Renewing your spirit one bite at a time

Homemade Sourdough Bagels (made easy!)


sourdough bagels

Believe it or not, making homemade sourdough bagels is probably easier than baking your first loaf of bread! There isn’t much hands-on time and no fancy techniques are needed to achieve this recipe. You just need an active sourdough starter and some good bread flour. I’d like to believe everyone on the planet enjoys a good bagel, but there is nothing quite like a homemade sourdough bagel. The texture and flavor of these are incredible. They are crispy on the outside with a fluffy, chewy inside.

Not to mention, they won’t leave you feeling tired or hungry for an hour like a highly processed bagel that is full of sugar. Because these are sourdough-based, they are more nutrient-dense and gut-friendly bagels. You will be feeling fulfilled and ready to take on the day!

I like to prep these on a Saturday evening and enjoy them on a Sunday morning. It’s a recipe you will keep coming back to and an opportunity to make memories with loved ones. Sunday morning sourdough bagels 🙂

Tips and modifications

  • An active, bubbly starter is needed for this recipe to ensure a hearty rise.

  • If you want to lessen the amount of sugar you can simply use honey to replace the sugar.

  • Sourdough bagels are made with a stiffer dough. I recommend not using any additional flour during the kneading process.

  • Sourdough bagels require 10-12 hours of proofing time at 68 degrees F. If the environment is warmer, they may require less. You can place proofed sourdough bagel dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Should I use bread flour or all-purpose flour? This recipe has been tested with both and they both work great! Using bread flour will result in a chewier bagel while using all-purpose flour will make the bagel slightly softer. It depends on your preference.
sourdough bagels

How to make Sourdough Bagels: Step-by-Step

Baker’s schedule: Mix your dough the evening before and bake the following morning. 

Equipment:
Ingredients:
  • 500 grams of bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 255 grams of water
  • 150 grams of active, fed sourdough starter
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey
  • 10 grams of salt
  • For boiling the bagels: 6 cups of water & 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Optional: seeds for topping the bagels (sesame, everything bagel seasoning, poppy seeds, etc.)

Step 1: Mix your dough

  • The evening before you bake: dissolve your starter, honey, or sugar in the water in a large mixing bowl. Mix using a fork.
  • Add your flour and salt, and mix by hand until all the flour has absorbed the water.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit for 45 minutes to an hour.
sourdough bagel dough

Step 2: Knead the dough

  • Place the dough on an unfloured surface. Lift a part of the dough up and fold it into itself, and press down firmly with your palm repetitively. About 8-10 minutes of kneading should result in a smooth dough.
  • The dough should start to come together and become smoother. If it starts to rip or tear, let the dough rest for 10 minutes and return to kneading it.
  • Once complete, place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let it rest overnight at room temperature.
  • Optional: perform 1 stretch and fold 45 minutes into the bulk rise. This is to ensure optimal gluten development.
kneaded bagel dough
Kneaded sourdough bagel dough

Step 3: Pre-shape your bagels

  • The next morning make sure your dough has almost tripled in size.
proofed bagel dough
  • Remove the dough from the bowl on a clean working surface and start to flatten it out into a rectangular shape (not too big). Just enough to start portioning out your bagels.
  • Using your bench scraper cut the dough into 8 sections. I recommend using a scale as you want the size to be about 115 grams
portioning bagel dough
Using a bench scraper, cut and weigh the dough.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spray a little non-stick oil on the paper.
  • Round each dough piece into a ball and place it on the pan and cover it with oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel.
  • Let them rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
bagel balls on pan
Allow the round dough balls to rest on the pan

Step 4: Final Shaping

  • To shape your bagels use your thumb to indent the dough ball in the middle.
shaping bagels
Indent the middle of the dough ball with your thumb
  • Start to make a hole by pushing your finger through. Work the hole by rounding it out with your finger.
shaping bagels
Work your fingers through to create a hole
  • The hole should be a bit larger than the size of a quarter. The larger you make them the less likely they will close up.
  • After rounding out the bagel, you can stretch them a bit to ensure the hole is large enough.
shaped bagels
The hole should be about this size or bigger
  • Once all 8 bagels have been shaped. Cover the pan with oiled plastic wrap or a towel and let them rest for 15 minutes. Simultaneously bring a pot of water to boil (about 6 cups) adding the tablespoon of sugar to the water.
shaped sourdough bagels

Step 5: Boil the Sourdough Bagels

Why do we boil bagels? So that the outside crust sets before it goes in the oven. It makes for a chewier, thicker, bagel and is necessary!

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place about 2-3 bagels in the boiling water at a time and boil for 30-60 seconds on each side. Place them back on the pan once done.
boiling sourdough bagels
Boil your bagels
  • If you are using seeds. Pour them on a plate and dip your bagel in the seeds after you have boiled them. Allow it to cool so it is comfortable to handle it. It should be a bit wet so the seeds will stick.
  • Leave a couple of plain bagels as they are divine on their own!
Add seeds if desired

Step 6: Bake your Sourdough Bagels

  • Place the pan in the oven and bake the bagels for 20-25 minutes. Once done, you can allow them to cool on a cooling rack, but these can be enjoyed right away if desired!
  • You can store any leftovers in a bread bag of your choice for up to 2 days on your countertop.

More sourdough recipes

sourdough bagels
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Sourdough Bagels (made easy!)

Learn how to make your very own homemade sourdough bagels in this recipe. It is doable at home and the end result is amazing!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Proofing time12 hours
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sourdough bagels
Servings: 8 bagels
Calories: 256kcal

Equipment

  • Large baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large pot
  • Bench scraper
  • Food scale
  • Silicone Scraper

Ingredients

  • 500 grams bread flour or all-purpose flour see notes
  • 255 grams water
  • 150 grams active sourdough starter
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 10 grams salt

For boiling the bagles

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • Seeds for topping the bagels (optional: sesame, everything bagel seasoning, poppy seeds, etc.)

Instructions

Mix the dough

  • To a large mixing bowl dissolve the sourdough starter and sugar (or honey) in the water.
  • Add the flour and salt, and mix by hand until all of the flour has absorbed the water.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit for 45 minutes to an hour.

Knead the dough

  • Place the dough on an unfloured surface. Lift a part of the dough up and fold it into itself, and press down firmly with your palm repetitively. About 8-10 minutes of kneading should result in a smooth dough.
  • The dough should start to come together and become smoother. If it starts to rip or tear, let the dough rest for 10 minutes and return to kneading it.
  • Once complete, place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let it rest overnight at room temperature.
  • Optional: perform 1 stretch and fold 45 minutes into the bulk rise to ensure optimal gluten develpment.

Pre-shape the dough

  • The next morning make sure the dough has almost tripled in size.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl on a clean working surface and start to flatten it out into a rectangular shape (not too big). Just enough to start portioning out your bagels.
  • Using a bench scraper cut the dough into 8 sections. I recommend using a scale as each piece should weigh around 115 grams.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spray a little non-stick oil on the paper.
  • Round each dough piece into a ball and place it on the pan and cover it with oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let them rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten

Final shaping

  • Shape each bagel by making a hole with your fingers and rounding them out.  Make sure the hole is a qaurter size or bigger to ensure it does not close up during baking.
  • After rounding out the bagel, you can stretch them a bit to ensure the hole is large enough.
  • Once complete, cover them with oiled plastic wrap or a damp a towel and let them rest for 15 minutes.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil (about 6 cups) with a tablespoon of sugar and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Boil the bagels

  • Place 2-3 bagels in the pot of boiling water and boil on each side for 30-60 seconds
  • If using seeds, pour them on a plate and dip your bagel in the seeds after you have boiled them. Allow it to cool so it is comfortable to handle. It should be a bit wet so the seeds will stick.

Bake the bagels

  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow them to cool for a few minutes after they are done and enjoy!
  • Storage: these are best enjoyed the day of, but can be stored on your counter for up to 2 days in a bread bag or airtight container.

Notes

Baker’s schedule: Mix the dough the evening before and bake the bagels the following morning.
Need some extra time before baking your bagels? You can store this dough for 24 hours in the refrigerator after proofing. 
Bagel holes closing up while baking? Make sure to make a quarter-sized hole or bigger when shaping the bagels. 
Should I use bread flour or all-purpose flour? This recipe has been tested with both and they both work great! Using bread flour will result in a chewier bagel while using all-purpose flour will make the bagel slightly softer. It depends on your preference.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bagel | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 340mg

If you found this article interesting, you may also enjoy my Sourdough Pizza Crust Made Easy

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Comments

  1. Laurie Hopkins Avatar
    Laurie Hopkins

    These look amazing.

    1. Thank you! They truly are!

  2. I can’t wait to make your recipe! Love small batch baking along with your start in the evening recipes!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy them! Thank you for all your support can’t wait to hear how your bagels turn out!