Cinnamon-Raisin Bagels

I’d been meaning to make bagels for years, and then last weekend, spontaneously, it just happened Saturday afternoon. I don’t know why I was so intimidated, because honestly it’s not that hard, it’s just kind of time consuming. Not really active, hands-on time, but wait-around-while-they-sit-in-the-fridge-overnight time, which can be just as challenging to deal with if you’re impatient like me.

Saturday afternoon I mixed up the sponge, using some whole wheat flour because I like the flavor it adds. A few hours later I mixed up the dough (again with some whole wheat flour, plus gluten to help the texture), and because our new apartment is the size of a postage stamp, shaped it in the living room (which conveniently doubles as bike storage, an office, and a dining room).

The next morning, after running a half marathon, I came home and had fresh-from-the-oven homemade bagels, and now I’m definitely hooked. I can’t say how these compare to New York Deli bagels because I’ve never had one, but they are light, chewy, and perfect with a thick layer of cream cheese.

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups loosely packed raisins, rinsed with warm water and drained

for boiling
1 tbsp baking soda

To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the warm water until it dissolves. Let stand for a few minutes. Put the flours and gluten in a large bowl. Add the water-yeast mixture and stir until you have a smooth paste.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in water, let stand a few minutes, then stir into the sponge. Add the wheat flour, gluten, cinnamon, sugar, salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, then slowly working add the bread flour about 1/2 cup at a time. Finally, add the raisins. Knead for at least 10 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment and put the mixer at medium speed for about 7 minutes), so you end up with a stiff, smooth dough with no traces of flour.

Divide the dough in 16 pieces and form into rolls. Let them rest, covered with a damp towel, for about 20 minutes. Line 3 baking sheets with silpats or parchment. Pick up one roll of dough, poke your thumbs through it, and gently stretch the hole out so it’s about 2″ in diameter. Try to keep the bagel an even thickness all the way around the hole. After shaping all the bagels, cover the pans with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then fill a small bowl with cool water, place one bagel in it, and see if it floats within 10 seconds. If it does, the pans can go into the fridge (dry the tester bagel first), but if it doesn’t they need to sit out at room temperature a little longer.
Once your bagel floats, transfer the covered pans to the refrigerator to rest overnight (or for at least 6 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer ready. Gently drop the bagels (as many as you can fit in the pan in a single layer) into the water and boil for one minute, then flip and boil an additional minute. Remove from the water and place back on the baking sheets. Bake for about 5 minutes, then rotate the pans and switch shelves and bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and transfer the bagels to cooling racks. Give them about 20 minutes to cool before eating.

8 Responses to “Cinnamon-Raisin Bagels”

  1. 1 Kira September 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Bagels are definitely on my “to-make” list. I love cinnamon raisin too.

  2. 2 Roxan September 24, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Cate – looking at your picture I get the feeling your kitchen is as small as mine! Mine can barely fit two people, and when it does we have to maneuver around each other. I have bagels on my list of things to make also. I haven’t done it yet because i feel like I’d end up with a huge batch that we wouldn’t be able to finish.
    Great job on finishing the half marathon, how’d you do?

  3. 3 Erin Cottrell September 24, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Gorgeous photo, and these look divine!

  4. 4 wizzy September 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Love the rustic look of the pic with the bagels.

  5. 5 Pam @ Cooking world September 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Wow, you ran marathon and came home and made home made bagels…wow, you put me to shame! I am going to make this recipe with running around my child, which is close enough to marathon for me! 🙂

  6. 6 Elizabeth September 25, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Yum! I’ve seen this recipe before and thought about making it, but then I would probably eat a whole batch of cinnamon raisin bagels myself…and without the half marathon to help me. LOL!

    Gorgeous photos!

  7. 7 Alex October 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Oh my gosh! I made these too! I had never made bagels before but this were incredible and I found the process really rewarding!


  1. 1 Busy in B-Town « The Whitty Blonde Trackback on September 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm

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