Healthy Mini Whole Wheat Bagels
Yields: 18 mini bagels
After lots of recipe testing (and eating!), I can confidently state that these are the BEST whole wheat bagels I’ve ever had! They’re soft and chewy on the inside, have a nice crisp crust on the outside, and are taste really comforting and flavorful. I love eating them plain… Or cut in half and spread with a little peanut butter or jam! The bagels will keep for at least 4 days if stored in an airtight container on the counter.
  • ¾ cup (180mL) warm water (about 100-110°F)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 (¼ oz) package Red Star Quick Rise Yeast
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 – 2 ½ cups (240-300g) whole wheat flour, divided (see Notes!)
  1. Stir together the warm water, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt in a medium bowl until the salt and maple syrup have dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes or until the yeast has turned frothy. Whisk the cinnamon into 1 cup of whole wheat flour, and stir that into the yeast mixture. Continue to stir in the whole wheat flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. (It took me 1 ¾ cups!)
  2. Transfer the dough to a food processor fitted with a dough attachment. Turn the food processor on to the dough setting, and let it knead the dough for 4 minutes. Add another ¼ cup of flour, and turn on the food processor for 1 more minute. Touch the dough. If it seems sticky, rather than tacky, add another 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Turn the food processor on for 1 more minute. Repeat until the dough feels tacky. (Alternatively, use a stand mixer or hand-held mixer fitted with a dough hook. It may take a bit more time to knead!)
  3. Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Lightly rub your hands with olive oil. Peel the dough out of the food processor, shape it into a ball, and roll the ball around in the prepared bowl. Lay a clean dry towel on top, and place the bowl in a warm draft-free spot to rise for 45-60 minutes or until about double in size.
  4. Cut 3 rectangles of foil about 4” to 5” wide (see photos in the blog post above!), and generously rub with olive oil. Place the foil onto a large baking sheet.
  5. Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down to deflate. Cut the dough into 3 segments with a sharp knife. Working with 1 segment at a time, cut into 6 small pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll it into a small ball. Tightly pinch the center with your thumb and forefinger to create a hole. Gently widen the hole until it’s between ½” and 1” wide. Put it on the prepared foil, and continue with the remaining dough.
  6. Lay the clean dry towel over the top of the shaped bagels, and place the baking sheet in a warm draft-free spot to rise for 20 minutes or until about double in size.
  7. Fill a 2-quart pot a little less than halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil. (A larger pot is fine too! It just takes more time to bring the water to a boil.) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
  8. Working with one foil sheet at a time, carefully and very gently peel the risen bagels off, and place them top-side down in the boiling water. Boil for 1 minute. Carefully flip using a slotted spatula. Boil for 1 minute on the second side. Carefully transfer to the wire rack using the slotted spatula. Repeat with the remaining foil sheets and risen bagels.
  9. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Transfer the boiled bagels from the wire rack to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 16-20 minutes (16 minutes for not so crisp of an outside crust, or 20 minutes for a nice crust!). Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a dry wire rack to cool completely.
Notes: To make it easier, measure the olive oil first, before measuring the maple syrup! If you use the same measuring spoon, the maple syrup will slide right out. Any oil except coconut oil may be substituted for the olive oil.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

For the whole wheat flour, I highly recommend this kind. In my kitchen, is has performed the best out of any brand I’ve tried, and it ensures your mini bagels fully double in size while rising in Step 6. (Other brands of whole wheat flour, as well as white whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour, haven’t risen nearly as high for me!)

I haven’t had good luck with gluten-free flours in this recipe. The bagels just don’t rise and hold their shape properly due to the lack of gluten.

This is the food processor that I use! When kneading the dough in that (or your mixer), check the texture. Sticky = the dough is still wet and needs more flour. Tacky = the dough is taught, looks like there are super thin strands running through it (that’s the gluten and a good sign!), and barely clings to your fingers when you touch it. Tacky is what you want!

The generous amount of oil on the foil sheets prevents them from sticking when it’s time for the next step! If you forgot to oil the foil, then you’d have to tug to get the bagels off… And that tugging would cause them to deflate and turn out flat. Once the bagels have been boiled, they won’t rise or change their shape at all… So be very careful and gentle when peeling them off of the foil and putting them into the water!

To get that classic bagel crust, you briefly boil the bagels before baking. If you skipped the boiling step, your bagels would turn out more like regular bread rolls—just in a bagel shape!

For more tips and step-by-step photos, see my blog post above!

{clean eating, vegan, low fat, low sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at