Sailing the Bakery
Traveling with few plans, baking with few recipes
Small Batch Bagels

Small Batch Bagels

My friend Jayme on SV Sargo made me bagels for my birthday this year. They were absolutely fantastic with their puffy, chewy goodness. Logically, the next thing was to incorporate them into my cycle of things I bake.

I like to memorize easy recipes, especially when it comes to bread products, so I can throw them together quickly in any situation. This is one of those recipes where you can manage to prepare the dough after a long day of boatwork or sailing and have it ready for morning. I’ve always found sleeping to be a little inefficient. If something is in the works overnight, I’m elated at the accomplishment come morning…even if it’s just vinegar sitting in the toilet bowl eating all the salt scum, I’m proud of my forethought. Bagels, cinnamon rolls, clean toilets, they’re all on that wavelength!

These bagels are best made overnight! I mix the dough around bedtime, which for me is around 8:30 pm because I’ve hit that age, throw it in the fridge immediately, and it’s ready around 7-8 am. Come morning, I shape the dough into bagels while it’s cool because I find the dough easier to work with. I let them come to temperature and rest/rise. Then I boil them, coat them with egg wash and toppings, and bake them. It sounds like a lot of work but it’s really pretty easy!

This recipe yields about 12 small-medium bagels but you can easily double it if you have hungry crew or someone aboard who can eat 7 bagels in one morning…I won’t name names but it’s a true story on Twig!


3 cups flour
1 1/8th cup water or 265 mL
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
Oil for greasing bowl
1 egg for egg wash
Any seasonings you want your bagels to have
Optional: malt powder or molasses added to the dough

Water bath:

Boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp brown sugar

Makes 1 dozen bagels


  1. Mix flour, water, salt, and yeast in a bowl and knead until it’s sticky. This dough will be dense and a little dry at first until it’s kneaded well. This dense dough will help the bagels hold their shape.
  2. Once dough looks smooth, place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge overnight
  3. In the morning, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F shape the dough into bagels! I make a 2” round ball of dough and poke my finger through the middle, creating a hole to gently stretch out and form a bagel shape.
  4. Place bagels on a greased pan or silicone mat and let them rise as you prepare your water bath
  5. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Add sugar and baking soda to the water
  6. Beat whole egg and set aside for using as an egg wash
  7. Once bagels have risen a bit and come to room temperature, gently place a few in the boiling water and boil for 20 seconds on each side. There are places on the internet that tell you to boil for longer but I have found that this renders a flat bagel…if you’re into that thing go ahead, but 20 seconds will accomplish the chewy crust the boiling is there for.
  8. Remove bagels from water and place on a greased baking sheet.
  9. Brush bagels with egg wash and top with whatever seasonings you like. I love a premixed “Everything bagel” spice but cinnamon and sugar, garlic and onion powder, or just plain egg or salt will do.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees F (or whatever you can get your boat oven to get to for about 15-20 minutes until they’re just barely brown. They’ll puff up from both the boiling and the baking so remember to leave room to allow that.
  11. Eat them before someone else does!