Day 162: Leftover Soup and Bagels


I’m sick (literally). I got whammed with some sort of flu last night as I went to bed, and was up all night with a fever. Isn’t it supposed to be the kids who are up all night with fevers?

So today, I’m not cooking. I’m actually lying on the couch, trying to chip away at some work on my laptop, but my eyes are all hot and they hurt if I glance anywhere but straight ahead. Luckily the last of the sausage, black bean and sweet potato soup is still in the fridge, and when E came over yesterday we made bagels.

Making bagels is not hard to do – honest. The dough is quick to stir together and doesn’t need anywhere near as long to rise as traditional bread doughs. The trick to giving them their chewy texture – what makes bagels bagels instead of big buns with holes in the middle of them – is to boil them for a couple minutes first. This is not difficult – you just boil a big pot of water and plop them in a few at a time, then lift them out with a slotted spoon, put them on the cookie sheet and sprinkle them with seeds (if you want – or coarse salt, if you’d rather shape them into pretzels) so that they will stick to the tacky dough before you bake them.


The problem with store-bought bagels is their size – the ones that are close to the size of your head can weigh in at 500 calories apiece, even though they are low in fat. Flavour these any way you like by stirring in some grated cheese, caramelized onions, fresh garlic, cinnamon and raisins, toasted nuts or seeds.

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
4-5 cups all-purpose flour, or half all-purpose and half whole wheat
2 tsp. salt
Sesame, poppy or caraway seed to sprinkle on top (optional)

In a large bowl, stir yeast and brown sugar into 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water until it dissolves; let it stand for 5 minutes until it gets foamy. If it doesn’t, the yeast is probably expired – toss it and get some fresh yeast!

Stir the oil and a cup of flour into the yeast mixture, then add the salt and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough – I usually use about 2 1/2 cups. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gently incorporating more flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should take about 10 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and then shape it into a circle, pinching the ends together to form bagels. Let them rise for about 20 minutes while you boil a big pot (about 6L) of salted water and preheat the oven to 425 F.

When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and gently place a few bagels at a time into the water. Simmer for 1 minute, then flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack to drain. Once they have all been boiled, place them on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and sprinkle with sesame seeds or whatever toppings you like.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

Makes 10 bagels.

Per bagel: 222 calories, 1.9 g total fat (0.2 g saturated fat, 0.9 g monounsaturated fat, 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat), 5.8 g protein, 44.3 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.7 g fiber. 8% calories from fat.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels: add 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2-1 cup raisins along with the second batch of flour. Mix and bake as directed.

Onion & Garlic Bagels: sauté 1 minced onion and a few cloves of crushed garlic in 1 tsp. oil until tender and golden. Cool and stir into the dough along with the second batch of flour. Mix and bake as directed.

Cheese Bagels: add 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1 cup grated old cheddar or 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese along with the second batch of flour. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra grated cheese if you like.



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12 comments on “Day 162: Leftover Soup and Bagels

  1. Lisa
    June 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    You were on the Eyeopener this morning in that state?! Poor you!!

  2. JulieVR
    June 10, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Sadly yes. Poor everyone else who had to listen to me all dopey and feverish after falling asleep just before 5 and having my alarm go off at 5:45!

  3. Katharine
    June 10, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Guh…… Sorry about that, Love….. Hope you’re feeling better tomorrow!

  4. maplesugar
    June 10, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re sick. Ick. If you’re like me you don’t have time to be sick.(who am I kidding, you’re waaay busier than I am) Maybe this was your body’s way of saying slow down. Feel better soon 🙂

  5. Kyla
    June 11, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Got here via Molly Watson’s blog and, as one homesick Canadian, I love it! Must make bagels one of these days. Would you says yours were more Montreal than Toronto/ Gryfe’s?

  6. pauline
    June 11, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Sorry to hear you are so sick Julie Sounds like you have a real doosey. I have been following your blog for awhile now and I love it. You make me laugh. I hope someone makes you chicken soup, and you are better soon busy lady.

  7. Christa
    June 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Julie – I’ve been admiring your site for a while, I really love it. I just made these bagels and they turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the great recipes!

  8. Celiac girl
    April 26, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for sharing that Julie, I just got finished making my own homemade gluten-free bagels and they are fantastic. I do wish I’d known about your post sooner though it would have saved me a lot of time and experimentation, but what can you do? Thanks again for posting

  9. Maria
    November 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I just made these, and, Julie… what a beautiful recipe! works perfectly, and the bagels are to die for, sooooo good. I never thought they would be so easy to make! Thank you so much! Making and enjoying these was the highlight of my weekend!

  10. Nicolle Williams
    October 26, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Julie! I know you posted this recipe a few years back now, but I am just reading through it now. I am wondering, if you don’t want to make all 10 bagels at once, can you refrigerate the remaining uncooked ones until ready to bake? And if so, how long will that dough be ok in the fridge?
    Thanks so much in advance!

    • Julie
      October 26, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      Sure thing! You can refrigerate the dough to slow the rise, and bake them the next day if you like! or freeze the dough for later use!

      • Nicolle
        October 27, 2020 at 1:29 pm

        Oh thank you so much! I sure appreciate your speedy reply! 🙂 I know you’re a busy gal!

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