Bagel vs. Bread: Understanding the Differences

Bread has been a fundamental food item since the beginning of civilization, becoming an essential part of people’s daily lives. Over time, bread has evolved significantly, and various types of bread products are now produced worldwide. Due to their many similarities, bread and bagel are often confused with one another. Bread and bagel are two products that have become somewhat intertwined over the years because of their many shared characteristics.


A bagel is a bread product made from yeasted wheat dough, which is kneaded and shaped into a ring. After shaping, it is boiled in hot water for a short time before being baked. Bagels have a browned, crisp exterior with a doughy, chewy interior and are often topped with nuts or seeds such as sesame or poppy seeds. The ideal bagel should have a slightly crispy crust and a distinct pull when the bread is broken apart, along with the flavor of freshly baked bread. A typical bagel contains 260-350 calories, 330-660 milligrams of sodium, 1.0-4.5 grams of fat, and 2-5 grams of fiber.

Traditionally, bagels are made with wheat flour, yeast, salt, and water. However, they can also be made from various flours such as rye, whole-grain, and others. Bagels are available in fresh or frozen forms in supermarkets and can be flavored with onions, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or garlic, or sweetened with honey, sugar, or barley malt. They are quite popular in countries with a Jewish population, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. The hole in the middle of the bagel not only facilitates cooking and baking but also offers practical advantages like threading a string through several bagels for easy transport.


Bread is a staple food in many countries, made from dough containing flour and water and then baked. As one of humanity’s oldest foods, it has been in existence since the beginning of civilization. Bread is made using various methods and ingredients, and the taste and nature of different types of bread depend on how they are prepared. Typically made from wheat flour dough cultured with yeast, bread is allowed to rise and then baked in an oven. Bread can also be made from other wheat varieties such as durum, emmer, or spelt and other grains like barley, rye, oats, and maize. Numerous types of bread are available in markets today, including white bread, brown bread, pita bread, wholemeal bread, crispbread, and rye bread.

Key Takeaways

  • Bread is a general term used to refer to all dough-based baked food products, while a bagel is a specific type of bread.
  • Bread is baked, while a bagel is boiled and then baked.
  • Bread typically comes in loaf form, while a bagel is shaped like a ring.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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