French Toast Bagels

in Bread, Breakfast, DIY, Freezer Friendly

French Toast Bagels

Not bad, not bad at all! You know… For a first try. From a Texan whose only trip north of the Red River in the last 20 years was to go skiing in Colorado. Using a recipe from my favorite British chick. For the bagel purists out there, please know that I’m making zero claims of authenticity in methodology or taste :)

I found Nigella Lawson’s recipe for bagels via Seizeon That Food. They were far easier to make than I ever imagined and I had every single ingredient on hand already. Chewy on the inside, golden brown on the outside – just the way a bagel should be. Or so I’m told.

French Toast Bagles

Chewy bagels loaded with maple and cinnamon, just like our favorite french toast.


  • 2 1/4 cups warm water, plus more as needed
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 - 7 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp maple extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • poppy seeds/sesame seeds/other toppings


  1. Combine water, 1 Tbsp sugar, and yeast in a bowl and allow to proof for 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Combine flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, salt, and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer, making a well in the dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture, oil, vanilla, and maple extract into the center. Mix until combined and knead by hand or mixer for 10 minutes. The dough should be stiff but should become very smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball, put it into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around, then cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough and turn out onto floured surface again and knead for a couple minutes. Divide into 3 pieces, and then divide each into 5 (I stink at measuring equal portions of dough so I ended up with 21 bagels in varying size). Keep these dough balls covered or in your plastic-wrapped bowl while you're not working with them. Form a ball and push your thumb through the center. Work around to make a smooth-ish ring that is about 3-4 inches in diameter.
  4. Set bagels on oiled baking sheets, cover with a light towel, and let rise for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Set a large pan/pot of water to boil (at least 5 inches deep), and when boiling add remaining 2 Tbsp sugar.
  5. When the water is boiling and your bagels have puffed up a bit, start poaching. Drop a couple bagels at a time (or however many will fit with plenty of space) and boil for 1 minute each side. A spatula is mighty handy for flipping them around and then picking them up again. Place them back onto oiled backing sheets, well spaced.
  6. Mix your egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush onto bagel while still moist. Sprinkle topping of choice. When all bagels are poached and topped, bake for 10-15 minutes or until they're shiny and golden brown.


Yields: 15 large bagels

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess

Estimated time: 3 hours

28 comments… add one

  • French Toast Bagels?!! That must be the perfect breakfast. Yours came out amazing. Making bagels was one of my favorite things I ever tried.

  • Those look absolutely gorgeous.

  • Wow, these sound awesome and look outstanding. I might just have to give these bad boys a try. Thank you for sharing.

  • they look beautiful! and french toast bagels?! yum!!

  • Maura

    They look wonderful, especially for someone who (perhaps?) has never had an authentic NYC bagel! From your gorgeous pictures, these could have been made in Brooklyn!

  • I love bagels, and french toast bagels YUM!

  • French toast bagels…now that is a good idea.

  • I think they look great, wish I could taste one!

  • Great Job! I totally bombed on my first try making bagels. Yours look fabulous! Well done.

  • I get French Toast bagels at Panera all the time, and yours look even better. Nice job :)

  • ruhama

    Making bagles is something I aspire to do, so I appreciate this entry! There’s something marvelous about fresh bagles… toasted with a little butter… mmm…

  • Bri

    Nice work! Those look amazing! I’m sure they taste even better. ;D

  • Carolyn

    So happy to find your recipe for french toast bagels! Had my first in May while in New Jersey. Since returning to Oregon I have had cravings for them…the bagel shop also sold a french toast “spread” that was to die for. The 2 need to go together. The spread tasted very much like the bagel. I’m going to guess maple flavoring, butter, sugar and cream cheese. Have you heard of or have such a recipe???

  • CM

    These look delicious. I’m a little confused about the sugar, though; we use 1 tbsp for the yeast mixture, and the remaining 1/4 c goes into the boiling water, correct?

  • Elise

    I made these after I failed at my first two tries at bagel making and they turned out GREAT! i will never go to Panera again!

    • Elise

      Is there any way to make the bagels sweeter, without changing the texture?

      • Elise, you can probably get away with adding a 2-3 Tbsp of sugar but that might not go very far as far as sweetness goes. What about testing out a streusel-like topping of flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar that you might sprinkle over the bagels before baking? Or sweetening some cream cheese by beating a little bit of powdered sugar into it before spreading it over your bagel?

        • Elise

          Thank you I’m making some today for my grandama so I’ll try it!

  • heather

    just made these, they are delicious, I’ll be back to look at more of your recipes!

  • Rene

    Does anyone know if this recipie will work in a bread machine? If not, is there someway to use this recipie and modify for a bread machine. Thanks.

    • Rene, I’ve never made it in a bread machine but you could probably use it to form and knead the dough… and maybe even letting it rise. You wouldn’t have to change much, other than putting all of the ingredients in at the start. The thing is, though, the dough is really stiff. I don’t know if bread machines would have issues with it or not. If you try it, let me know!

  • April

    These look delicious! I too am confused on the 1/4 cup sugar, divided. Do you add 1T sugar to the water and yeast, and then the other 3T to the dry ingredients in the dough, to total 1/4 cup? And then add 2T sugar to the boiling water later?

    • April – sorry about that, that extra 2 Tbsp is actually part of the 1/4 cup divided. 1 Tbsp to activate the yeast, 1 Tbsp in the dry ingredients, and 2 Tbsp to boil the bagels. Hope that helps!

  • Amanda

    I have never made my own bagels before, maybe I thought
    I would fail. But, so so glad I came across this recipe
    Along with the very detailed instructions. They came out
    AMAZING!! Better than going to a bagel store. Thank you

  • Yoselin

    Would it be possible to make these with a bread machine?

    • Yep, you should be able to make the dough in the machine with no problems.

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