Easy Homemade Vegan Bagels just like the ones you get in New York City- they have a shiny crisp exterior but are chewy and fluffy on the inside. The ingredients are simple and they happen to be surprisingly easy to make. After digging into one of these delicious vegan bagels at home, you'll never buy store-bought again!
I live in New York City and have access to about 10 different bagel shops simply by walking down the street. New York City is known for bagels and they deserve the hype! But not everyone can just walk down the street and stumble upon the most delicious bagel so I made an easy vegan bagel recipe just for you! Serve with Homemade Tofu Cream Cheese for the ultimate experience!
Easy Homemade Bagels using a few simple staple ingredients that create the perfect fluffy yet chewy bagel.
- Bread Flour
- Organic Cane Sugar
- Active Dry Yeast
- Warm Water
Level up your breakfast game with these fresh homemade bagels that have a shiny crisp exterior but are chewy and fluffy on the inside. You won't be disappointed!
- Bread Flour: Bread flour is a must when making bagels! It's a high-protein flour that creates a chewy delicious bagel. You gotta use bread flour!
- Salt: To flavor the dough!
- Organic Cane Sugar: Some bagels use barley malt syrup but I kept it simple with organic cane sugar. You can use brown sugar as well.
- Active Dry Yeast: This allows the dough to rise and is an essential ingredient in bread baking.
- Warm Water: Liquid to bring it all together.
The following kitchen equipment is optional and not going to make or break whether or not you can make this homemade vegan bagel recipe. If you have them, use them! If not, no worries. This recipe is easy with or without these things.
A stand mixer like a Kitchen Aid isn't 100% necessary when it comes to making this recipe but it'll make it 10x easier. If you don't have one, simply mix the dough together in a large bowl and knead by hand until the dough is firm, smooth and elastic for about 8 minutes.
A kitchen scale can come in handy for many reasons. This will help you properly measure your flour. If you don't have a kitchen scale, simply spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a knife to ensure you aren't packing the flour into the cup.
A kitchen scale will also come in handy if you want each bagel to be exactly the same size.
A slotted spoon will come in handy when scooping the bagels out of the hot water. The bagels are delicate at this point so if you're rough with it, they could dent a little. If this happens, they will still be delicious so don't worry. This isn't a make or break kitchen utensil. If you don't have a slotted spoon, use a spatula. As long as it has draining holes, you can use it.
This is a fairly inexpensive kitchen tool that I highly recommend. This will help you brush the plant milk evenly over the bagel to ensure even browning and so all those toppings stick.
This will come in handy when making sure the temperature of water is correct. The water temperature to activate active dry yeast is between 100-110°F.
How to Make This Recipe
Step-by-step guide on how to make the best vegan bagel recipe. Read below for my top tips and then scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact amounts!
Activate the yeast: Activate the active dry yeast by heating 1 ½ cups of water until it reaches between 100-110°F. Pour only ½ cup of the warm water into a small bowl and sprinkle in the sugar and active dry yeast, don't stir it. Let sit for 5 minutes. It should be bubbly and foamy on top.
In order for the yeast to be activated, the water must be warm. I recommend a thermometer but you could also guess by touching the warm water and making sure it's not too hot or too cold.
Instant Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast: If using instant yeast, read this post by the Kitchn. These can typically be used interchangeably but instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients and the rise time should be reduced by about 15 minutes.
Make the Bagel Dough: Combine the flour and the salt into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if making bagels by hand.
Once the yeast is activated, stir gently together and then pour into the stand mixer along with the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low, slowly add the remaining warm water. Knead for about 5-7 minutes. You'll know it's done when the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and the dough is firm, smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil a large bowl and gently toss the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and place in a warm place for 1 hour to rise. Punch the dough and allow to rise for 10 more minutes.
Shape the Bagels:
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into a smooth ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. Now, shape your bagels by poking a finger through the center to create the hole in the middle, about 1.5 inches in diameter.
Boil the Bagels: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium heat and add 2-3 bagels at a time. Let them simmer in the water for 2 minutes, and then flip them over to boil for another 2 minutes.
Boiling the bagels for 2 minutes vs 1 will result in chewier, New York-style bagels. This is my preference but if you want a softer bagel, reduce the time to 1 minute on each side. Use a slotted spoon to drain from the water and place on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Prepare the Toppings: As soon as the bagels come out of the water, brush them with a little bit of plant milk (vegan egg wash substitute) and sprinkle on the desired toppings.
Bake the Bagels: Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425F. They should be beautifully golden brown when they come out of the oven- crisp exterior but the fluffy chewy texture on the inside.
Soft and chewy on the inside with a golden brown crisp outside—these Easy Vegan Bagels are insane! Keep it plain or top it off with everything bagel seasoning... either way, serve it up with a schmear of vegan cream cheese and you have the most delicious breakfast!
- Keep them plain- plain bagels are great!
- Everything Bagel Seasoning, I used a pre-made seasoning but here's a good recipe by Love & Lemons.
- White or Black Sesame Seeds
- Flaky Sea Salt
- Dried Onion or Garlic Flakes
The recipe below is a plain bagel recipe but can easily be transformed into any delicious bagel flavor that your heart desires. You can mix cinnamon and raisins in to the dough or blueberries, vegan cheese or even chocolate chips if you're feeling wild. This recipe is super customizable!
- Classic New York Deli Staple: Bacon, Egg & Cheese but make it vegan by using vegan cheese, vegan bacon or tempeh bacon and Just Egg.
- Cream Cheese: Keep it classic with a schmear of vegan cream cheese- plain or flavored. My favorite is my easy tofu cream cheese mixed with scallions. I love to add some lettuce, capers and red onion as well.
- Vegan Butter and Jam: Keep it simple! I love adding my homemade Strawberry Jam.
- Vegan Lox: Store-bought or homemade vegan carrot lox along with cream cheese and capers!
- Avocado: Avocado toast but on a bagel? Uhh yes.
Tips & Tricks
Properly measure the flour. When scooping flour from the bag, the flour tends to get packed into the cup, the bagels will be dry, and you'll add more water to the dough, which could ruin the result. Properly measure flour by fluffy the flour with a fork and spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling off with a knife!
Storage & Reheating
I recommend wrapping leftovers in cling wrap for a few days at room temperature or freeze and thaw then reheat in a 350F oven until warmed through. I think the bagels taste best when frozen instead of sitting out for a few days. Honestly, sometimes I don't even thaw them- I just stick them in the oven until they are warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prepare the dough but allow it to rise overnight in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature. In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes at room temperature before shaping the bagels.
You can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour but the end result won't be as chewy and delicious as a traditional bagel. It will be a lot softer. I recommend sticking with bread flour for the best results.
Yes and I recommend it! Freezing will keep these bagels tasting as good as the day you made them.
Most bagels are vegan friendly but sometimes bagels can contain ingredients that aren't vegan like milk, eggs, honey and L-cysteine.
More Bread Recipes You’ll Love
- Vegan Garlic Parmesan & Herb Star Bread
- Vegan Garlic Knots
- Vegan Bagel Bombs
- Vegan Naan (Cheese Stuffed Option!)
Easy Homemade Vegan Bagels
- 4 cups Bread Flour properly measured
- 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
- 1 tablespoon Organic Cane Sugar
- 1 packet Active Dry Yeast
- 1 ½ cups Warm Water (heated between 100-110°F) divided
- 1 tablespoon Plant Milk for brushing on top
- Toppings of Choice see above for options
- Make the Bagel Dough: Activate the active dry yeast by heating 1 ½ cups of water until it reaches between 100-110°F. Pour only ½ cup of the warm water in to a small bowl and sprinkle in the sugar and active dry yeast, don't stir it. Let sit for 5 minutes. It should be bubbly and foamy on top.
- Combine the flour and the salt in to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if making bagels by hand.
- Once the yeast is activated, stir gently together and then pour in to the stand mixer along with the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low, slowly add the remaining water. Knead for about 5-7 minutes. You'll know it's done when the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and the dough is firm, smooth and elastic.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and gently toss the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot for 1 hour to rise. Punch the dough and allow to rise for 10 more minutes.
- Divide the dough in to 8 equal pieces and roll in to a smooth ball. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. Now, shape your bagels by poking a finger through the center to create the hole in the middle, about 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium heat and add 2-3 bagels at a time. Let them simmer in the water for 2 minute, and then flip them over to boil for another 2 minutes. This will result in a chewier, New York style bagel. If you want them softer, reduce the time to 1 minute each side. Use a slotted spoon to drain from the water and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Prepare the Toppings: As soon as the bagels come out of the water, brush them with a little bit of the plant milk and sprinkle on the desired toppings.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. The exterior will feel very crispy when they come out but they will soften after cooling.
- Cool the bagels on a wire rack and then slice and serve with vegan butter, homemade cream cheese or anything you'd like. Enjoy!