Bagels are expensive to buy, but so cheap and satisfying to make yourself.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)

If you feel like loading up your freezer, double or triple the recipe and simply bag up the cooked and cooled bagels, then defrost and eat as needed


  • 2 tsp active dried yeast (1 × 7 g sachet)
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
  • 375 ml (12½ fl oz/1½ cups) warm water, approximately
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz/4 cups) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp nut milk, or 1 beaten egg white

‘Everything’ topping

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • cracked black pepper, to taste

Vegan cream cheese (see Note)

  • 115 g (4 oz/¾ cup) raw cashew nuts
  • 250 g (9 oz) firm tofu
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), very finely chopped
  • 75 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 handful chopped dill

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Rising time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Soaking time (if making vegan cream cheese): 2 hours 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast and sugar with 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the water and leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add the yeasted water to the flour with about half the remaining water. Mix together, adding the remaining water as needed to form a firm, moist dough.
  3. Turn the dough onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to form a dough that is smooth, elastic and firm.
  4. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat, and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Using floured hands, push the air out of the dough. It should shrink back to its original size. Set aside and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine all your ‘everything’ ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. Cut the dough into eight pieces. Dust your hands with plenty of flour and gently mould each dough portion into a smooth ball. Try to pull the crinkles to one spot at the bottom of the ball, and pinch them together. Make each ball into a ring by poking your finger through the middle and working it to stretch the bagel to your desired size and shape. Let the bagels rest for a few minutes while you bring a large saucepan of water up to the boil.
  8. Using a slotted spatula, carefully lower each bagel into the boiling water. Poach for 2–3 minutes, turning each one over at least once. Remove the bagels and drain off the excess water.
  9. Transfer the drained bagels to the lined tray. Brush each bagel with nut milk (or egg-white glaze) and sprinkle generously with your ‘everything’ topping. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
  10. To make the vegan cream cheese, put the cashews in a bowl and cover with about 3 cm (1¼ inches) water. Set aside for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  11. Drain the soaked cashews of all excess liquid and place in a high-power blender. Add the tofu, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and sugar. Add 2 tablespoons fresh water and blend for 1–2 minutes, starting on low speed, then increasing to high after 30 seconds. The mixture is very thick, so make sure you use the tamper to move the ingredients around, to ensure they all blend.
  12. Once the mixture is thick and everything is blended together, transfer to a bowl. Add the spring onions, capers and dill and combine with a spoon. Taste and season further if desired. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to smear it all over your bagels. The cream cheese will store in the fridge for up to a week.



This vegan cream cheese is delicious, but you can really only make it if you have a proper high-power blender with a tamper (a stick to move the ingredients around). Instead, you could add the lemon zest, spring onions, capers and dill to 300 g (10½ oz) pre-made cream cheese (vegan or otherwise).


Recipe and images from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99