Pumpernickel Bagels

March/April 1996

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Chewy and dark, this pumpernickel bagel exudes a hearty, peasant bread flavor.

"I have not actually tried it yet but I definitely will. It looks like a fantastic recipe. "
Pumpernickel Bagels

Makes: 12 three-ounce bagels

Active Time:

Total Time:


Bagel Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons baker's caramel, or Kitchen Bouquet®
  • 2 teaspoons malt syrup, or malt powder
  • 2 cups dark or coarse (pumpernickel) rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
  • 4 tablespoons cornmeal, divided
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups white bread flour, preferably unbleached

Kettle Water

  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten


  1. To make bagel dough & shape bagels: Whisk 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, yeast, baker’s caramel (or Kitchen Bouquet) and malt syrup (or powder) in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in rye flour, onions, 2 tablespoons cornmeal, caraway seeds and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in enough of the bread flour to make a soft dough, about 2 cups.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, gradually incorporating more bread flour, until the dough is resilient and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes (the dough will remain slightly sticky because of the rye flour). Cover the dough with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly. Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
  4. To kettle & bake bagels: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Line 1 large or 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornmeal and set aside. Bring water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot.
  5. Slip several risen bagels at a time into the pot"the water should be at a healthy simmer. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon or tongs, and cook for 45 seconds longer. Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel and place on the prepared baking sheet(s). Brush the bagels with egg white. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake for 12 minutes. Turn over and bake until well browned, about 5 more minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Freeze fresh (and properly cooled) bagels immediately unless you are eating them all that day.


Per serving: 195 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 6 g fiber; 313 mg sodium; 250 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 3 other carbohydrate

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Recipe Categories

Total Time
More than 1 hour
8 or more
Preparation/ Technique
Ease of Preparation
March/April 1996
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