Sourdough Bagels

Perfectly chewy bagels with an irresistible flavor.

These bagels have an irresistible chewy exterior and a perfectly soft interior. They also have the benefit of long fermentation, which improves digestibility.

If you’re looking for a breakfast or lunch that will keep you going for hours, these bagels will do that for you. Sourdough has staying power that other bread is lacking.

One of the many benefits of sourdough bread is that the sugars are predigested during fermentation. This means sourdough has a lower glycemic index and you can enjoy this bread without a carbohydrate rush and the inevitable carbohydrate crash that follows.

We enjoy these bagels in the classic way, with cream cheese, but we also use them to make bagel burgers and sandwiches. And sometimes, we just put a thick slab of butter on them with homemade peach jelly. There is no wrong way to eat them!


Flour: any type or combination of flour could work with these

Sourdough starter: this is one of the only ways liquid is added to this relatively dry dough, and, of course, this fuels natural fermentation.

Salt: this is a small but oh so important ingredient for big flavor

Maple syrup: this adds a sublet hint of sweetness that you almost don’t notice. It gives the flavor that extra “wow factor” without being in your face. It allows these bagels to be eaten with sweet or savory toppings.

Water: this is a relatively dry dough, and it does not require as much water as some recipes. As a result, it will take more effort and time to come together. Add a few drops of extra water if it absolutely needs it until you are able to get the dough to come together.


Mix all ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook or by hand and place in a covered bowl. 30 minutes to 1 hour later, come back and stretch the dough and fold it up into a ball. Cover and let the dough rest and ferment for 8-20 hours.

After long fermentation, the dough is ready to form into bagels

Cut the dough into 8 to 16 pieces, depending on how large you want your bagels to be. I have a large family, so I cut it into 16 pieces.

Cutting the dough with a dough cutter
16 pieces for smaller bagels; choose your bagel size!

Roll the dough into a long strip and then bring the ends together to form a bagel.

Cover with oiled plastic wrap

Place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the bagels with plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled to prevent sticking or drying out. Let bagels rise for another 3-5 hours.

When it is time to cook the bagels, fill a medium pan about half full of water (about 2 quarts), and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Bring this water to a boil.

Adding baking soda to water

Boil the bagels for about 20 seconds on each side. Remove the bagels to a cooling rack. This is the time to add seasoning to the top of the bagels if you prefer that. I usually only season 4-5 bagels because most of my family prefers them plain.

Add seasoning immediately after boiling when the bagel is still wet.

After boiling all of the bagels, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes.


3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup active sourdough starter

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook or by hand. Cover the bowl. After 30 minutes to an hour, come back to the dough to stretch it out and fold it down into a ball for long fermentation. (This stretch and fold action can optionally be done 3-4 more times if you have the time for it.) Cover the bowl and let sit for 8-20 hours.

After long fermentation, cut the dough into 8-16 pieces, depending on the size of bagel you prefer. Roll the bagels out into long pieces of dough and wrap them around to connect, forming a bagel shape. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise for another 3-5 hours.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium-large pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Boil bagels on each side for 20 seconds. Place on a cooling rack. Add seasoning if desired.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-18 minutes at 450 degrees.