This is an easy recipe for delicious sourdough bagels, made easily at home with a sourdough starter. They’re dense and chewy with a little tangy flavour. Top them with your favourite seasonings.
With yeast in short supply, I’ve been trying to make alternative versions of everything bread using sourdough.
It was my brother who got on the sourdough train first and now it seems silly, but when I visited him last year, I didn’t really pay much attention to his love for this amazing wild yeast.
Morning after morning, he’d make these beautiful loaves of sourdough, and for some reason, I wasn’t interested in learning about sourdough then and there.
Wait, I know. It was because I’m a pragmatic person, and I didn’t have all the “tools.”
As far as I knew, I needed a Dutch oven, or a cast iron pot of some sort to trap the heat in.
So without that piece of equipment, I would be hooped.
The item I was waiting for
Well, last Christmas, my hubby surprised me and got me a Dutch oven… which opened the door to sourdough baking.
Except, I had no idea what I was doing.
So I texted my brother. I asked him how to start a sourdough starter.
There are plenty of recipes out there floating around, but basically it’s a ratio of 1:1 — flour to water.
Let it sit everyday at room temperature, discard half, and feed it another 1:1. Do this for about 2 weeks, and you’ll have a starter that’s strong enough to leaven bread.
Great, now I’ve built my starter — onto the sourdough. Or at least what I thought would be sourdough … turned out more like a flat pancake. There were lots of fails (which were still tasty), but those fails pushed me to keep trying, to give it another shot. But with patience, some troubleshooting and experience, I finally got the sourdough to my liking, after 5 months of experimenting.
Now that I’ve got my trusty starter (named Marshall II, by my kids [Marshall I died many years ago due to neglect!]), I’m venturing out into other breads that can be leavened naturally, such as these Sourdough Liege Waffles.
First up, Sourdough Bagels.
My youngest son loves bagels.
He always asks to get bagels whenever my husband goes to get groceries.
I thought since we’re at home, I might as well try to make these using my sourdough starter.
These bagels are slightly dense, with that chewy dough texture and light tangy flavour from the sourdough starter.
The crumb is nice and even with a few small holes.
Why this recipe works
I really like the hands-off approach of this sourdough bagel recipe.
You can mix the dough ahead of time and forget about it until you’re ready to bake.
If you want a more intense sourdough flavour, you can leave it in the fridge to ferment longer.
How to make them
This recipe comes together quite easily, with a lot of a hands off time.
Activate your sourdough starter and make sure it’s nice and bubbly. (Do this a few hours before you plan to make the dough).
Knead until the dough becomes shiny and smooth.
Place the dough into a bowl and let it rise at room temperature for a number of hours.
Move the dough into the fridge to cold ferment overnight.
Shape the dough into its signature round with a hole in the middle.
Boil in a honey-water mixture.
Add your toppings (if using).
Bake in the oven at 425F for 20 minutes, until nicely browned.
I’ve topped my bagels with “Everything But the Bagel Seasoning” (sold by Trader Joe’s).
But you can use sesame seeds, onion flakes, poppy seeds, or whatever you like.
Of course, you make it to your liking with additional flavours such as adding cinnamon and raisins, or even dried blueberries.
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If you try out this recipe, let me know! Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to see your recreations!
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 90 g active sourdough starter
- 270 g warm water
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 7 g sea salt
- 8 C water for boiling
- 2 Tbsp honey
The day before:
- Mix together sourdough starter, warm water, sugar, flour, and sea salt in stand mixer and knead until a smooth dough forms, about 5-6 minutes.
- Shape into a ball and let it rest in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and place at room temperature (about 21°C) for 8-10 hours, until slightly puffy and doubled in size. Transfer into the fridge to rest overnight.
On the day you want to make:
- In the morning, remove dough from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Dough should be slightly puffy.
- Divide dough into 10 pieces and shape into a bagel. (You can roll into a log and join the ends together, or simply make a round and use your thumb to poke a hole in the middle).
- Place dough onto a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C.
- In the meantime, bring 8 C water to a boil and add in honey. Lower to a simmer.
- Place the dough into the simmering liquid and boil for about 30 seconds, until the bagel floats. [Don't let it sit in the hot water for more than 30 seconds or else the bagel will not rise very well].
- Remove with a slotted spoon and add toppings (if using).
- Place the bagel topping side up onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remainder.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly golden in colour. Best enjoyed while fresh.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.