Sourdough Bagels


I have been experimenting with bagels, and here are the most recent batch.

This is a version of Robotchef's recipe posted in Dan Lepard's forum, but tweaked, and made sourdough. The taste is far superior using all leaven.

This makes a dozen bagels.

The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
starter 400 grams 14.12 oz 72.73%
water 150 grams 5.3 oz 27.27%
flour 550 grams 19.42 oz 100.00%
oil 38 grams 1.34 oz 6.91%
brown sugar 25 grams 0.88 oz 4.55%
salt 15 grams 0.53 oz 2.73%
Total Flour Weight:
550 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.


Mix, and do a couple of short kneads at 10 minute intervals.
Leave to rise for 3-4 hours.
Divide into 100g portions, preshape into balls.
Either poke a hole in the middle with your finger, and stretch the hole
or roll into long 'ropes', wind over your hand and seal the join by rubbing the ends of the rope together.
Retard in the fridge overnight (spray with oil, cover with plastic, put in a plastic bag)

The next day - bring a large pot to boil. Add a handful of brown sugar
Add as many bagels as will fit in a single layer (I can fit three)
Turn after 30 secs (cook for 1 min in total) - drain and put back on the tray
top with your choice of topping
Bake in the oven at ~200C for ~20 mins


687 users have voted.


md_massimino 2009 October 3
Just made my first batch this morning, they came out great!  The only thing I did different was replace the brown sugar in the recipe with barley malt syrup.  About 30g in the dough and a tbsp or so in the boiling water.  Thanks for posting the recipe.
Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 5
sourdom, what an awesome recipe.  just pulled my first dozen out of the oven, and the missus is onto her second in 5 minutes.  So so good.  Chevre, avocado, rocket, lemon juice and olive oil is how we had them.  SO good!!!
rossnroller 2009 October 6
Made my first batch yesterday - beautiful! Actually, these are up with the best bagels I've tasted. Terrific recipe. With pancakes and bagels now in the repertoire, I know where all my spare starter's going from now on!

Specifically, thanks SourDom for your outstanding recipe, and thanks to md_massimino for reviving the thread and bringing it to the attention of newer arrivals like moi.

lilybythewaters 2010 February 21

Thanks for the recipe- I turned these out this morning and they were very tasty!  I just kneaded in dried apricots, cranberries, and the zest of an orange into the dough and my husband has already threatened to eat them all...

Bread Or Alive 2010 February 26

made some this morning, very pleased. lovely chewy crust. though as my starter is 100% rye, I think they turned out a little heavier than they might, and I didn't get as much lift as I hoped either, so they're a little small. would a 'whiter' starter have changed that? And you can change your starter, as it were, can't you? By slowly adding a greater proportion of white flour each feed? any help on that appreciated. and really superb recipe, Sourdom. Good skills.



rossnroller 2010 February 26

 Yes, it's a terrific recipe. This is one of my regulars. I've experimented with 30% rye/70% white flour starter @ 100% hydration + all-white flour starter @ varying hydrations (with appropriate adjustment of flour + water in recipe when starter is less than 100% hydration), and the results are always excellent. 

As per suggestions from posters early in the thread, I tried substituting malt extract for brown sugar, and prefer it - always use malt now. Also, have made the usual baking tweaks to get the golden finish I like. Everyone's oven will vary, but in my case I bake 15 minutes @ 215C. 

So Bread Or Alive, yes you can change your starter. I probably slightly prefer an all-white flour starter for this recipe, but that's down to personal taste. As you say, just adjust the proportion of white flour up each time you feed your starter. It doesn't have to be very gradual, either. 4 or so feeds should complete the transformation to a white starter. I keep two, though: one 30%rye/70%flour @ 100% hydration, and another all-white flour @ 60-80% hydration (depending on which recipe I've been using in most recent bake).


SourDom 2010 March 2

I haven't been around for a while. But here is a little something for those who have enjoyed this recipe.

Here is a version of the recipe that I have made a few times to make sourdough blueberry bagels. I have fond memories of such things at the Vic market in Melbourne. I reckon these sourdough ones may be even tastier than the originals...

blueberry bagels

Basic technique is above. Recipe is tweaked a little to take account of the extra liquid in the blueberries. It has a little more sugar for a sweet bagel, and a little less starter

  • 200 g starter (at 100% hydration)
  • 170 g water
  • 650 g flour
  • 38 g oil
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 15 g salt
  • 140g frozen blueberries
  • Follow the recipe as above but before mixing pop the frozen blueberries in the microwave for 1 minute then chop finely. Add to the rest and mix well.
  • After boiling the bagels but before putting in the oven sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.
  • Enjoy!



mlucas 2010 March 13

Nice recipe and photos everyone!

I think this will be the second recipe I make with my young (2 week old) starter. (The first sourdough I made was the one from the "slash and burn" tutorial.)  I'm excited as I really wanted something different to bake, I've got loads of home-made bread around right now!

 Anyway, a tip for anyone who manages to make too many bagels to eat right away. A great way to freeze bagels is to cut them in half first, then put them in a sandwich-size zipper/freezer bag, and into the freezer. That way when you take one out it's already cut, you can throw it in your lunch bag for work, or put it immediately into the toaster.

But I've never made homemade bagels before, something tells me they'll be gone before I can even think of freezing some ...  :-)

SourDom 2011 March 19

 Hi LeeYong,


I haven't made these bagels since being back in Oz, but I would usually use white unbleached organic bread flour as the main flour in these bagels

I usually keep my starter at 100% hydration - more for simplicity than for any other reason






calenture 2012 February 27

 Hello, dumb question if I may (apologies for bringing up an old thread)- are these straight out of the fridge after the overnight proove and into the boiling water?


Edit: nevermind, made a batch last night and baked this morning (essentially out of the fridge and straight into the boiling water). Cracking recipe, well done!

Amir Tavakkol 2012 May 24

 I haven't tried this yet, but I am thinking unless your starter is high hydration, wouldn't 27% hydration be too low?

Scu8a8uddy 2012 October 10

I hate bagels!  Bloody aweful things. Tasteless and dry and tough.  I have no time for them at all!  Until today.....

I've just made this recipe and what a revelation!  I'm in love!  They're fantastic!  What texture!  What taste!  What heaven!

My only problem is that my new love is a little ugly!  I suppose I'm going to practice a little more and try and make prettier ones!  LOL

Thanks SourDom for this recipe.  


CzechOutGirl 2017 October 31

A bit late to the party, but... I love this recipe! My family are keen on bagels for breakfast, so I've been making these a couple of times a week for the past few months. Thought I'd just share a couple of tweaks which have worked for me. I find malt extract / syrup does add extra flavour, so I use one tablespoon of that along with one of brown sugar, which makes up to roughly 25g. I also found that when dividing the dough, it was a little annoying that the ingredients fall just slightly short of 1200g, so I add an extra 50g of starter to make it up (which also allows for the odd bits which stick to the bowl, scales, etc). Also, we are a greedy lot in my house, so I find 8 bagels @ 150g makes for a more satisfying breakfast, plus I think it improves the texture - better balance, for me, of chewy crust and soft interior. Finally, my seeds kept falling off, so now I egg-wash before adding toppings. I find this is a very forgiving dough, and if I run out of time I often bulk ferment in the fridge and shape the bagels the next day, giving them a hour or so further proving on the counter top. I've even forgotten about the dough for a further day and found they still work fine, with only a slightly enhanced sour flavour. I find it does still help to chill for an hour or two after shaping though, to avoid too much distortion when transferring to the water.

SourdoughBeginner 2020 April 7

I've made these bagels three times in one week so far. I initially halved the recipe. This last time I kept the recipe as is, but forgot to put it in the fridge overnight. They still turned out great, with a much more sour flavor. I've shared this recipe with other newbies so soon, my whole neighborhood will be making these. Thanks Dom! 


Post Reply

Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: png gif jpg jpeg.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.