French Toast Bagels

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I can't believe it is January 13 and we are just now receiving the first measurable snowfall in the Chicagoland area (6-8 inches of heavy snow in case you were wondering).  I can honestly say that I am happy the white stuff is finally here for several reasons.  First, it finally looks and feels like winter. Secondly, my children can get out and make forts and snowmen and have some fun in it.  On mornings when they are really itching to get out there,  I want them to have a breakfast that will fill them up in a good and tasty way, but won't tie them down to the breakfast table and cut into their playtime in the snow before school bell rings.  A quick or on-the-go breakfast is a good place to start and bagels are a great option.  But these are no ordinary bagels.  

This recipe is adapted from my plain bagel recipe (step-by-steps included in that post).  It has all of those qualities, but with all the flavors of french toast-- so good!  By adding a few extra ingredients like brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, maple flavor, and an egg for richness and great texture, these bagels take on a whole new look and taste.  And since I added more wet ingredients like the sugar and egg, I also reduced the amount of water from the original.  As I do for some of my plain bagels, I like to garnish the top with a little something extra.  I sprinkle on organic maple sugar before baking and they come out with a nice sugary and crunchy top.  Certainly optional, but I highly recommend it, especially if they are to be eaten the same day.  If you make them in advance, the maple sugar may start to dissolve and become sticky when stored in an airtight container, but the goodness is there and they still toast up beautifully.  My only problem with these bagels is that I cannot decide what I like to schmear them with-- butter, cream cheese, jam, fresh fruit, or little bit of everything for a stuffed "french toast" bagel to go.  Yum!
Printable Recipe

French Toast Bagels
makes 8 bagels

3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2-4 Tablespoons warm water
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon imitation maple flavor

Maple Sugar (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  In a separate bowl mix together 1 cup of water, egg, vanilla, and maple flavor. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture.  Continue to mix until the dough comes together in a mass, about 4-6 minutes, adding additional water by the tablespoon as needed just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but is slightly sticking to the bottom.  Increase speed to medium-high and knead for another 8-10 minutes until soft and smooth.   Put the dough in a bowl sprayed lightly with non-stick baking spray. Cover with a towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

Gently de-gas the dough and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425º F and bring a large pot of water to a boil; then reduce to a simmer. 

Divide the dough into 8 pieces.  Press each piece down to get rid of air bubbles.  Form into balls and roll the balls between your palm and the work surface, rotating to form a smooth ball. Coat a finger in flour and press it through each ball to form a ring.  Twirl the ring around the index finger of one hand and the thumb of the other, stretching the dough and widening the hole to about 1/3 of the bagel’s diameter. Place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat and cover with a towel.  Let rest for another 10 minutes.

Gently lower the bagels into the water in batches, 2-3 bagels at a time. Boil uncovered for about 1 minute. Turn them over once and boil for another minute. Using a perforated skimmer, remove the bagels from the pot, letting the water drain; return to the baking sheet. (Optional:  sprinkle the top of the bagel with pure maple sugar). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

Source: The Galley Gourmet


  1. Yet again, you have a recipe that I can't resist. Those bagels look absolutely delicious and I can't say no to French Toast :) I pinned this recipe, can't wait to try it out!

  2. I know exactly what you mean! We've only had snow on the ground for a week so far this year. Some snow is in our forecast so I'm hoping! My son enjoyed every second of our first and only real snowfall so I can't wait for more :D Your bagels look perfect! I've made bagels before but can never get them to look so nice. The maple flavor you added sounds so good!

  3. I am so impressed you can make your own bagels-wow!

    I am in Milwaukee, so also looking out at a ton of snow!

  4. SkinyMommy-
    I didn't realize you were so close:)

  5. Lovely photos and even lovelier looking bagels! Yum! I love the maple sugar on the top - where do you find that?

  6. Chris-
    Thanks:) I buy the sugar at my local grocer. It is the Shady Maple Farms Organic Sugar.

  7. French toast bagels?? This is such a unique and fun recipe!

    We're a few hours south of Chicago and just got our first real snow too. It's about dang time! However, I'm now ready for it to melt and warm back up out there. :)

  8. Even though our coolest days are too warm for snow here in Charleston, these bagels are just the ticket for Dad and me. I'm going to make them for our hiking group's next trek. It would be unforgivable not to share these beautiful bagels with them. Walking along the trail with a stuffed French toast bagel - life is good!


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