Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels.
The easiest Homemade Pretzel Bagels with double the salt and a little extra butter too. A mix between a soft, buttery, salty pretzel and a slightly chewy bagel. They’re airy, perfectly salted, and every last bite is oh so buttery…the best of both worlds. These bagels are made using only pantry staples, require very little prep work, and are truly easier than heading out to your local bagel shop. The perfect baking project any day of the week (what day of the week is it again)!
I think the one thing we can all agree on right now is that a good project is just what we need. Not that these bagels are difficult by any means, but they are bagels. They require using your hands, your focus, and they’re sure to distract your mind from any anxiety you might have. Even if it’s only for an hour or so. Some days (maybe more than others) just call for a good baking distraction.
Sure, watching TV is great, but the returns from baking are far more delicious, especially when the baked goods are salty, buttery, pretzel bagels.
I mean, right? Yes, yes, there’s really nothing better than fresh baked goods.
In all seriousness, I made these bagels over the weekend after contemplating making them for weeks. I wasn’t really sure how you all would feel about baking homemade bagels. But I also knew a homemade pretzel bagel had the potential to be incredible, and truthfully, I was stressed. I needed the distraction myself. So, I decided to give them a try, and after just one test, I knew this was a recipe that needed to be shared. These aren’t your average bagels…they’re BETTER, and super easy too!
Fair warning, the butter plus salt combination does make these bagels a little bit addicting…
Here’s how you make these pretzel bagels.
If you’ve never made bagels, I know they can be intimidating, but the truth is, they’re really pretty simple. Especially with this recipe.
My trick is to use instant yeast, which makes mixing up the dough easy and keeps the rising time very minimal. What’s really awesome is that these bagels require no fancy ingredients. Just water, yeast, molasses or honey, flour, salt, and butter.
That’s it. And if you have a kitchen with anything stocked in it, then you most likely have these ingredients on hand. I will say that using pretzel salt can elevate your bagels just a smidge. But of course, you can also use a good Kosher salt or flaky sea salt. They’re all salt, just different sizes, so it all works!
Now, mix and shape the pretzel bagel dough.
Start by mixing the dough, then let it rise. This takes anywhere from one to two hours, it just depends how warm your kitchen is. Once the dough has doubled in size, shape the dough into bagels. Meaning, roll into balls, punch a hole through the center of each ball, and create a bagel shape. EASY.
The trickiest part about bagels is the boiling process, which actually isn’t tricky at all. Simply drop the bagels, a few at a time, into the boiling water and boil until they float. Boiling the bagels before baking gives them that chew factor, and that classic “bagel” taste. Pretzels are cooked in the same way.
On to the baking.
Brush each bagel with a beaten egg. This will give them a nice golden color.
Then the next step is KEY. Bake the bagels, but about halfway through cooking, remove them from the oven and brush each generously with melted butter, and then sprinkle the salt. That’s the “pretzel” portion…and honestly? It’s the best part.
Return the bagels to the oven and minutes later you’ll have hot, buttery, salty pretzel bagels all ready to be eaten. And yes, your kitchen will smell better than your local bagel shop, trust me. Hints of butter, soft bread baking, and somehow you can almost smell the salt in the air.
It’s a wonderful thing.
A couple of notes…
First, these bagels disappear quickly. If you want to have leftovers to freeze, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. Make a dozen for the week and a dozen to freeze and have ready at a moment’s notices.
These bagels are insanely delicious right out of the oven served with additional butter or a smear of cream cheese. They’re also great toasted and enjoyed for breakfast. Or use them to make your favorite sandwich. You can even serve them alongside dinner. The salt makes them perfect for just about any time of day.
Second, I highly recommend freezing any bagels that aren’t eaten right away. The salt on top can cause the bagels to get soggy while being stored. Still perfectly good to eat, just not as enjoyable as when they are frozen and then toasted.
Oh! And one last idea, if you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, do this. Slice your pretzel bagel in half, toast it, butter it (be generous), and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Oh. So. Good.
So, with that thought? Who’s making pretzel bagels today? And how will you enjoy them?
PS. Asher and my mom have declared these their new favorite snack…but they love any kind of bread…especially when salt is added.
PSS. Looking for other bagel options…try these!
If you make these easy homemade pretzel bagels, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Homemade Pretzel Bagels
Airy, perfectly salted, and every last bite is oh so buttery!
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, yeast, molasses, flour, salt, and 2 tablespoons softened butter. Knead until the dough comes together, about 1-2 minutes. Cover and let sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and place on your counter, using a little more flour if needed to prevent from sticking. Divide dough into 10-12 balls. Working with one piece of dough at a time, use your finger to poke a hole in the middle. Gently stretch the dough until the hole is about 1/2-1 inch big. Place the bagel on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover the baking sheet with a damp kitchen towel and let the bagels rise for about 15 minutes.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Lower 2-3 bagels at a time into the water. Boil for 3 minutes then flip to the other side and boil for 1-2 additional minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bagels from the pot letting the water drain. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until you've boiled all of the bagels.
5. Brush each bagel with the beaten egg. Make sure there is no water piled up next to the bagels. Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter over each of the bagels. Generously sprinkle each bagel with salt. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the bagels are golden brown. Let cool. Slice, toast, eat whole, slathered with butter or cream cheese!
Storing: Bagels will keep for 4-5 days in a sealed storage bag. But you may prefer to freeze them, as the salt on the bagels will begin to make them soggy.
Freezing: Bagels can be frozen for up to 4 months in a freezer safe container.
To Use Active Dry Yeast: Mix 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast with the warm water and honey/molasses. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly and foamy on top. Add the flour and follow the directions as listed for the remainder of the recipe.
To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour.
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