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Have you ever noticed that most stores don’t carry a whole grain bagel in fun flavours? Yeah, we did too. Well, you don’t have to miss out any more. Make yourself a batch of whole grain bagels in whatever flavour you desire. Read on to learn what’s included in this whole wheat bagel recipe and how to turn those simple ingredients into the bagels of your dreams.

This homemade bagel recipe is all that and a bag of nooch. It turns out bagels that are oil-free, refined sugar-free and completely whole food plant-based are also seriously delicious. Let’s do this.

bagel recipe pin image 1

Bagel Inspiration

My daughter is a big fan of everything bagels. She loves to take them for lunch with either vegan cream cheese or hummus and veggies on them. The problem is, we can only find everything bagels made with white flour. We try to avoid processed grains as much possible, so everything bagels don’t make the grocery list very often.

It always seemed strange to me. Couldn’t they make whole wheat everything bagels? Then it occurred to me, why don’t I just make them myself? After all, that’s typically my strategy when I can’t find a food item that aligns with my health goals. So, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. The result was a batch of amazing bagels that DID NOT LAST at my house. Seriously, it was a blink and you miss ‘em moment.

We topped them with everything bagel seasoning, but feel free to top them however you like. Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes, whatever you like. Or, leave them plain if that’s what you prefer.

Bagel Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients for the base recipe are pretty simple. You may even have them hanging around in your pantry as I did.

You will need:

Whole wheat flour

Active dry yeast

Date sugar


Warm water

I keep date sugar around to use in place of dry sweeteners. I like it because it retains the nutrients from the dates, so it can be considered a healthier sweetener. If you don’t have any, regular sugar will work as well.

Beyond the simple ingredients, you’ll also need whatever toppings you choose.

Try things like:

Poppy seeds

Sesame seeds

Onion flakes

Coarse salt

Minced garlic

Minced onion and more

Making Delicious Whole Wheat Bagels

There’s nothing too fancy in this bagel recipe. But, like most bread products, it will take a little work to turn those simple ingredients into something delicious. Don’t be scared off by the time though, most of that is rest or rise time for the dough.

Start by adding the dry yeast, date sugar and ½ cup of warm water to a bowl. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before you stir. You want to see the mixture get foamy, this will tell you the yeast is working.

how activated yeast should look for bagel recipe
This is how the active yeast mixture will look after a few minutes.

While you’re letting that mixture sit, grab a big bowl and add the flour and salt to it. Give that a good mix and make a little well in the middle.

Once you’ve given the yeast at least 5 minutes, mix it up until the sugar dissolves. Then add the yeast mixture and about ½ cup of the remaining warm water to your flour bowl.

Mix up the dough, slowly adding the remaining water as needed. You may need to add more warm water as you mix. Just do so 1 tablespoon at a time. You’re looking for a moist and firm ball of dough.

Then you’re going to flour your counter top or cutting board and scrape your dough ball out onto it.

Kneading the Dough

Roll up your sleeves and knead that beautiful dough ball for about 10 minutes, re-flouring your surface as needed. You’re going to be incorporating some more flour into the dough while you knead. You’ll know you’re done when you have a dough ball that is smooth and elastic. If your dough is still sticky to the touch, you’ll want to incorporate more flour.

You can do the kneading step in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment if you like. But there’s something kind of soothing about kneading dough by hand. Plus, your arms will get a little workout. Win-win!

Then it’s time to move your dough to a bowl and allow it to rise. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and put it in a warm spot or a proofing drawer if you’ve got one. Let the dough rise for an hour until it has approximately doubled in size.

Now, go make yourself a cozy beverage and grab a book. You’ve got some time to kill and you’ve earned a break. 😉

Portioning and Shaping

Once your dough is finished rising, you’ll want to punch it down in the bowl to release the excess air. Once you’ve gotten physical with your dough, cover it again and give it 10 minutes to recover rest.

Lightly flour your counter top or cutting board again and dump your dough out onto it. Now, we didn’t oil the bowl, so it may stick a little bit. Just use your clean fingers to gently pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl. It should come out pretty easily.

Now it’s time to portion out your dough. This bagel recipe will make 8 large bagels. If you like them jumbo size, go for 6 equal portions. Or go with 10 for smaller bagels. There’s no wrong answer here, just aim for equal-ish portions and adjust the bake time based on your size. Adding bake time for jumbo bagels and reducing bake time for smaller bagels.

Once you have your portions set, roll those dough blobs into cute little balls. Then, get some flour on your hands and poke a hole through the middle of the ball. You’ll want to stretch the sides slightly until the shape resembles a bagel.

Now, dough gets tired quickly, so your bagels are gonna need another little rest. Once you’ve shaped them all, place them on a cookie sheet and cover with the damp towel again. Give them 10 minutes to get over being separated.

Hot Bath and a Bake

While your bagels are resting, fill a big pot with water and set it to boil on the stove. You’ll also want to take this time to preheat your oven to 425°F and gather your toppings, a small cup of plant milk and a pastry brush.

Once the pot of water is boiling, reduce the heat a little. You want something between a simmer and a rapid boil. Basically, the Goldilocks of boiling.

Using a slotted spatula, spoon or skimmer, gently add one bagel to the boiling water and let it swim for a minute. Then flip it over to boil the other side for another minute. A longer boil will result in a chewier bagel, so adjust this time to your preference.

bagel recipe boiling step
The boil time will determine how chewy they end up.

Feel free to do more than one bagel at a time if your pot will accommodate that.

Once you pull the bagels out of the water, place them on a cutting board to be dressed.

To dress your bagels, brush the tops with a little bit of plant milk and then sprinkle with your topping of choice. We went with everything bagel seasoning and left a couple plain for the classic kiddo. Get creative here and use whatever toppings suit your fancy.

Once your bagels are dressed and ready for the party, move them to a cookie sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Be sure to check the temperature limits on your silicone baking mat, because some brands top out around 400°F)

Pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes and do a little happy dance, your job is basically done. Pull them out when they are gently browned and move them to a wire rack to cool, or slice into them hot and enjoy with your favourite schmear.

Topping Ideas

Try topping your freshly baked bagels with things like:

Natural nut butter

Fruit jam

Vegan Cream cheese (our favourite is this garlic and chive version)

Hummus  (or chocolate hummus if your sweet tooth is calling)

Or anything that sounds like it would be delicious smeared on a bagel.

bagel recipe pin image 2

The next time you’ve got a hankering for some delicious bagels, whip up a batch of these. This bagel recipe does not disappoint.

bagel recipe card image

Whole Wheat Bagel Recipe

Yield: 8 Bagels
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Delicious whole wheat bagels made without oil or refined sugars.


  • 1 pkg (or 2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 4 tsp date sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (add more if needed)
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (plus more for dusting and kneading)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  • 1/4 cup of plant milk (approx)
  • Desired toppings


  1. In a small bowl, add date sugar, 1/2 cup of the warm water and yeast. Do not stir, let sit for 5 minutes to activate.
  2. While your yeast mixture is sitting, add the flour and salt to a large bowl and mix.
  3. Once the yeast mixture has foamed up a bit, mix until sugar and yeast are fully dissolved.
  4. Make a well in the flour and salt mixture and add the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of the remaining warm water. Begin to mix into a dough.
  5. Add the remaining warm water, bit by bit. If more water is needed, add 1 tbsp at a time until you have a moist, firm dough.
  6. Generously dust a cutting board or countertop with flour and scrape the dough out onto it.
  7. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Adding more flour to your surface as needed. The dough should not be sticky to the touch when you are done.
  8. Move the dough into a bowl and cover with a moist kitchen towel.
  9. Place the bowl in a warm spot or proofing drawer and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour. It should approximately double in size.
  10. Punch down the dough to release the excess air, then cover and let rest for another 10 minutes.
  11. Lightly dust a cutting board or countertop and turn your dough out onto it. You may need to use your clean fingers to gently pry the dough away from the edges of the bowl.
  12. Portion your dough out into equal sections. It will make 6 jumbo bagels, 8 large bagels or 10 small bagels. (Bake time provided is based on 8 large bagels).
  13. Roll each portion into a ball.
  14. Get some flour on your hands and poke a hole through the middle of the dough ball.
  15. Then stretch the sides to shape it into a bagel.
  16. Continue with remaining dough balls, moving finished bagel shapes to a baking sheet.
  17. Cover the baking sheet with the moist kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for another 10 minutes.
  18. While the dough is resting, get a big pot of water on to boil and preheat the oven to 425°F. You'll also want to gather your toppings, a small cup of plant milk and a pastry brush.
  19. Once the pot of water is boiling, turn down the heat to a gentle boil.
  20. One at a time, add the bagel to the gently boiling water and allow to boil for 1 minute, then gently flip it and boil the other side for 1 minute. (Boiling time determines how chewy the bagel will be, add more time here for a chewier bagel).
  21. Place finished bagels on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Check the max temperature on your silicone baking mat to be sure it can handle 425°F).
  22. To dress the bagels, brush lightly with plant milk and sprinkle with the desired toppings, ex: everything bagel seasoning.
  23. Move the baking sheets to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until nicely browned.
  24. Move the bagels to a wire rack for cooling, or enjoy warm from the oven.


If you don't have date sugar, regular sugar will work as well.

Tried this recipe? Tag me on Instagram (@mentalforlentils) and use #mentalforlentils. I love to see what you’re whipping up in your kitchen.

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19 Replies to “WFPB Whole Wheat Bagel Recipe

  1. Just made these, and they are seriously the best bagel I’ve ever had! Thanks so much for this recipe!

  2. These look great and I was wondering if you have to use sugar in order for this recipe to work? I do not have any type of dry sugar as I often use homemade date paste or syrup when recipes call for a liquid sweetener. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Emily,

      Sugar is required to feed the yeast that will help these bagels rise. That being said, you should be able to use a liquid sweetener without any issues. I would mix it with the warm water before adding the dry yeast for activation. Best of luck and enjoy!

  3. These were SO good, thanks for a great recipe. They came out great with your instructions on how to use a liquid sweetener as I used date paste I made. Will definitely be making these again :).

    1. Yay! I’m so glad they worked well with the liquid sweetener.
      Thanks for letting us know how they turned out! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. =)

  4. Hello! these look so good but I wonder if I could use instant dry yeast in them? we only have that kind in our country, here’s no such a thing like active dry yeast 🙁 thank you!

    1. Hi Lotta,

      Yes, you can use instant dry yeast. It sounds like the same thing we have here, with a slightly different name.
      Best of luck and enjoy! =)

  5. Oh, okay! I thought it was different since I googled it and it said that active dry yeast needs the activation while instant doesn’t, and I wondered if I should do something differently with instant ( like leave out the activation part? )

    1. Hi Lotta,
      The dry yeast I used for this recipe was instant, but I do the activation steps. For me, the activation is a good way to make sure the yeast is working and that my efforts won’t be wasted.
      That being said, if you’ve had luck using your instant yeast without the activation, go for it!
      Best of luck! =)

  6. Hi, I was wondering if it would work to exchange some of the flour for psyllium husk powder and flax seed meal for more fiber?

  7. Hello! Me again 🤭 I’ve already made these bagels twice and they are so good!! I would like to make them again this weekend but noticed that I’m out of dry yeast and since we live in these different times I’m not a fan of going to the store just to grab yeast 🥴 I’m not an expert of yeasts so is there any way to replace the dry yeast to fresh yeast because we happen to have some of that? Sorry for the bother!

    1. Hi Lotta,
      No need to be sorry! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this recipe so much!
      I haven’t worked with fresh yeast before so I had to look into this a little bit.
      From what I found, it looks like you can sub in fresh yeast at a ratio of 2:1. So you would need to use twice as much fresh yeast as the recipe calls for in dry active yeast.
      I hope this helps. Good luck!

  8. This recipe looks yummy 🙂
    Do I absolutely need to do the boiling step? What happens if it skip it? New to bagel making 🙋‍♀️
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Candice,
      Thank you. You can skip the boiling step and move straight to baking.
      The difference will be in the texture. The boiling step is what gives the dough that classic bagel texture. Skipping the boil will result in more of a bread-like texture.

      Hope this helps!

  9. I’ve made these bagels dozens of times – they have become my food staple. I never seem to get tired of it and I’ve been eating it for months! I don’t put any toppings on, so it goes well with both sweet and savory meals. I have a lot of stomach acid and this does a great job of absorbing the acid and reducing the burning feeling!
    Recipe doubles nicely, and works with regular sugar substituted for the date sugar.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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