Sourdough Bagel Recipe: Simple Steps to a Healthier Bread

Published Categorized as Sourdough Bread Recipes

Sourdough bagels have a slightly irregular crumb with a wonderful crumbly texture that is simply to die for. Once you taste a sourdough bagel you’ll never turn back! And if you can’t wait to get your hands on this recipe, then head on down for some simple steps to a healthier bread!

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Sourdough bagel recipe: simple steps to a healthier bread

What are Sourdough Bagels?

Sourdough bagels are a healthier and flavorful alternative to regular bagels. Made using an active sourdough starter, these bagels can be devoured unabashedly once you know that they’ll be making your gut very happy.

Essentially, the sourdough starter is the key element in creating a healthier version of the New York-style bagel. The recipe is the same, however, you’ll need to ensure that your sourdough starter is ready for the process, otherwise, your bagel may emerge flat, and a little dense.

Are Bagels Bad for You?

Generally, bagels are a lot higher in calories.

However these simple sourdough bagels are made with healthy fermented ingredients, that’ll delight your taste buds, and certainly satiate your gut.

How to Make Homemade Sourdough Bagels

Like sourdough bread, these homemade bagels require a well fed and active sourdough starter. The starter is what will provide your chewy bagels with an irresistible sour flavor, especially when complemented with your desired toppings.

Did you know that you could use your sourdough discard to create a variety of fun recipes for you to enjoy? What’s more, we happen to have a delicious sourdough discard bagel recipe for you to try!

Here’s how to make a healthier version of your favorite baked bagels.

Sourdough bagel recipes


  • 150g bubbly and active sourdough starter
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 500g bread flour
  • 9g fine sea salt
  • 20g honey
  • Cooking spray

Topping Ideas:

Top your bagels with anything you wish, from everything bagel seasoning to your favorite cream cheese! Here are some bagel topping ideas for you to consider:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dried onion
  • Dried garlic flakes
  • Poppy seeds
  • Cinnamon sugar


  • Make the Dough: In a large bowl add your sourdough starter, water, sugar, flour and salt. Mix these ingredients till a stiff dough has formed.
  • Cover and allow the dough to rest for one hour. Then return to the bowl and shape the dough into a smooth ball
  • Gradually add the remaining two cups of flour, then use a dough hook or your hands to knead the dough until it achieves a smooth consistency.
  • Bulk Rise: Cover the dough with a wet towel or plastic wrap to rise overnight. Ensure that your towel is wet, as your dough can form hard skin on its surface.
  • Shaping Sourdough Bagel Dough: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, remembering to spray the parchment with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
  • Transfer the dough onto a non-floured work surface, then flatten the dough into a rectangle, and divide the bagel dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then let the dough rest on your parchment-lined sheet pan, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Taking one ball at a time, poke a hole into the middle of the dough, gently press and rotate your finger to gently stretch the dough until the hole has stretched to the size of a walnut.
  • Second Rise: Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. The shaped bagels will puff up slightly at this stage.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add honey and mix well till dissolved. Then preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and add your choice of seeds to a shallow bowl.
  • Boil the Bagels: Using a slotted spoon, gently lower 2 to 3 bagels into the pot of gurgling water, allowing them to simmer for 30 seconds on either side. Once your bagels are boiled remove and allow the bagels to cool down, before dipping them into the shallow bowl containing your seeds.
  • Bake the Bagels: Place your baking sheet on the centre rack, then bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them halfway, so they cook evenly. Once they’re ready, your bagels should puff up, and transform to a lovely golden brown shade. Transfer to a wire rack to cool down.
  • The chewy texture of these cooked bagels is best enjoyed when fresh and cooled.

Sourdough Bagel Serving Ideas

Sourdough bagels can be enjoyed as they are, or complete with a few flavorful elements encased between them.

Take a look at some of these yummy ideas:

  • Slice your seeded bagel in half, and spread a glob of butter on both slices, then add a fried egg, sliced sausage, cheese and lettuce for a delicious breakfast meal.
  • Spread cream cheese on your bagel, along with sliced tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado, then finish with a light sprinkle of salt.
  • Shredded cheese coupled with shredded chicken, and lettuce makes the perfect bagel chicken sandwich. You can even add a spoonful of mayo to the mix if you wish!
Easy sourdough bagel recipe

How to Store Sourdough Bagels?

Sourdough bagels are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven (providing they have been given time to cool down) before they start to become rubbery.

But if you do happen to encounter a few leftover slices, then simply store these brilliant bagels in a plastic bag at room temperature for up to two days.

If you don’t fancy eating bagels over the next couple of days then it’s time to freeze them. You can freeze these bagels whole or sliced. Cover them in a plastic wrap, then wrap them in a layer of foil, and freeze for up to three months.

Sourdough Bagel Flavors

When making sourdough bagels you may choose to follow a simple bagel recipe and while that can be incredibly delicious, have your tried experimenting with other flavors? Incorporate a variety of flavors to the dough, to create an appetizing masterpiece.

Some of these flavors can include:

  • Blueberry: Chop some dried blueberries into tiny pieces, then add them to the dough, 2 minutes before you’re about to finish kneading the bagel dough.
  • Chocolate Chips: Chocolate is a common favorite amongst many. So why not add chocolate chips to this wonderful bagel mix?
  • Cinnamon Raisin: Mix 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder into the flour. Gradually add raisins, during the last moments of kneading. It’s important to note that cinnamon slows down the yeasts activity, meaning that the dough’s rising time may be slightly longer than normal, with cinnamon in the bagel dough.

More Sourdough Recipes

On the hunt for more sourdough recipes? Take a look at some of the delicious options below:

Sourdough Coffee Cake

This delectable sourdough coffee cake has a beautiful strip of cinnamon sugar nestled between layers of spongy vanilla cake. Topped with crunchy pecan crumble that provides a wonderful texture with every bite.

Why not try this homemade coffee cake for breakfast, coupled with a cup of coffee?


Crumble Topping

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Sourdough Coffee Cake Batter

  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 ½ cups flour
Brown coffee beans


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, meanwhile grease a 9-inch baking dish with coconut oil or butter.
  2. Cinnamon Filling: In a small bowl, stir flour, sugar, and cinnamon then set aside.
  3. Crumble Topping: Melt the butter in a bowl, and stir brown sugar and cinnamon till you’re left with a smooth mixture. Add the flour and pecans then stir once again, until the mixture has formed a wonderful clumpy mess. Set this aside.
  4. Cake Batter: In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix coconut oil, brown sugar and regular sugar. Add egg, vanilla extract, sourdough starter, water and milk to this mixture, stirring till the ingredients have combined.
  5. Evenly spread, half of the cake mixture into the baking dish.
  6. Spread the cinnamon filling over the cake batter evenly. Then spread the remaining cake batter over the cinnamon filling. Sprinkle the pecan crumble topping, and bake for 45 minutes.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you’re in possession of a thriving sourdough starter, there’s so much you can do with it! Apart from baking loaf after loaf of sourdough bread, why not create a fun snack for everyone to enjoy! And who doesn’t love cookies? Sourdough cookies are just like your regular cookie, but with a welcoming sourdough taste to them, that will most certainly have you coming back for more in no time!

Sourdough chocolate chip cookies


  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup unfed starter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups large chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, and both sugars.
  2. Add the egg into this mixture, stirring until well combined.
  3. Next stir in the starter and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Then add the chocolate chips and pop the dough into the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or overnight.
  6. Once you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and preheat your oven to 350 degrees, meanwhile your cookie dough should reach room temperature.
  7. Drop 2 tablespoons full of cookie dough on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes for a chewier textured cookie.

Sourdough Cranberry Bread

Calling all bread lovers, to have a go at this wonderful sourdough cranberry bread recipe. It’s moist, flavorful and undeniably gorgeous, the perfect breakfast meal for you and your family to enjoy.


  • 650g warm water
  • 200g active starter
  • 80g honey
  • 60g olive oil
  • 25g salt
  • 1kg bread flour
  • 10g malt powder
  • 250g chopped dried cranberries


  1. Pour 650g of water into a large bowl, then add your starter to the water, and whisk together.
  2. Add honey, oil, salt, bread flour, malt powder and dried cranberries, then whisk until you’re left with a shaggy dough.
  3. Cover and place the bowl on the kitchen counter to proof for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Uncover the dough, and perform 3 sets of stretches and folds.
  5. Then cover the dough and let it proof for 4 to 12 hours in a warm place.
  6. Transfer the sticky dough onto a floured surface, and divide the dough into 2 equal portions.
  7. Press these dough portions into a rectangle shape, then fold the edges towards the center and roll the dough into a log shape. Place the dough onto a non-floured surface, and tighten the shape of the dough by pressing the dough against the counter, and pulling it towards you. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.
  8. Place the shaped dough into two greased loaf pans. Cover and let the dough rise for 2 to 6 hours (the dough should be an inch over the top of the loaf pan).
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Once they’re done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes. Brush the tops with butter, and then transfer the loaves to a cooling rack.
  10. Once they have cooled down completely, slice the gorgeous cranberry bread with a serrated knife.
Sourdough cranberry recipe

Sourdough Bagels

For a delectable breakfast sandwich that ticks all the boxes, try these homemade sourdough bagels, and you won’t be disappointed!

Sourdough Bagel Recipe FAQs

Is Sourdough Bagel Healthy?

Sourdough bagels are a healthier alternative to regular white bagels, simply because of the naturally fermented ingredients that make it more digestible and nutritious.

Can You Freeze Sourdough Bagel Dough?

You can freeze sourdough bagel dough. Wrap the dough tightly in a plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Once your bagel dough has thawed, punch the dough down to release air bubbles before proceeding with the bagel recipe.

Why are My Sourdough Bagels Flat?

Bagels tend to deflate when over proofed or boiled for longer than necessary. To fix this, try to find a warm spot for your ba
gel dough to rise.

By Natasha Krajnc

Hi! My name is Natasha and I'm specialized in home sourdough bread baking and currently based in Slovakia - a very small country in Central Europe. My bread baking story began in 2011 when I decided to give up commercial yeast. I felt tired all the time (especially after eating bread and other foods made with yeast), I wasn’t motivated to do anything, had trouble concentrating throughout the day, my abdomen was bloated and I was like a trumpet on steroids – basically, I was quite a wreck. I was a big bread lover (and still am) and having to stop eating bread was quite hard at that time but I felt I was on a right way to give my body a chance to heal itself.

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