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+ servings
bagels on white napkin with more bagels around, one cut open beside, with a knife and cream cheese beside, a cup of coffee, and flowers around

Sourdough Bagels

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Proofing Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 57 minutes
Author: Traci
Soft, chewy, with just the right amount of flavor. These Sourdough Bagels are truly the perfect bagel to make any time of year. Ready in just under 4 hours, they're super simple and SO delicious.



  • 1 ¼ cups sourdough starter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups water, lukewarm
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons barley malt syrup
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • 4 quarts water
  • ½ cup barley malt syrup



  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine starter and water.
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Add malt.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Switch to dough hook.
  • Add flour and salt.
  • Mix on low speed until ingredients are combined, about 1 minute.
  • Increase speed to medium.
  • Knead until dough is smooth, about 8 minutes.
  • Turn dough into a clean bowl.
  • Proof at warm room temperature (78° F) until increased by 25%, about 2 hours. (If not using a proofing box with a humidity tray, cover your bowl with plastic wrap.)
  • Turn dough out onto unfloured surface.
  • Divide into 4 ounce pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a ball.
  • Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  • While dough is resting, line 2 sheet pans with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Beginning with the first piece of dough you formed into a ball, use a floured thumb to push through the center of the dough ball.
  • Insert other thumb and work around.
  • As the center circle increases, use your index fingers to twirl it around until you have a large (3 inch) center hole.
  • Place on prepared sheet pan - 6 on one, 5 on the other.
  • Cover pans with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Allow to proof until increased by 25%, about 1 hour.


  • Heat oven to 475 degrees.
  • Place a cooling rack over the top of a sheet pan. Set near stove.
  • Combine water and malt syrup in a 9 quart dutch oven.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Place bagels, 2 at a time, into boiling water.
  • Cook one minute on each side.
  • Use a slotted spoon or spider to drain bagels and place on rack.
  • Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Place boiled bagels on sheet pans.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown.


  • If you would like a more pronounced sourdough flavor, immediately after forming the bagels and covering them, place them in refrigerator overnight! Allow the dough an extra 30-45 minutes to proof after removing it from the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerating (also known as retarding) the dough overnight will give the bagels a bubbly appearance when baked.
  • Unsure if your bagels are properly proofed? No worries! Use water test to check if bagels are ready. Place one bagel in a bowl of water. If it floats, they are ready to cook. If it sinks, they need to proof longer.
  • To easily remove bagels from parchment paper, use scissors to cut the parchment paper between bagels. Lift the square, tip the bagel into the boiling water, and peel the parchment off. Super simple!
  • Be sure to use a slotted spoon or spider strainer when boiling the bagels.


Serving: 1bagel | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg