Sourdough Bagels

Published Date: March 8, 2024 | Last Updated: March 4, 2024
Only a few ingredients come together to make these ultra-chewy and delicious Sourdough Bagels! Regular bagels are good and all, but I swear sourdough bagels are on another level. This Sourdough Bagel recipe yields bagels that are soft inside but have the perfect bite, and taste so amazing eaten straight out of the oven. Homemade bread always tastes better, and that
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Only a few ingredients come together to make these ultra-chewy and delicious Sourdough Bagels! Regular bagels are good and all, but I swear sourdough bagels are on another level. This Sourdough Bagel recipe yields bagels that are soft inside but have the perfect bite, and taste so amazing eaten straight out of the oven.

Homemade bread always tastes better, and that goes for bagels too! 

Sourdough Bagel Recipe Ingredients

I love making bread on my own so I can control the ingredients that go into my food. Storebought bagels have all kinds of preservatives and additives that aren’t so great for your health. Plus, this recipe uses sourdough instead of commercial yeast, which is so good for gut health.

Active Bubbly Sourdough Starter

For this sourdough bagel recipe, you will need to use a happy, fed, bubbly and active starter. If your sourdough starter is thin or runny, it’s not active, and you’ll have to feed it before you use it. Check out my Sourdough 101 Post for all the info you’ll ever need! This guide walks you through all of the steps of caring for and baking with a sourdough starter.

Brown Sugar

Adding a bit of brown sugar to the dough helps add flavor, and doesn’t make them taste sweet at all.

Salt

This is maybe the most important ingredient of them all. Don’t forget the salt, or you’ll end up with tasteless lumps of dough. Speaking from experience here!

I love to use Redmond fine sea salt in all of my baked goods. I love it because it’s mined from an ancient seabed, has no additives, and is full of naturally occurring trace minerals. Use my code “AMBERSKITCHEN” to get 15% off your order.

Flour

I use bread flour for all of my bread recipes. Bread flour has a high protein/gluten content, which makes the final product extra chewy and delicious! If you have bread flour, definitely use that, but if you only have all-purpose flour, that will work fine too.

sourdough bagel recipe

How to Make Sourdough Bagels

Making sourdough bagels is not too difficult, but does require a few steps and a bit of time. Baking with sourdough takes a little more time, but really doesn’t take any more effort than making bread with conventional yeast. Most of the time is spent letting the dough rise, so it’s mostly hands-off. Just read the directions and I promise you can do it!

Make the Dough

Start by combining all the ingredients and kneading them together into a smooth dough. You can use a stand mixer, Bosch, or make it by hand.

First Rise

Cover the dough and let it rise until it is doubled in size. This could take anywhere from 5-10 hours, depending on the ambient temperature and the strength of your sourdough starter. I find that it takes much longer in the winter than in the summer. Just keep an eye on your dough throughout the day. You could also put the dough in the fridge and let it rise there for a day or two.

Shape

After the dough has doubled in size, divide it into 8 equal portions. Shape the dough into a snake, then circle it around to form a bagel. Pinch the edges to make a smooth circle.

Cut out 8 squares of parchment paper, then place a shaped bagel on each square. The parchment will help keep the shape of the bagels when you boil them later.

Let the bagels rise until doubled.

Boil

Boiling the bagels gives them their unique chewy exterior. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and ¼ cup of honey to the pot. 

Gently add the bagel dough (still stuck to the parchment paper) into the water. Once the parchment gets wet, it is easy to peel off the dough and set aside.

Boil the bagels for about 45 seconds per side. Once the bagels are boiled, add them to a baking sheet.

Brush each bagel with an egg wash, and then add your desired toppings. We love to add jalapeño and cheese to our bagels. If you want sweet bagels, you can add cinnamon sugar. I find that it works best to use butter instead of egg wash on the cinnamon sugar bagels.

Bake

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, and serve immediately. I love to serve these fresh with butter or cream cheese. These bagels also make amazing breakfast sandwiches!

Bagel Topping Ideas 

You can use any toppings that you like! We love jalapeño and cheddar, but you could also do everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, any type of cheese, or cinnamon sugar.

My Favorite Sourdough Bread Recipes

Sourdough Rosemary French Bread

Natural Yeast Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Cooking!

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you want to follow along on my cooking adventures, follow me on Instagram @AMBERSKITCHEN

Easy Sourdough Bagels

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 bagels

Ingredients

  • 1 cup active bubbly sourdough starter
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3.5 to 4 cups flour
  • Toppings like cheese, sliced jalapeños, or cinnamon sugar

Instructions

  • Combine water, sourdough starter, sugar, salt, and flour. Mix and knead all ingredients together until dough forms a smooth and elastic dough.
  • Cover dough and let rise until it has doubled in size. (This step could take 5-10 hours depending on ambient temp and strength of starter). This step can be done on the fridge over a day or two!
  • Dump dough onto lightly floured surface.
  • Divide into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a snake, then circle it around and make a circle out of the dough. Pinch connecting sides together to make a smooth circle out of the dough.
  • Cut out 8 squares of parchment paper and set each circle of dough onto each parchment square. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Add 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1/4 cup honey.
  • Gently drop the bagel dough- parchment paper and all- into the water. Parchment will loosen as it gets wet and you can remove it from the pot. Let the bagel boil for about 45 seconds per side.
  • Set boiled bagel dough directly onto a baking sheet either greased or lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush each bagel with an egg wash and then desired toppings. I find that it works best to use butter instead of egg wash on the cinnamon sugar bagels. We especially LOVE the jalapeño cheddar bagels!
  • Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately! Enjoy!

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  1. In one of your bread recipes it says to stir down the starter to remove the bubbles before measuring out your cups. Do I do that here or just pour out a cup of the bubbly starter? I can’t wait to try this!

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  2. Do you have any tips on making sourdough blueberry bagels?
    We love this recipe, but want to change things up a bit 🙂

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  3. Hi Amber. I have learned more from you then anyone, so thank you for that. Do you use fresh jalapenos? Thank you!!!

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Ambers-Kitchen-Sourdough-Bread-2

Hi! I'm Amber

I'm obsessed with all things food and a mom to five. Baking bread and using my instant pot are my favorite things to do in the kitchen, and I can't wait to bring all that I have learned to you! Connect with me on Instagram because there's where I basically live these days.