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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)!

overhead photo of Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels

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…

prep photo of dough before shaping

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!

prep photo of bagels on baking sheet before boiling

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.

prep photo of bagels boiling in water

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.

side angled photo of Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels

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.

overhead close up photo of Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels

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!

overhead photo of Easy Homemade Pretzel Bagels with 1 bagel cut in half

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!

Homemade Pretzel Bagels

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 10 bagels
Calories Per Serving: 271 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

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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Comments

  1. Hi Tieghan, I love your recipes and have made many of them for my family. I’d like to try these this weekend. For the flour do you weigh it on a food scale or just use measuring cups? Thanks!

    1. Hey Shauna,
      I just use a measuring cup. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know how they turn out! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    We love bagels and this finally inspired me to make them at home. The recipe came out great and I tagged you on Insta with my picture. I had molasses so used that as the sweetener. We didn’t have pretzel salt (we used to buy those frozen pretzels to bake and they came with so much extra salt I used to save it, but that’s long gone in a cleanout purge) so I used some coarse sea salt. I made it as a dozen. They puffed up so large during the boiling I thought they’d be too big, but then during the baking they settled down to a more normal size. They could be even made smaller to make 14 or 16, I suppose.
    I had some diastatic malt powder from King Arthur Baking and put about 1 tsp of that in the dough. Don’t know if it made any difference, but they came out delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    Hey there! I absolutely love these bagels and the taste comes out perfect every time. For some reason though, each time I make them they always come out a little soggy. I just re-read the recipe and am thinking now that it has something to do with the salt on top? Or maybe I’m boiling them a bit too long?

    Please let me know what you think, I’d love to perfect this. 🙂

    1. Hey Dania,
      Thanks so much for making the recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed! I would boil them a little less new time. Have a great week! xTieghan

  4. Have you made these in pretzel form shape or are they truly more bagel like?? Trying to decide between this and another pretzel recipe for Super Bowl.

    1. Hey Haleigh,
      Sorry I haven’t made these in pretzel shape, I’m sure it would work well for you. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  5. I made these exactly as stated in the recipe. They were flat and mushy. I ended up throwing out the entire batch. Very disappointing.

    1. Hey Amy,
      So sorry you had issues with the recipe, please let me know if I can help in any way! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  6. 4 stars
    Baking process was easy and fun! They turned out so pretty and tasty but the texture is on the softer side, so more like a pretzel than a bagel. (Not a complaint though!) Any recommendations for a denser product the next time I make these, maybe more flour or something? Thank you!

  7. 1 star
    Wow, “half baked” is right. These really turned out badly. Did you really mean a 2″ hole? It’s hard to get more than six or so on a single half-sheet that large. Please take a tape measure to your bagels next time you make this and check with actual size. Dough is crazy soft, really didn’t want to hold shape coming off or going into the pan.

    1. Hey Steve,

      Sorry you had some trouble. Is there something I can help you with specifically? Did you have a question about the recipe? Let me know how I can help! Thanks! Tieghan

  8. Hi Tieghan!

    I was wondering where you get your pretzel salt from? These look delicious & I can’t wait to make them!

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Josie,
      So sorry you had issues with the bagels. Can you tell me a little bit more? Did you adjust the recipe at all, what kind of yeast did you use, what kind of flour did you use? All of these play an important roll in the recipe. Please let me know how I can help! xTieghan

  9. Hello Tieghan, making these in a rush this morning to get the dough ready to rise while we went out for a couple of hours and yes, despite all the comments, I added the baking soda to the mixture 😐 i tried to get most of it out but The end result was far from appetising. Mushy pieces through the bagel and the very middle had cooked fine but the outer layer was absolute mush. Any ideas why? Do you think it would be because of the baking soda or something else I did wrong as well?

    1. Hi Arna,
      So sorry you had issues with the recipe. I am going to say it is from the baking soda. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    I realized I forgot to mention that I used 90 degree water to mix the yeast and molasses and let it sit for the full 15 minutes. The dough was about 80 degrees after mixing and the rise on it was perfect after 2 hours on the dot! Also, I placed the bagels on a wire rack after a 30 second boil (3 at a time, as I made 9 bagels so they would be a little bit larger, making sure I had a rolling boil, and I did set a timer for 30 seconds as soon as the 3rd bagel hit the water). Once all 9 bagels were done with the quick boil, I applied the egg wash to them prior to placing them on the baking sheet. This way there is no worry about water collecting on the baking sheet. Then, after the first bake, after the melted butter and salt was added, I flipped the baking sheet around in the oven. Mine came out perfectly!! Temperature is so important when using yeast. Water temp between at least 80 and 90 degrees will help get a better rise. Use of a wire rack works out really well to make sure the bagels aren’t sitting in water on the baking sheet, and my preference is for the shorter boil time, which has many benefits as well. Hope these ideas might help some fellow home bakers who met with some difficulty.

  11. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! These were so easy to make and beyond delicious! I did a 30 second boil for my batch, as I find bagels in general come out even better with a shorter boil time, and is just my personal preference. My entire family loved them!! They were a great hit, and I will definitely be making these on a regular basis. I just ordered some pretzel salt for the next batch! Thank you for the excellent recipe. It’s a keeper!!

  12. 2 stars
    I’ve made and loved many of your recipes before and I made these tonight and I was pretty disappointed. They came out soggy in parts near the center and the edges (like a dark brown, sogginess) – not appetizing to me. I followed your advice and even wiped down the baking tray so there wasn’t excess water before baking. What do you think went wrong? Did I brush on too much butter and it pooled in places to make the dough mushy and not cook correctly?

    1. Hey Cailin! I am so sorry you had trouble with these. How long did you boil the bagels for? And how long did you bake? Did you feel like you added too much butter and that could have been the issue? It’s so hard to know what exactly might be happening without knowing exactly how you made the bagels.Any details you can give me will be helpful in figuring out what might be happening for you. Again, so sorry for the trouble, but hopefully we can figure it out! Thank you!! xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    This was such a simple recipe, and so delicious. The bagels had a perfect, crispy crust and the inside is so fluffy. Not to mention it was so so tasty!! This might be one of my favorite HBH recipes!!