Bagel Buns are deliciously simple to make for any backyard grilling party. They stand up to the any burger and taste delicious.
I cannot pass up a good bagel. And I mean a GOOD bagel. Not those fluffy things you get in a bag in the grocery. Unless it’s the kind baked on site at Harris Teeter or Wegman’s. They have GOOD bagels. You’re asking, “What is a good bagel?” Don’t worry, we’ll get there. But first…
What is a bagel?
You’d think this is a simple no brainer. But check out my milkshake post and you’ll see why I am starting with a what is question. Not everyone knows everything we know. And vice versa. Ever heard of ketoprak? And no, it’s not a low carb dish. Anyway.
Generally, a bagel is a round bread made with flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. The it’s formed into balls with a hole in the center. The dough goes into a water bath and gets boiled less than a minute before baking. Bagels should be crispy on the outside and chewy and tender on the inside.
Now, if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I’m not much of a bread baker. I rarely have great success with any type of yeast bread. That’s why you don’t see many recipes on the blog. And no, I didn’t get bit by the sourdough bread bug. I really should revive my starter and try making something with it. But that’s another story.
Where do bagels come from?
It depends on what you read. There’s a mention of boiled breads in a 13th century Arabic cookbook. Some claim that it’s from Jews in Poland. There’s a Polish boiled bread called obwarzanek was found in Poland before the Jews arrived in the 17th century that some claim is the bagel. And finally, there’s a theory that Viennese bakers formed the dough into a circle to mimic a stir-up in honor of the King of Poland.
Of course, bagels traveled across the Atlantic with Eastern European immigrants in the 19th century. Just because they moved to a new country doesn’t mean they left all their traditional cooking behind. But it wasn’t until ethnic food became trendy in the 70’s that bagels really gained popularity in the US.
Fast forward a few years when Kraft purchased Lender’s bagels. Yes, a frozen bagel. I know you die-hards are scoffing. “That’s NOT a bagel!” I can agree with you on that. Neither are Thomas’. A bagel is crispy on the outside and chewy inside. Neither of these brands meet those criteria. However, they did put the bagel in every grocery store across the country. This made the bagel more popular than doughnuts.
Are bagels difficult to make?
No. They’re not. It took me just a few minutes to get the dough going. I kneaded it in the stand mixer for 3 to 5 minutes or until it was smooth and stretchy. For those that make bread, it checked for the windowpane. For those that don’t bake bread, this is when you can stretch the dough without breaking it and see light through it.
After kneading, I put it into a bowl coated with boil and set it in the oven with the light on to proof for 4 hours. When it was finished proofing (that’s what it’s called I think) I turned the dough out and divided it into 8 equal balls for buns. If you want to make bagels, I’d divide it into 10 or eve 12 balls. Because technically bagels are supposed to be smaller than what we’re used to.
At about 3 1/2 hours I set the oven to 425 and started a pot of water to boil. Since this is a small batch bagel bun recipe there were only 8 buns to boil. Then into the oven they went for about 15 minutes. Doesn’t that sound easy?
What do bagel buns taste like?
Confession. I totally spaced on the egg wash. That gives bagels that shiny outside. These buns are not enormously crispy outside. I don’t think that’s the best for a burger bun. Sometimes burgers are difficult enough to eat without having to fight with the bun. So, these are cooked at a lower temperature to have a chewier crust. But I recommend the egg wash before you bake them.
Confession. I always forget to add salt to my dough. I don’t know why. It slips my mind when I am making dough. So, mine tasted a little bland because of this. Do not forget to add the salt. These really could use some to bring out more flavor in the dough.
But what do they taste like? They are tender and chewy. They are not too chewy to eat with a burger. I managed to devour my double stack smashburger easily. They have nice crumb for when you want to taste them and slather them with cream cheese, butter, jam, honey, whatever your heart desires. Those holes will hold all those toppings perfectly.
And that was dinner last night. You cannot tell me you’re not drooling. Because I’m drooling and can’t wait to make these again. Not only as buns, but as bagels, too. Yes. I did slice one open shortly after they came out of the oven. I might have spread a little butter on it and savored every last bite of that bagel goodness.
This is a great dough for bagel buns or just plain bagels. Then you can top them with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes, or even make up some everything bagel blend and dip them in that, too. Just make them. You will thank you for sharing such a simple recipe that doesn’t make a bakery full of bagels. I think 8 is a good amount. A family of 4 can have 2 each. Or if you’re like me you won’t want to share and eat them all. Don’t judge. You were thinking it, too.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- Combine the warm water with the yeast and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer. Bloom for 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Stir in the salt and 3 cups of flour.
- Using the dough hook, turn the mixer to medium adding additional flour as needed until the dough pulls away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Knead on medium high for 5 minutes.
- Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly.
- Divide the dough into 8 evenly sized pieces. Form into balls.
- Carefully press your thumb into the center of the bagel (I spun the bagel on my thumb to get it to stretch out a little. Omit this step if you want solid buns).
- Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
- Cover with a clean towel and let rest 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- While the buns are resting, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Carefully stir in the baking soda. It will bubble up and make a mess, but it’s worth it for that crispy exterior.
- Drop the buns into the boiling water for 1 minute on each side.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet with a silpat liner.
- Bake the buns at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Cool before slicing and using with burgers, lunch meat, or whatever you want to put in between the bagel goodness.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1292Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 538mgCarbohydrates 271gFiber 10gSugar 3gProtein 37g
Yeah I have no idea how these things come up with the calories. Another site said 293 per bagel.
Get More Bagel Recipes:
- Bagel Buns from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Bagel Upma from Magical Ingredients
- Overnight Bagels with Black Pepper from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Parmesan Garlic Bagels from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks