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Strawberry Bagels

With a pale pink hue and delicate berry flavor, these easy-to-make Strawberry Bagels add flavor and flair to breakfast or snack-time. Makes a dozen 3-inch bagels.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rising Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Snacks
Keyword: afternoon snack, bagels, baked from scratch, home baking, strawberry, Valentine's Day, yeasted breads
Servings: 12



  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1 Meyer lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons + a pinch brown sugar divided
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for shaping
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Bagel Dough

  • Finely dice the strawberries (should be about 2 cups) and mix them with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Stir occasionally, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon or a potato masher to draw out the juices.
  • In the meantime, add water to the bowl of a standing electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of brown sugar over its surface, and stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes until it begins to bubble.
  • Add the macerated berries, one cup of flour, and the salt to the yeast mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon until well-combined. Add the remaining flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, to form a thick dough that clears the sides of the bowl. Change to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should feel slightly tacky but not sticky.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Flip the dough to coat completely with oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise until about doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Using just enough flour to prevent sticking, shape the dough into tight, round balls, pinching and smoothing the seams on what will be the bottom side of each bagel.  Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Water Bath and Baking

  • While the dough rests, prepare the water bath by heating the water and sugars to a gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Working with one ball of dough at a time, use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it’s about 1 inch in diameter. Shape 3 more of the bagels and then transfer all 4 of them to the simmering water.
  • Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook for 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining bagels, cooking 2 additional groups of 4 bagels each.
  • Bake until the bagels are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. When finished, remove from the oven and transfer the bagels to a wire rack to cool.