You’ll win every weekend brunch with this incredible shortcut.

By Stacey Ballis
March 09, 2021
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Bagels are one of those baking projects many people shy away from. The yeast dough usually calls for a high-gluten flour, which many people do not keep on hand, and the process involves two proves, both boiling and baking, sometimes an overnight rise in the fridge, and really, aren't there decent bagel stores nearby? However, if you have limited access to decent bagels, or if someone in your house has been suggesting them as a project, you can cut down on the complications if you just start with this one secret ingredient:

Yep. The thing about pizza dough is that it is actually very similar to bagel dough. It uses high gluten flour for that great stretchy quality, so you will get something that tastes like a bagel and not just round bread. And these days, terrific quality fresh pizza dough is readily available to everyone! Once you have pizza dough, you are a couple easy steps from fresh homemade bagels. They won't replace a terrific pro bagel, but they are a significant upgrade to the commercial bagged versions at the grocery store.

Bagels
Credit: Getty / MmeEmil

How to make bagels with pizza dough

Usually, one standard ball of pizza dough will make about 4 large or 6 mini bagels, but this recipe is all about eyeballing, so don't overthink. The dough you buy is already proofed, so it is just about forming, boiling, and baking!

Here's all you'll need:

  • 1 ball of fresh pizza dough
  • Dark brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Optional toppings like sesame seeds, poppyseeds, or everything spice mix

Here's the easy step-by-step for making bagels with pizza dough:

1. Preheat your oven to 425°. While it is heating, cut your dough ball into even pieces about the size of a tangerine. Then roll your dough into balls under your cupped hand, using the countertop to help make them taut. (If you are not familiar with this technique, there are great videos online to help!)

2. Once you have tight balls, poke a hole through the middle with your thumb and gently pull on the hole to make a bagel shape. Err on the side of slightly larger than you think you need; that stretchy dough will want to tighten back up! Aim for about 2 inches.

3. In a large wide pot, bring a couple quarts of water to a boil with two tablespoons of dark brown sugar and one tablespoon of white sugar. (If you happen to have brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, or non-diastatic malt powder, use one those instead of the brown sugar.)

4. Once boiling, add your bagels and boil for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip and boil for one more minute on the second side, then remove them to a sheet pan.

5. If you like your bagels extra-brown or want to add toppings like poppyseeds, sesame seeds, or everything spice mix, give them a light brushing with an egg wash first. But I prefer mine natural; the sugar in the boil helps to brown them.

6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes total, or until as browned as you like them. If you want them crispy all over, flip them about 15 minutes into the bake, but I prefer the contrast of crispy on the bottom and chewy on top.

And that's it! These are best when day-of fresh but will hold for a few days in an airtight container. You will probably want to toast them after the first day for the best experience.