Sourdough Bagels

homemade bagelsBetween the holidays and my annual winter vacation (always in search of some warm sun!) I have taken a little sourdough break. It’s time to revive my neglected starter and start baking again. But in the meantime I wanted to share these sourdough bagels I made last month.

The last time I made bagels from scratch I had a lot less grey hair, two toddlers running around, and was doing all my cooking on an apartment-sized range in a kitchen with no counter tops. I remember it as being a lot of work. Well, either my definition of work has changed, or I was “misremembering” because this was an easy process that resulted in the best bagels I have ever eaten, dense and chewy with that wonderful sourdough tang.

bagel doughshaping the bagelsready to bakeboiling bagelsready to bakecooling after baking


  • 4 – 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp malt powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cups sourdough starter (find out how to make your own starter here)

Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for 5 minutes or so, until all the ingredients are well combined. Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Note: Bagel dough is thick and dense so kneading time may vary depending on how well your stand mixer handles heavy dough.

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise 2 hours. It won’t look like it has risen much, but you can move on to the next step anyway.

Cut dough into 12 pieces. Cover and let rest about 30 minutes. Shape the bagels by rolling each piece into a 10 inch log and pressing the ends together for the traditional bagel shape.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the paper with oil. Place the bagels on the baking sheet, cover and let rise for another hour.

Fill a large pot with water and 2 Tbsp of malt powder. Bring to a boil. Gently add the bagels to the boiling water, a few at a time. The bagels will sink to the bottom and then float to the top. Boil for a minute or so, then flip them over and continue boiling for about another minute.

Remove from the boiling water and place on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with semolina or corn meal. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is brown and crispy.

Mass produced and grocery store deli bagels will forever be a big disappointment once you have made your own sourdough versions. In fact, I am making myself hungry. Time to make a new batch! What about you, have you had any luck making sourdough bagels?

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

Comments (1)

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  1. Leah says:

    I love bagels and have wondered if it was easy to make them. You’ve made it sound like I could actually get them to work! thanks for sharing.

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