Whole Wheat Cranberry & Golden Raisin Bagels

After last week’s confidence boosting batch of pretzels, I decided to try making bagels. With inspiration from an Emeril recipe which didn’t require special bread flour or pre-planning (e.g. making a sponge that has to sit for a day), I made the bagels with a few minor changes. I halved the recipe, increased the sugar, replaced some all purpose flour with whole wheat, added olive oil plus the sweet flavors of cranberries, orange zest and vanilla. I also added pistachios, but didn’t like their texture in the finished product and wouldn’t do that again.

Since measuring flour by volume can be dicey, I listed the weight of the flour I used next to the volume measure. Hopefully that will help, but you should definitely go by the feel of the dough rather than precisely by the recipe because different brands of flour yield different results. In my experience, getting the amount of flour just right is the hardest part of making yeast bread and the part that takes the most practice.

So I didn’t make a sponge or use diastolic malt powder or any other fancy bagel making techniques, but I got big, fat, chewy bagels which were worth the time it took to make them.


Whole Wheat Cranberry & Golden Raisin Bagels

1 cup warm water, about 110-115 degrees F
1 packet active dry yeast (.25 oz) — I’ve been using Red Star
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon reserved for water
1 cup scooped cup whole wheat flour (5.2 oz)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (5.7 to 6.7 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light olive oil plus extra for greasing bowl
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Golden raisins
1 egg beaten with about a tablespoon of water for brushing

Mix the water, yeast, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is bubbly. With a mixing spoon, stir in the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the all purpose flour and the salt; add remaining 1/4 cup of flour and stir to make stiff dough. Turn on mixer and mix with the dough hook and let it go for a few minutes; if dough seems sticky to touch, add another 1/4 cup of the flour.

With mixer on medium and dough hook in action, add the oil, vanilla and orange zest. Continue kneading with the mixer for another 5 minutes. The dough should be thick, but neither sticky nor dry. See photo below. Continue kneading with dough hook and knead in the cranberries, and raisins.

Grease a large bowl with some extra olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for an hour.

Punch down the dough and divide into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 6 inch log and join the ends to make rings. Place rings on non-stick foil lined cookie sheet and let rise for another 30 minutes – you can cover the bagels if you want, but I didn’t and they still rose.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Have a second cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil ready to go.

Bring about 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil in a large pot. Add the bagels about 3 at a time to the water and boil for 1 minute, turning halfway through Lift the bagels out with a spatula, letting any water drip back into the pot, and place on the non-stick foil lined cookie sheet so that the “pretty side” is up. Brush bagels with the egg/water mixture and sprinkle with a little sparkly sugar if you’d like.

Bake pretty side up on center rack of oven for 15, minutes, turn bagels and cook another 10 minutes ugly-side-up, then flip them back so the pretty side is up and bake another 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Makes 6

Note: if you don’t want/have cranberries and golden raisins, these would probably be great with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and 2/3 cup of regular raisins.

Bagel Dough


Bagel Dough Risen


Boiling Bagels


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  1. Pam Shank says

    Oh my,these look delicious. I would never be able to make this..not that talented..but I could sure eat one right now.

  2. says

    Nice! I love making bagels. Yours look nice and round. I’m still working on getting mine to look pretty, but they’re fun to make and SOOO good right out of the oven. I’ll have to give this bagel recipe a shot.

    @Pam. Bagels seem daunting, but I personally think they’re just as easy as most other breads, and a lot more fun to make.

  3. Sinful Southern Sweets says

    I have yet to make my own bagels. But these look so yummy. You’ve inspired me to give this a try!

  4. says

    These were time consuming only because they had to rise, but making them was pretty easy. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook really helps.

    Katrina, Fuzz didn’t like the dried fruit at all. I actually made a second batch of bagels today with no dried fruit and she said they were too chewy. Looks like I’ll be eating these myself.

  5. says

    I love that you didn’t use any weird ingredients. And I know making a sponge isn’t difficult, but I never want to do it! They look yummy.

  6. says

    These look so flipping good….with the little flecks of wheat and other yummy stuff in it. I can only imagine how they tasted.

    Williams-Sonoma has a good bagel recipe that has just the right amount of chew. I bet they might have it on their site, if not, then that will be an opportunity for me to make a post myself!

  7. says

    Clara, thanks! I will take a look at that recipe just as soon as I buy some more yeast. I ran out. I’ve been using Red Star and have had so much success with it, I call it my lucky yeast.

  8. diggy says

    have been wanting to try bagels for a long time
    recipe was easy to follow and made delicious bagels
    can’t believe i was so successful on my first try
    not really a wheat person so i was wondering
    could i use all white flour and this same basic recipe
    for everything bagels (without the raisins)
    thanks for the great photos- will definitely try again

  9. says

    That’s great! About the white flour, I think it would work just fine. I adapted this recipe from Emeril and he uses white flour only.

  10. Billie says

    I’m making these as we speak.. they sorta unbageled themselves when i boiled em but they’ll still taste good. they smell awesome baking! the raisins in my cupboard were questionable so i doubled up on cranberries… and didnt have oranges on hand so i used orange marmalade and added cinnamon anyway cuz i love cinnamon. i cant wait to have one! i also sprinkled the top with oatmeal. 20 minutes to go! thanks for the recipe 🙂

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