Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (100% whole wheat, vegan, dairy-free)

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (100% whole wheat, vegan, dairy-free)

As far as I know, they don’t really have bagels here in Germany. They have bagel-shaped bread things called bagels, but they don’t actually taste like bagels (not the ones I’ve had, anyway). So I made my own.

I put a lot of cinnamon in them so that they wouldn’t taste too whole grain-y, but they don’t taste 100% like normal white flour bagels. They don’t taste terribly healthy, though, so I consider it a success. But still, I don’t know if I’d recommend making these for haters of whole wheat because you can definitely tell that they are whole wheat.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (100% whole wheat, vegan, dairy-free)

If eight bagels are too much, you can always freeze some and then pop them in the toaster. It is a lot of work if you’re not used to bread making, but I think they’re worth it. And can you really find 100% whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagels at the store? Maybe you lucky North Americans can, but you definitely can’t in Germany, which I find really weird because I can’t think of another country that does whole grain bread better.

I suggest reading the entire recipe before you start. :)

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (100% whole wheat, vegan, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 1 reader
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (100% whole wheat, vegan, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 bagels


    For the soaker:

  • 227 grams (8 ounces or about 1 3/4 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 4 grams (0.14 ounces or about 1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 142 grams (5 ounces or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) filtered or spring water
  • 35.5 grams (1 1/4 ounce or 2 tablespoons) barley malt syrup (for vegan) or honey
  • For the biga (yeasted starter):

  • 227 grams (8 ounces or 1 3/4 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 1 gram (0.03 ounce or 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast – I used active dry yeast
  • 142 grams (5 ounces or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) filtered or spring water at room temperature
  • For the final dough:

  • 7 grams (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast – I used active dry yeast
  • 28.5 grams (1 ounce or 2 tablespoons) – filtered or spring water at room temperature
  • 5 grams (0.18 ounce or about 5/8 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 56.5 grams (2 ounces or about 7 tablespoons) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (190 grams) raisins
  • For boiling:

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 egg white (optional)


  1. The night before you make the soaker and biga.
  2. For the soaker:

  3. Mix everything together in a small bowl for a minute until it forms a ball. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. If you want to leave it longer than that, you can also leave it refrigerated for up to three days. Just bring it to room temperature before using.
  4. For the biga:

  5. Mix everything together in a small bowl for a minute until it forms a ball and then knead it for two minutes. The dough will be tacky. If you need more flour, only add it a teaspoon at a time. Let the dough rest for five minutes and then knead with wet hands for one more minute. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours - 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
  6. For the final dough:

  7. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Then add the soaker and biga (each chopped or pinched into 12 pieces) and the salt and cinnamon.
  8. Mix and knead for about 5 minutes until well integrated.
  9. Add the whole wheat flour (starting off with 3 tablespoons - I only used 4 in total).
  10. Knead 5 – 7 minutes until you have a stiff but supple dough. Form the dough into a ball, and then let it rest covered with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes and then knead for another minute. The dough should be supple, satiny, and pass the windowpane test. To do that, pinch off a small piece and stretch it slowly apart, pulling and rotating it gently so that it stretches into a thin, translucent membrane. If it tears easily, continue kneading for a few more minutes and then try the test again.
  11. After the dough has passed the windowpane test, add the raisins.
  12. I just kneaded it about 30 seconds until they were thoroughly combined. Form the dough into a ball and swirl it around a bowl that has been covered / sprayed with oil. Cover and let rise for 45 – 60 minutes until it’s 1 1/2 times the original size.
  13. For shaping:

  14. Divide into 8 equal pieces. For me, that was 130 grams each. There are more professional ways out there, but what I do is to form the 130 gram piece into a ball. Put your thumb through the middle and form into bagel shape. Make the hole bigger than you really want it because they’ll grow… a little. I would make my holes smaller next time.
  15. Put the bagels on a Silpat or an oil-sprayed parchment-lined pan cover loosely.
  16. Preheat your oven to 500°F / 260°C.
  17. For boiling:

  18. Fill a wide pot with 4 inches of water and bring it to a boil.
  19. When it starts boiling, add 2 teaspoons of baking soda (it will foam up). The time between shaping the bagels and putting them in the boiling water should not be longer than 20 minutes. If you wait that long, they might rise and then collapse.
  20. With your hands, carefully place the bagels in the boiling water. I could only fit three in my pot.
  21. Boil for 1 minute on each side.
  22. Then take them out with a slotted spoon, drain them and then place on a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  23. When they’ve all been boiled, brush with a beaten egg white.
  24. For baking:

  25. Put the baking sheet in the oven and then lower the temperature to 450°F / 230°C, and bake them for 7 minutes.
  26. Rotate the pan and then bake for 7 more minutes until they are a nice golden brown. If you want to be absolutely sure that they’re done, I say rip one open and look. Mine were quite brown before the 14 minutes were up, but thought that they were just right after 14 minutes.
  27. Enjoy! I think they’re best on the first day, but after that they’re wonderful toasted.

Adapted from 100% Whole Wheat Bagels – Jugalbandi, who adapted it from Peter Reinhardt's Whole Grain Breads

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15 comments on “Cinnamon Raisin Bagels (100% whole wheat, vegan, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Laura @ Laura's Sweet Spot
    June 29, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    I am living in Germany with the military right now and I feel the same exact way- you just can’t find bagels. You kind find an endless amount of fresh artisan type breads and rolls, but no bagels haha. Thanks for the recipe! These came out great!

    • Erin replies to Laura @ Laura’s Sweet Spot
      June 30, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

      Hi, Laura! So nice to hear from another American living in Germany. And I’m very happy to hear that you liked the bagels! Thanks a ton for the feedback and the rating. :)

  • Nora @ Natural Noshing says
    January 21, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    Wow these bagels look delicious! When I could eat gluten (and wheat bagels), my favorite flavor was cinnamon raisin :) the two just go SO well together! Such a beautiful job with yours!

  • Erin says
    January 19, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    Sonia – Yeah, you have to make them! I've finally posted something that you can make. Yay! I can't wait to hear what you think. :)

    Becca – Good! I'm happy to know that I've finally made something unique (although it sounds so boring and plain).

  • Becca says
    January 19, 2012 @ 4:53 am

    I don't beleive that I've ever seen a whole wheat Cinnamon Rasin Bagel. But then again I don't ever eat bagels…so I could be wrong; there could be a brand that sells whole wheat cinnamon rasin bagels.

  • Sonia The Healthy Foodie says
    January 19, 2012 @ 3:26 am

    Ooooooh! Bagels? I mean, bagels I can actually make and eat? OMG, they look so good, I want to have one right now. I really have to give them a try. I've never made bagels before and have always been really curious about them. This is so going on my must try list! :o)

  • Erin says
    January 18, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    Heidi – Ooh, then you're an expert bagel maker / eater and you can tell me how these compare. I haven't had a "real" bagel in many years, but I think they're pretty good. And for 100% whole grain? Fantastic. :)

    Miryam – You should try them with your son! I bet he'd have fun with the shaping part. And it's really handy to have an extra pair of hands around for these. And I love pretzels! I haven't ever had a whole grain pretzel, though. I'll have to think about that. :)

  • says
    January 18, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

    Wow, these look awesome. I have never made bagels before, I made pretzels and loved them so maybe I will venture with these bagels. By the way I am sure the cinnamon and raisin combo is really yummy!!

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles says
    January 18, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    I think you and I are on the same wavelength :D I was just thinking about making some whole grain bagels. I do occasionally make white bagels as a treat and I was afraid the texture would be way off. I can't wait to try these when I have a bit of time :D

  • Erin says
    January 18, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    The Café Sucré Farine – Wow, thanks! :)

    SimplyWholeKitchen – These definitely aren't hard. They're chewy like normal bagels! If you look at the source, the last commenter said that he had tried other whole grain bagels and they were like hockey pucks but that these had the right texture. So there are at least two of us out there who think that these have a great texture. I hope you can try them out! :)

  • SimplyWholeKitchen says
    January 18, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    These look delicious! I tried homemade bagels once and they turned out sort of hard. Your recipe looks delicious! I can't wait to try these!

  • The Café Sucré Farine says
    January 18, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    Very well done! Your bagels look very professional and delicious!

  • Erin says
    January 18, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    Katrina – You should give them a try! They're pretty fun to make, especially if you have a helper. :)

    Amanda – I hope you enjoy them! They take a while, but like you said, it's fun. :) And 30 types of bagels? My goodness. All I can think of are blueberry, cinnamon raisin, and plain ones with seeds. I obviously haven't ever been to a real bagel place. That's all right, though. I'm quite happy with these. I really, really hope you will be too. :)

  • Amanda @ Thinly Sliced Cucumber says
    January 18, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Wow- these look like so much fun to make. I have never made my own bagels before and now I really want to try it. You're right about the whole wheat cinnamon raisin combination. I have never seen them before- even at my local bagel bakery that makes at least 30 different kinds of bagels. Thanks for the inspiration- can't wait to try this recipe!

  • warmvanillasugar says
    January 18, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    I've never made bagels from scratch! They are one of my favorite breakfast foods too (cinnamon raisin specifically). Yum!


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