Can you believe you can make truly AMAZING bagels with just 2 ingredients, in 30 minutes? All you need is Greek yogurt and self-raising flour and you’re on your way to enjoying fresh, homemade bagels.
I’ve made bagels a few times the classic way. Make the dough, knead, leave to rise, shape, rise again, boil, top, and bake. I’m exhausted just looking at that list! This recipe is a HUGE game-changer. I’ve used this 2 ingredient dough many times before for different recipes. It’s the same as my 5 minute pizza dough recipe – but had never tried using it for bagels.
And seriously? These bagels are GOOD. They’re SO close to the original that it’s kind of astonishing. You won’t believe they’re made with just 2 ingredients in literally 30 minutes.
No fancy equipment, no waiting around and you’ve got delicious bagels you won’t believe were so easy to make. They’re so good, I think I’ll be sticking to this recipe from now on!
Just TWO ingredients go into these bagels (plus salt, but I don’t count that).
- Self-raising flour. This is how the bagels rise and puff up without having to use yeast. If you don’t have self-raising flour you can just use plain flour and baking powder. Use 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour.
- Greek yogurt. You’ll get the best results with thick, proper Greek yogurt. If you try to use a plain, natural yogurt you’ll find the dough quite hard to work with – it’ll be really sticky and you’ll have to use a lot more flour to bring it together. You can use a fat-free Greek yogurt too if you prefer, I’ve found it works just as well as regular Greek yogurt. You could also use sour cream. If you can only find plain yogurt, you can drain some of the liquid using a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth. Let the yogurt sit for about 10 minutes in the sieve, then use it.
You’ll also need whatever you’re topping your bagels with! Everything bagel seasoning is a classic choice, but sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dukkah (a lovely Egyptian spice mix), grated cheese or flaky salt also work.
How to make them
Start by adding your self-raising flour, salt and Greek yogurt into a large bowl. Use a large wooden spoon to mix it together. Once it starts looking like little lumps, get your hands in the bowl and squeeze the mixture into a rough dough.
I like to give it a couple of quick kneads in the bowl (press the heel of your hand down into the dough and then push it away from you, before folding the dough back over itself, giving it a quarter turn and repeating the process). After this, shape it into a rough ball.
Divide the dough into 4 roughly equal pieces (you can weigh them if you want to get precise), then roll each piece out into a small rope (around 6″/15cm long) with your hands. It helps if you sprinkle a little flour on your surface to make sure it doesn’t stick. Bring the 2 ends of the rope together to form a circle. Squeeze the ends together to seal the circle.
A classic bagel is boiled before baking to help develop that deliciously chewy crust. You don’t have to boil these bagels if you don’t want to do the extra step, but I find they taste more authentic when you do. Get a large pot about 3/4 filled with water over high heat (I just boil my kettle and pour the just boiled water in to save time). Then carefully lower the bagels into the boiling water – you can lower them in with a fish slice if you like.
The bagels will initially sink to the bottom so just give them a little nudge so they don’t stick. After a minute or so they’ll float to the top. At this point, flip the bagels over and let boil for another 30 seconds, then use a fish slice to remove them and pop them back onto the lined tray.
If you’ve boiled the bagels, just go ahead and sprinkle your toppings directly on top as they come out of the water. If you’re not boiling them, you’ll need to brush them with an egg wash, milk or water and then add your toppings so they stick. You can also have your toppings laid out on a plate and press the tops of your bagels into them, just do whichever way you find easier. Transfer to the oven at 390F/200C fan and bake for 25 minutes, until the bagels are lovely and golden brown.
Five bagel topping ideas
- Everything bagel seasoning. You can buy this flavour-packed seed and spice mix, but it’s really easy to make it yourself.
- Za’atar. Sesame seeds, sumac, flaky salt, dried oregano, thyme and/or marjoram form this delicious blend, another one of my favourites and tasty on bagels.
- Dukkah. This fragrant and crunchy seed and nut mix is one of my most used ingredients. It mixes sesame seeds, almonds, pistachios, cumin, coriander, fennel, and flaky salt. Try my easy dukkah recipe and you’ll see how great it is.
- Cheese and dried herbs. Grate your favourite cheese (I love using parmesan or cheddar) and sprinkle it on top of the bagels, along with dried herbs (basil, thyme or oregano are lovely).
- Cinnamon and sugar. Why not switch things up and make sweet bagels? Cinnamon and sugar is a classic combination that works wonderfully on bagels.
Watch how to make them
Got a question?
Thick, Greek yogurt is best here. It means you’ll end up with a dough that’s easy to work with and not sticky. I find that whenever I use plain yogurt that’s a lot runnier, the dough takes a while to come together and I end up having to add a lot more flour. So stick to Greek if you can. If you can only find plain yogurt, you can drain some of the liquid away using a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth. Let it sit in the sieve for about 10 minutes then use it.
Yes! I’ve had great results using a fat-free Greek yogurt, so it’s totally fine to use in this recipe.
They’ll last for 3 days in a sealed container but really are best on the day they’re baked. Pop them in the toaster on days 2 and 3 to freshen them up.
You can! These bagels are great to freeze. I like to slice them in half and then freeze them in zip lock bags – then you can just pop them in the toaster and defrost them easily and quickly. You can freeze them whole, you’ll just need to let them thaw for a few hours before using them. I cut them because I normally want a bagel quickly and end up slicing them to serve anyway!
Make them gluten-free by using self-raising gluten-free flour, or you can use bread, wholemeal or wholewheat flour and add baking powder.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing the dough – it doesn’t defrost well at all. You can put it in the fridge for a day and return to it later, but I wouldn’t freeze it.
How to serve the bagels
The sky’s the limit here! The classic is a big smear of cream cheese, but you can really do whatever you like. Here are seven things you could try…
- Labneh, pesto and sliced tomatoes
- Smashed avocado (or pea and avocado hummus), marinated feta and a dukkah sprinkle
- Scrambled eggs, chilli oil and cheese
- Grilled halloumi slices, chilli jam and rocket
- Cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers
- Spoon on any leftover Greek-style bread dipping oil, Mediterranean bread dipping oil or loaded festive bread dipping oil.
- Marmite and cheese (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!)