Homemade Bagels are actually easy to make at home if you know a few tricks. Skip the food dye and color them with beets or spinach for festive fun.

Who Knew Homemade Bagels Were This Easy to Make?

We are celebrating two holidays in one today with this incredibly easy recipe for Homemade Bagels. National Bagel Day is February 9th, and in honor of Valentine’s Day I decided to sneak in a little color and made these naturally dyed Pink Bagels.

Homemade Bagels are actually easy to make at home if you know a few tricks. Skip the food dye and color them with beets or spinach for festive fun.

I tossed a little pureed beets into the dough to give them a lovely pink hue. You can use spinach or kale or other “green” for a green tint. You aren’t going to get a load of extra nutrition from the veggies in here since there is only a quarter cup for 16 bagels. But it sure beets beats a mouthful of red food dye. And for those wondering, no, you don’t taste the vegetables after the bagels are cooked either. I promise! My picky eaters would have let me know if they detected it.

The pureed beets aren’t the only special ingredient in these. Normally bagels are made with diastatic malt powder, which would be a tough find in most grocery stores, but I could have ordered online. Instead I opted for good old fashioned instant malted milk powder in both the dough and the water bath. Worked like a charm to give it the right flavor and texture.

Homemade Bagels

Prep time1 hour, 45 minutes
Cook time25 minutes
Total time2 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Bread, Breakfast
Website King Arthur Flour
Homemade Bagels are actually easy to make at home if you know a few tricks. Skip the food dye and color them with beets or spinach for festive fun.


  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup instant malted milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 5 3/4 cups all purpose flour

water bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons instant malted milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

toppings (Optional)

  • 1 Large egg white (beaten)
  • toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dehydrated onions, etc.)


To make the bagels pink naturally add a 1/4 cup of pureed beets to the dough when mixing adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky.


Add yeast and sugar to the warm water and let proof for 5 minutes. It should begin to foam on top, if it doesn't your yeast may be bad.
Add instant malted milk powder.
In a large bowl whisk together 5 1/2 cups of flour and salt. Add in the liquid and mix until combined. Add extra flour if dough is too soft to knead.
Knead dough with a bread hook attachment in a mixer or by hand. until smooth (5-10 minutes).
Put dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a piece of lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm draft free place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (I like to put mine in an unheated oven with the light on).
When dough is doubled in size, place on a clean counter and punch it down.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a stock pot (or other pan that is at least 3" high) combine the water bath ingredients and bring to a boil.
Divide dough into 16 balls. Poke a hole through the dough with your index finger and twirl a few times to make a ring.
Boil the bagels 3-4 at a time for 30 seconds, then flip and boil another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on baking sheet.
Brush bagels with beaten egg white and sprinkle with topping if desired.
Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes.


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Until next time, happy eating.

12 thoughts on “Who Knew Homemade Bagels Were This Easy to Make?”

  1. I missed National Bagel Day?! (Pout.) But I am cheered by this recipe, your use of old-fashioned malt powder (love), and your punny observation that pureed vegetable beets, er, beats red dye (chortle). You kill me…in the best possible way. Stopping by from #FridayFrivolity (which you know a thing or two about…).
    Elizabeth @ Guilty Chocoholic Mama recently posted…Dear School Guidance Counselor: My Daughter Is Making the Right ChoiceMy Profile

    1. When was the last time you made malted milk? Forever ago, am I right? but so gooooood. Especially for those of us “of a certain age” that grew up with it.

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