Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels — Making bagels at home with this easy recipe will leave you wondering why you hadn’t tried it sooner! These are the BEST cinnamon raisin bagels I’ve ever had. Soft, chewy, and subtly flavored with cinnamon and plenty of raisins!
Easy Homemade Bagel Recipe
I have a soft spot for cinnamon raisin bagels. I ate one almost every day for most of high school and college. And these are the best ones I’ve ever had.
Making them has been on my culinary bucket list for a few years, but I was avoiding it because I thought they were hard to make. They’re not. And I can happily check bagels off the bucket list.
The issue is that with any sort of yeast recipe is that there are so many recipes for the same thing; sort of like chocolate chip cookie recipes.
Some recipes really over-complicate things compared to others, when the end result should be the same. A cookie should really just be a cookie, or in this case, a bagel.
I looked at the infamous Peter Reinhart recipe from his book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It’s all over the internet, but begins by making a dough sponge, allowing that to rest overnight, and then you pick up the next day, which stretches bagel-making over 2 days.
I can hardly get my readers to chill their cookie dough for 2 hours. Two day yeast recipes aren’t happening.
I looked at this Food Network recipe for inspiration for the water, flour, and yeast ratios. But like almost all bagel recipes, it has you boil the dough before baking it. The reason for boiling the dough is because the water helps create a chewier, heartier, thicker crust.
After making the dough, a two-hour rise, shaping the dough into bagels, and another 30-minute rise, the last thing I wanted to worry about was bringing water to a boil and dealing with that, so I didn’t.
This is a very straightforward yeast recipe, taking under 3 hours from start to finish. Like all my yeast bread recipes, I try to spell out every last detail to give the best chance for success, but always trust your instincts and watch the dough in front of you and if you think it needs more flour, more time to rise, or a cooler oven, do it.
Bread-making is weather-dependent and dough in humid Houston in the summer is going to need more flour than in dry San Diego.
It’s a dreamy dough to work with. Soft, smooth, and not at all sticky. Unlike cinnamon rolls where the dough should be moist, loose, and shaggy so the finished rolls are light and fluffy, bagels are chewier and denser.
So this dough is thick, dense, and very well-floured, perfect for newer bread makers who aren’t used to handling sticky dough.
I have Lindsay’s July Kitchen Challenge to thank for the nudge to make these. I wished I had tried making bagels ages ago because we loved them and they’re easy enough.
A homemade fresh, warm, toasted cinnamon raisin bagel slathered with butter or cream cheese is truly heavenly.
What’s in Cinnamon Raisin Bagels?
To make these easy homemade bagels, you’ll need:
- Warm water
- Granulated sugar
- Instant or active dry yeast
- Bread flour
- Yellow cornmeal (for sprinkling on the baking trays)
How to Make Homemade Bagels
Make the dough and put it in a bowl and wait about 2 hours for it to grow.
The photos were taken about 2am, when I do my best bread-making.
Everyone else is asleep and I’m working on blog stuff and the yeast are working, too. Perfect match.
Punch it down, divide it into 6 or 8 golf balls.
Stick your thumb through the middle of each.
Put them on baking sheets.
Wait another 30 minutes or so…
…And then get them wet. I simply just submerged the dough in a bowl warm tap water for a minute, and the bagels turned out with plenty of chewiness and crustiness.
I don’t like overly crusty breads, and the submersion method produced plenty of crustiness. I actually wouldn’t want any more and I’m glad I didn’t boil them. My jaw doesn’t need that much of a workout.
Place moistened or boiled pieces of dough on baking trays that have been sprinkled with the cornmeal. Bake the cinnamon raisin bagels until golden, domed, puffed, and done.
How Long Do Homemade Bagels Last?
Extra cinnamon raisin bagels will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Can I Prep the Dough Ahead of Time?
I’ve had a few readers ask about making the dough ahead of time and leaving it to rise overnight so they can have freshly baked bagels in the morning. I haven’t tried this myself, but here are my thoughts.
After the first rise, I would just pop the bagels into the fridge, covered, and then the next day, take them out, let them come up to room temp for 30-60 minutes (just so they’re not chilled and look plumped), dunk in water, then bake from there. If you give this a try, let me know!
Tips for Making the Best Homemade Bagels
The cinnamon flavor is nice but subtle, and there’s plenty of moist raisins throughout, but if you’re not into cinnamon and raisins, you can omit and make plain bagels.
Or use dried blueberries instead of raisins, add seeds like poppyseeds, or use garlic salt instead of cinnamon for savory bagels. The vegan dough is a blank canvas for your favorite type of bagel.
These bagels freeze beautifully and can easily be reheated in the toaster or in the oven.
Pin This Recipe
- 1 cup water, warmed to packaging directions (about 125F for Red Star Platinum
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more if needed and for flouring work surface
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon, or to taste
- 3/4 cup raisins
- water for submerging or boiling
- 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal for sprinkling on baking trays, optional but recommended
- Warm 1 cup water to manufacturer’s packaging directions, about 45 seconds in the microwave. Take the temperature with a thermometer. If you don’t have one, water should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Err on the side of too cool rather than too hot because you don’t want to kill the yeast.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or large mixing bowl), add the water and sugar.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Wait 5 to 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy. This means it’s alive and will work. (This is called proofing and technically with instant dry yeast you don’t have to proof it, for active dry yeast; you should. I do it regardless.)
- Add 2 1/2 cups flour, optional salt, and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dough comes together in a nice, round, smooth ball. This is a thick, dense dough. It should be smooth and not sticky. If your dough is sticky or isn’t coming together, add another tablespoon or two of flour, as needed, until it does. Bread making is very climate and weather dependent. In the summer or in humid climates you may need slightly more flour than you do in the winter or in dry climates.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon and raisins over the smooth mound of dough. It will look like a lot of both, but allow them to be kneaded in for 2 to 3 minutes, or as long as necessary to distribute. If the raisins are being stubborn and want to fall out, push them in with your fingers. Note – Cinnamon and raisins may be omitted for plain bagels.
- Place dough in a cooking sprayed or lightly greased large bowl, cover with plasticwrap, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment until doubled in size, about 2 hours. *
- Punch dough down, and turn it out on a Silpat or lightly floured work surface.
- Divide dough into 6 to 8 equal-sized portions. (I made 8)
- Roll each portion into a ball.
- With your fingers, make a hole through the middle of each ball. Stretch the opening, shaping dough into a bagel shape. Dough will tend to spring back and want to recoil, just re-stretch and re-shape. Push in any raisins that try to escape.
- Place dough on two Silpat-lined or greased baking sheets, cover with plasticwrap, and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for about 30 minutes, until bigger, but they won’t have doubled. I use the preheated oven trick again.
- In the final minutes of rising, preheat oven to 400F. If you were using the oven as your rising spot, remove dough before preheating the oven.
- Before baking, to create a chewier crust, submerge each portion of dough into a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 to 2 minutes, flipping over halfway through. The longer the dough boils, the chewier and thicker the bagel crust will be. I personally do not like overly chewy bread with a thick, crusty crust and skipped boiling. My bagels were plenty chewy just from submerging in warm water.
- Instead, I submerged each bagel in a bowl of warm tap water for about 1 minute.
- Place moistened or boiled pieces of dough on baking trays that have been sprinkled with the cornmeal; about 1 tablespoon per tray. This prevents the bagels from getting too well-done or burning on the bottoms.
- Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden, domed, puffed, and done. If you boiled them, they may take a few minutes longer to bake; if you made 6 rather than 8 bagels, they may take slightly longer to bake. Watch your bread, not the clock, when evaluating if they’re done. I preferred my 18 minute bagels to the 20 minute bagels because they’re softer.
- Allow bagels to cool on baking trays momentarily before serving. I recommend toasting them and serving with honey butter or cream cheese.
- *Tip – Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in quickly, close the door, and wait for the dough to rise. Just make sure your oven is off.
- Extra bagels will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. I have not tested freezing the dough after the first rise and after shaping, but before the second rise, and don’t know if this would be successful.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 8g
More Easy Bread Recipes:
Raisin Bread For Raisin Lovers — The Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers is chewy and has a hearty outer crust with a dense, soft, and moist interior. It’s excellent toasted with butter and sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar.
Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – A goofproof, foolproof, no-knead recipe that’s perfect for the first-time bread maker.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread – As close to a cinnamon roll as a bread can get and still be called bread rather than dessert!
Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls — These overnight cinnamon rolls are ultra soft and fluffy thanks to the buttermilk in the dough. Top them with homemade cream cheese frosting and enjoy!
Easy Sourdough Bread — This easy sourdough bread recipe uses yogurt and sour cream in place of a traditional sourdough starter, which makes it possible to prep a loaf in less than a day!
Soft & Fluffy Sandwich Bread — This sandwich bread is soft, fluffy, light, and moist. It’s made with a secret ingredient that keeps it moist and fluffy — oatmeal! It’s the perfect bread for a PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich!
The BEST Glazed Orange Rolls— These homemade orange rolls are filled with a buttery orange filling and are topped with a simple orange glaze. They can be prepped the night before, if needed.