Sourdough Bagels

The taste, texture and flavor of fresh-baked bagels are above and beyond anything that comes in a plastic sleeve. Using sourdough elevates these further to another level. 

Before I attempted them, I was extremely intimidated by making bagels from scratch. Once I tried, I found these to be really easy to make even with its unique shape and the extra step of boiling in a water bath. 

The secret to their chewy, shiny crust is the use of baked baking soda. Many professional bakeries use lye, however, since I don’t usually stock lye in my kitchen, I opted for baked baking soda which creates a basic solution that mimics the same effect. I provide instructions for creating baked baking soda at the end of this recipe.

I’ve found that waiting to bake the dough until it passes the float test delivers the best results and imparts these bagels with the perfect chewy texture. 

I use a combination of flours from Central Milling in this bake. Central Milling Organic Hard White Whole Wheat adds a sweet, nutty flavor, while high protein Central Milling Organic High Mountain gives these bagels their characteristic structure, and Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft helps impart a softness to the crumb. 

This introduction is shorter than my usual, because these bagels are seriously easy! I hope you make these and if you do, please tag @makeitdough on Instagram so I can see all of your wonderful bakes.


Bagel Dough

QuantityIngredientsBaker’s %
200 gramsBread Flour 11.5% Protein (Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft)45%
150 grams High Protein Bread Flour 13.5% Protein (Central Milling Organic High Mountain)33%
100 gramsWhole Wheat Flour (Central Milling Organic Hard White Whole Wheat)22%
100 grams Active Sourdough Starter22%
290 gramsWarm Water (78 F to 85 F)64%
10 gramsKosher Salt2%
15 gramsHoney or Brown Sugar3%

Water Bath

15 gramsHoney
10 gramsBaked Baking Soda


15 gramsSesame Seeds
5 gramsPoppy Seeds
5 gramsRock Salt


Day One 

Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large bowl and knead vigorously for 10 minutes. Place dough into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest for 1 hour. 

After the rest period, knead dough again for 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to proof for 3 to 4 hours or until it has doubled in volume. Place the dough in the refrigerator for an overnight rest. 

Day Two

Divide dough into 8 equal portions (about 100 grams). Shape each piece into a tight ball, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes covered. Dust an 18 by 13 inch baking sheet liberally with cornmeal.

Flatten each piece and roll tightly into a cylinder. Roll dough into a rope about 6 to 8 inches long, slightly twist dough, coil around your hand, squeeze the dough in your palm and roll the dough back and forth to seal the ends together. Place shaped dough on the prepared baking sheet. 

Allow the dough to proof uncovered for 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Proofing the dough uncovered will help your bagels develop a smooth and chewy crust. 

Once your dough looks noticeably puffy, test whether your bagels are ready by filling a bowl with water. Place one of the bagels in the bowl, if it floats your bagels are ready to bake. 

Preheat your oven to 425 F (218 C). Once your oven has reached the optimum temperature move on to the next step.  

Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil, once your water starts to boil, add baked baking soda and honey. Cook bagels 3 at a time, for 30 seconds on each side. Place boiled bagels on a wire rack to drain. 

Mix topping ingredients and spread out on a plate. Coat the top of the bagels with toppings. Place the bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake bagels for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are evenly browned. 

Move to a wire rack and allow bagels to cool slightly. There’s nothing like a freshly baked bagel but these taste just as great toasted and slathered with cream cheese!

Baked Baking Soda

Spread 60 grams of baking soda on a baking sheet and bake in a 275 F (135 C) oven for 1 hour. Allow baking soda to cool and store in an airtight container until ready to use. 

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Remember to post a photo and tag me @makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Polly Ferguson says:

    “Cook” (Boil) the bagels for 30 minutes? Just checking, because usually the bagels are boiled for about 30 seconds on each side.

    1. This was a typo and has been edited within the recipe

  2. Nora says:

    Is the time correct for boiling the bagels….. 30 minutes per side?

    1. This was a typo and has been edited

  3. Monique says:

    Is there a ‘print’ button for your fabulous recipes?

  4. Pingback: bahis siteleri

Leave a Reply