Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels – Recipe

cinnamon raisin bagels

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I’ve written in the past about how much I love homemade bagels. I make a batch every other week so I have them in the freezer for my lunch and I will occasionally send them in with the hubby for his. As the summer season comes on I’ll probably end up baking them more frequently because they make excellent snacks to take when we get the chance to head out into the woods for a quiet day together. They are great with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, peanut butter or if you ask me, just plain.

I was ruminating upon bagels when I last made them and decided I wanted to try my hand at cinnamon raisin. I thought it would be nice to have a bit of variation for those days when I want a little bit of sweet (erm, to be honest that is every day) with my lunch. I was too lazy to go searching for a recipe and the cookbook I use for the base recipe did not have a variation so I just winged it. It worked! I ended up with a lovely bagel with just a hint of sweetness. The hubby said he likes these even better than the plain bagels.

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cinnamon raisin bagels


Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Makes 12 – 18 depending on how large you want them to be

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 heaping tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 TBSP Barley Malt Syrup* divided
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 6 – 8 cups bread flour
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
* Barley Malt Syrup gives bagels their distinctive taste and gloss and is added to the boiling water as well as to the dough. If you don’t have it or can’t find it (it’s readily available in natural food stores or online) you can substitute sugar.
  • Add the yeast to the warm water to your mixer and let it stand for a few minutes to get foamy.
  • Add in 2 TBS of the Barley Malt Syrup (or sugar if using sugar). I will warn you that Barley Malt Syrup is THE STICKIEST substance I have ever worked with. It is stickier than honey, corn syrup and maple syrup combined.  Just know this. And be prepared. I have learned through experience to stir the malt syrup into the water/yeast mixture or it just sits in the bottom.
  • Add in 6 cups of flour, the oil, the granulated sugar, the cinnamon and the salt. With the paddle on the mixer stir until the dough comes together. Add in the raisins*. If it is still sticky add in another cup to two cups of flour. This will depend on the humidity levels where you live. You need a stiff but workable dough. I end up using 7 cups of flour
*I have added the raisins at this point and close to the end of kneading. If you add them here some of them will break apart through the kneading process. In my various trials I have found that I like this method as it distributes the sweetness and still leaves plenty of raisins whole. If you prefer all whole raisins add them in with about a minute left of kneading time.
  • Put the dough hook on and knead the dough for 12 – 15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl and set it aside to rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
  • In the summer my dough is ready in 1 hour in the winter it needs the extra time. You will know it is ready when you poke your finger in it and the indentation remains. This is a denser dough so it does not rise as high as the plain bagel dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°
  • Take a large (6 qt) pot, add the remaining 1 TBS Barley Malt Syrup (or sugar) and fill with water and set to boiling. When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat so it is just simmering.
  • And on a lightly floured surface press the dough into a rectangle. Cut the rectangle into slices and cut the slices into 12 – 18 pieces. (My countertop is great – I don’t need to flour it to work with most doughs.)
  •  Now you roll the bagels. Mine are never perfect. I don’t really care. I’ve shaped my bagels two different ways. I am now using this second method exclusively. I’ve included the video so you can see it in action.
  • If you would like to see the other method you can go HERE


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  • Have two heavy duty baking sheets ready; I line mine with silicone mats. You can also use parchment.
  • Place the shaped bagels on the prepared pans and move them over to the simmering water.
  • Depending on the size of the bagels, drop four or five at a time into the simmering water. You don’t want to crowd them. After one minute turn them over, simmer one more minute and remove to the waiting baking sheet to rest while you boil the others.

  •  Bake at 500° for 7 1/2 minutes and then rotate the trays. Bake for another 7 1/2 to 8 minutes until the bagels are golden brown.
  • Cool on a rack and freeze any you are not going to use right away.
  • Like any home baked bread product these will not hold for long so that is why I freeze them. They don’t take long to thaw and they taste fresh baked after they do. (Since I am a very spoiled baker and have three KitchenAid mixers I do a double batch; I figure if I’m going to bake I might as well BAKE. That way I have enough in the freezer to last me a couple of weeks.)

How Were the Cinnamon Raisin Bagels?



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These are really tasty. The raisins add a lovely bit of sweetness and the cinnamon in the background is a wonderful flavor. These are delicious with cheddar cheese or just toasted with butter. It’s nice to have them as a bit of a change from plain bagels. Adding the cinnamon and raisins also makes me think of all of the other taste treats I could add to bagel dough.

Just imagine the possibilities. 


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