Back away from those bland expensive store-bought bagels! If you have a sourdough starter on hand, then you are able to make the most delicious and simple sourdough bagels ever!
I have always thought that bagels are probably too hard and complicated to make, but man was I wrong! With just a couple of ingredients and a few steps, you’ll be enjoying these in NO TIME!
Why make your own Sourdough Bagels?
First of all, store-bought bagels are expensive for what they are, flour & water… and a tiny bit of sugar. The ingredients cost is so small it’s hard to calculate… maybe like $0.25 (MAYBE) – and that’s for the whole recipe (8 bagels). Plus store-bought bagels FAIL in comparison in flavor and texture. My 5-year-old could NOT stop eating them!
Also, there is a HUGE self of accomplishment you get when you finish these beauties and serve them to your friends and family!
Sourdough Bagels, that seems HARD!
I promise, they are pretty simple and the shaping of them is so EASY! Don’t worry about making them look “perfect”; I prefer the rustic and homemade look over perfection! The dough is pretty stiff, so it does make them easier to shape too. These are so deliciously fresh and warm out of the oven, but you can batch cook them and then toast them up!
Bagels have a two-step cooking process. You need to boil the dough to set the crust so that the dough doesn’t continue to rise during baking and you get that distinct thin crust. Then you bake them to get the crust golden and crispy.
You can break up the bagel prep/ cooking over 2 days. Say you want them for Sunday morning, make the dough Saturday night and allow them to rise overnight. On Sunday morning; shape, boil & bake! This is how I do it!
Sourdough Bagels – any flavor you want!
Everything Bagels are my favorite; I am a garlic loving savory girl! So I like to shake on Trader Joes Everything Bagel Seasoning onto my Bagels. But you don’t have to do that! You can top your bagels with any seasoning you’d like or MIX-IN your favorite bagel seasoning.
For Cinnamon Raison, you’ll want to mix in 6 grams of cinnamon into the dry ingredients. Then while your dough is resting, soak 80 grams of raisons in warm water. Drain well before kneading them into your dough. Then follow the rest of the instructions.
When I come up with other flavor combos I will share here, but really the possibilities are ENDLESS. Just test some ideas you have out! Have fun!
My Bagels look funny… What did I do wrong?
Sometimes your bagels will be smooth and other times they’ll have bumps or small blisters. This really depends on how the dough was kneaded, rested, the temperature of the room, etc. Don’t stress about this, it doesn’t affect their delicious taste!
TIPS for delicious Sourdough Bagels
- Make sure your sourdough starter is super bubbly and active before using it. Try making sure you get in 2-3 feedings right before (about 8 hours apart).
- I like using a chopstick to help me flip my bagels in the water.
How to enjoy your Sourdough Bagels
- Simple toast with cream cheese is an easy answer!
- A bagel sandwich with a fried egg, herb goat cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil, and balsamic drizzle is a definite winner!
- Bagels & Lox with Smoked Salmon (Hey Grill Hey has a great recipe for smoking your own salmon!
- A simple Turkey/ Ham & Cheese sandwich is delicious too!
- In large mixing bowl mix starter, water & sugar with a fork. (I use my kitchenaid bowl so I can transfer it to my mixer)
- Add flour, then salt (keeping salt from directly toughing the starter, helps reduce chance of killing starter). Stir to form dough, it will become stiff and you will need to finish mixing by hand.
- Move to KitchenAid mixer with dough hook attached. Run on low for 5-6 minutes.
- Cover dough with damp towel and let rest 45 – 60 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, knead again by hand until you have a semi-smooth ball (about 30 seconds-1 minute).
- Place back in bowl & cover with damp towel
- Allow dough to rise at room temperature for about 8-10 hours.
- Line Sheet pan with silicone mat or parchment paper (lightly coat with cooking spray).
- Put raised dough on a non-floured surface & flatten it into a rectangle.
- Divide dough into 8 even pieces (around 4 oz each).
- Shape pieces into balls and let it rest for 10-15 minutes (this helps relax the gluten)
- Then take each ball and poke a hole through the center with your finers. Lift up the ball with one index finger in and stick your second index finger in and rotate your fingers around eachother to make the hole larger. I like to aim for the size of a walnut shell.
- Place back on lined sheet and cover with damp towel for another 10-15 min. (the hole will shrink slightly, thats ok)
- While you are waiting for the final rise, get a large pot and fill halfway with water and bring to a boil – then add the honey. Get your Everything Seasoning ready to shake. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Add 2-3 bagels to boiling water and wait for them to float. Once they begin to float, time 30 seconds, then flip them and wait another 30 seconds.
- Remove with a slotted spoon back onto lined baking sheet. Then add your next batch of bagels.
- While the second batch is simmering (while your first bagels are slightly still wet), sprinkly your Everything Bagel Seasoning onto the boiled bagels.
- Once all bagels are boiled and topped, put them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. If your oven doesn't bake evenly you might need to rotate your pans or flip your bagels.
- Bagels are cooked through if they have an internal temp of 200-203 degrees.