sourdough bagels: further bread adventures

21 June 2018
I declared 2018 the year I got my sourdough experimenting on. I wanted to try out new recipes and also to get a bit more of a feel for why some bakes worked well and otherwise, well, not so much. There has been lots of baking and lots of learning.

I've been trying out a few recipes but mostly slowly working my way through an awesome Christmas present: Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. I started with an everyday loaf and a cinnamon swirl (read more here) and then tested out one of the sandwich loaves (read more here). I've also been baking her focaccia and some tasty thyme rolls (yet to be blogged). I haven't found a dud recipe yet.

But what I've been eyeing off from the start has been the bagels. I've previously made yeast based bagels and was intrigued to give sourdough ones a go. Let me tell you I wasn't disappointed.

Sourdough bagel success

Now, I can't share the exact recipe with you from the book as that would be a breach of copyright, but as luck would have it there is a very similar recipe on her blog. The only difference is instead of pumpkin puree the total water amount is 250g and of course you leave off the spice. Although, if you want a pumpkin version these look pretty good. In fact I have a couple of pumpkins lying around so maybe I'll try these out...but back to the bagels at hand.

These bagels, like all the recipes in the book, require a long slow bulk fermentation. I'm finding with winter that I'm needing at least 18 hours. So, I'm usually mixing dough in the evening and then baking the following evening - which actually works out pretty well schedule wise around here.

I'm really loving the minimal hands on time of these recipes. Basically I mix the dough in the evening, give it a couple of stretch and folds before I head to bed and then ignore it until the hour or two before I bake.

Initial hole for shaping the bagels.

Once your dough is ready you divide it into equal portions and shape your bagels. You have two options here. Option one you  can roll a ball, poke a hole in the middle (as above) and then barrel roll your index fingers in the hole to make it bigger. Or you can make a sausage with tapered ends and then connect these to make a ring (see below). I found the ball, poke, roll method the most simple. I should confess here that I did not weigh my dough when portioning, I just eyeballed it.

Method two for shaping your bagels.

After a small 15 minute rest the bagels are ready to be boiled briefly before baking. After boiling, while the bagels are still damp you can add any seeds or toppings. I prefer to keep them plain but if you are a sesame or poppy seed fan then this is where you do that. I find the easiest way to do this is to place the damp bagels on a cake rack over a baking tray and then sprinkle the seeds on top. The tray then collects any excess so there is no waste and less mess.

Shape it up!

All baked up and ready to eat.

Ready for their toppings - can't go past a liberal smear of cream cheese.

Once your bagels are baked you are ready to enjoy. I found these bagels quite light compared to commercial ones. The crumb was even sporting a few little sourdough holes which was nice to see. Definitely a winning recipe that will be a breakfast staple around these parts.

What are you waiting for - get some dough going for a weekend bagel breakfast. You won't regret it.

Are you a bagel fan? What do you like on top?
Ever made your own bagels at home?

I just wanted to highlight that I'm not affiliated with this book in any way it's just really been a great resource for improving my sourdough baking so I'm happy to recommend it.


  1. Hi Laura,
    thank you for sharing this recipe. I have wanted to try making sourdough bagels for a while and now I can. They look and sound amazing. I don't like supermarket bagels as they are too dense and stodgy. The texture of your bagels looks perfect-light and holey.
    My children who are young adults like their bagels toasted and smothered with cream cheese. I prefer a bagel left untoasted and filled with smoked salmon, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, capers and rocket. Recently I tried a toasted bagel that was spread with egg salad (hard-boiled egg, mustard, mayonnaise and chopped parsley). It was very nice and I will be making this when I've made your bagels.
    Thank you also for the olive pickling post. I will try preserving some olives very soon.
    I have finally found my dream wood-fired heater that also has an oven for baking and roasting. Now I just have to convince hubby that it will heat and cook at the same time saving us having to run the air conditioner in winter. It will be the perfect excuse for making more sourdough goodies.
    Cheers, Maria from Adelaide SA.

  2. Hey Maria, you're welcome on both fronts and I hope you enjoy the bagels. I love the sound of the egg salad topping - we have this on sourdough through summer a lot but I would have never thought of adding to bagels - it's on the to try!
    Good luck with the wood fire - it seems a no-brainer to me ;)


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