bagels for 20 minutes. While they're baking, get out the seeds you want to use (if any).

13) Remove the bagels from the oven; they should be a light golden brown. Spray with Quick Shine (for best seed adherence). Or spray with water. Sprinkle with the seeds of your choice.

14) Return the bagels to the middle shelf of the oven, and place another baking sheet on the shelf above, to shield them so the seeds don't burn.

15) Bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the bagels are golden brown. While the first batch of bagels is getting its final turn in the oven, ready the next batch: gently deflate the balls of dough, shape into rounds, poke holes, steam, and place on a pan.

16) Remove the first batch of bagels from the oven; put the second batch in. Cool the finished bagels on a rack, or right on the pan. When all the bagels are baked and cooled, store them airtight, at room temperature.


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  • star rating 04/30/2015
  • mmcape from KAF Community
  • These bagels turned out great and the flavor was wonderful. Made a second batch with cinnamon and raisins that were even better. My rack was a little too wide so the bottom of the bagels weren't smooth. I might try again with straight boiling.
  • star rating 09/01/2014
  • Smokeyandashes from Tahoe City, CA
  • Today I made the Baby bagels recipe exactly according to the recipe. They were easy to make and the bagels were delicious. I think the smaller bagels were slightly easier to make than the larger ones I made yesterday. I also thought steaming was easier than boiling. So now I will try adding different flours to this recipe.
  • star rating 04/15/2014
  • Laura from Poland, OH
  • I'd never made bagels before, and thought I'd make these with my 7 year old son. Terrific success! Special thanks to the reviewer who suggested a rice cooker -- that saved my bagel!
  • star rating 03/28/2014
  • Annette from Petaluma, CA
  • This recipe sounds amazing! It has great tips and suggestions. I am definitely goint to buy the ingredients and try it.
  • star rating 12/09/2012
  • denthy68 from KAF Community
  • Incorporated dried blueberries into dough. Used my rice cooker with basket to steam bagels three at a time instead of skillet. It was easier to regulate steam time this way. Bagels turned out with excellent flavor, chewy crust and toast up great.
  • star rating 10/29/2012
  • queencafe777 from KAF Community
  • Easy to do, chewy, just right size. I dunked them in water bath for few seconds drained them on my perforated tray and placed them on my baking sheet with parchment paper. I put the toppings on first baking by mistake but just covered with foil for 20 mins and baked them uncovered by 6 mins or till pale golden color. The toppings did not get burn, i used poppy seeds, sesame, herb garlic minced cheese combo. Family ate them right away with lox, tomatoes, red onions, tomatoes and capers delish! so different from store bought bagels. I will make again tomorrow and use different toppings like jalapeno, cranberry. I brush the dough with eggwhite wash before putting the toppings to stick. This is a keeper.
  • star rating 10/29/2012
  • queencafe777 from KAF Community
  • My family loved it. The Sir Lancelot flour I think made a lot of difference in taste and texture chewy and crusty. I topped it with sesame, poppy seeds, cheese/garlic/ herb topping and added mince fresh gariic, I served it right away with cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomatoes, red onions and capers. So so good!! Better than store bought bagels.Will make this as my staple in my kitchen. I make mistake in putting the toppings right away but I covered it with foil for 20 mins first baking time and uncovered th right for next 6 mins and did not burn, In order to stick I used egg whites wash to brush the dough and sprinkled the topping. I dunked them in the water bath instead of steaming. Came out okay and even coloring.
  • star rating 08/19/2012
  • ladynnred1 from KAF Community
  • these are fantastic and taste authentic. i was concerned b/c they really do appear 'ragged' after the initial rise but i did kneed them by hand and it made a terrific difference. highest praise!
  • star rating 01/02/2012
  • TrojanInOz from KAF Community
  • Very easy! I like the tiny bagels - perfect portion sizes, and great for breakfast. I made a double batch - next time I'll just make the two separately because my mixer was working extra hard to knead two batches. I topped them with pretzel salt since salt bagels are my absolute fave.
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