The Best Sourdough Discard Bagels Recipe Ever!

Published Categorized as Sourdough Discard Recipes

These delicious sourdough discard bagels are both fluffy and brimming with unique flavor. A great ways to make use of your sourdough discard. Stay put for the recipe!

Sourdough discard bagels

Table of Contents

What are Sourdough Discard Bagels?

Discard bagels are bagels that are made using an unfed and inactive sourdough starter. It’s a tiny portion of sourdough starter that is discarded and placed in a jar, then refrigerated for future recipes.

Related Read: Sourdough Starter Container: Finding the Perfect Jar

How to Make Sourdough Discard Bagel Recipe

Create these impeccable homemade bagels, and top them with some cream cheese, and your favorite bagel seasoning. How about a bagel sandwich with some butter, turkey bacon and shredded cheese? Or perhaps a fresh batch of cinnamon raisin bagels are your cup of tea.

Here’s how to make plain bagels:

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Stand Mixer – This isn’t a necessity but makes the process much easier
  • Large Bowl – Glass or ceramic work best for sourdough bakes, as metal can kill off yeast
  • Baking Sheet – Use a stainless steel baking sheet instead of aluminum
  • Parchment Paper – To cover the baking sheets
  • Large Dutch Oven – Or heavy bottomed pot
  • Slotted Spoon – To scoop out the bagels after boiling


  • Pinch of instant yeast – If you wish to make these bagels on the same day, then you’ll have to use an active sourdough starter or yeast
  • 100g sourdough discard – This is an unfed sourdough starter. You can use the active sourdough starter for this bagel recipe by excluding yeast and feeding the starter several hours before you make the dough
  • 30g coconut sugar – You’ll need this for the dough, and water for boiling the bagels
  • 10g sea salt – Using high-quality sea salt is best for this recipe
  • 500g flour – All purpose flour, or bread flour work great
  • 1 tbsp baking soda – This will be added to the water, and ensures the bagels achieve a classic sheen
  • Seasonings – Add whatever seasoning you like including: jalapeno cheddar, everything bagel seasoning, zaatar seasoning, sesame seeds, cheese, salt, dehydrated onions, or poppy seeds.


  1. Whisk warm water and instant yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add sourdough discard, coconut sugar, and coconut oil to the stand mixer, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour and knead using the dough hook attachment for 2 minutes, until well combined.
  4. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Add more flour and salt, then knead for 5 to 10 minutes on low speed.
  6. Transfer the sourdough bagel dough to a greased bowl and let this sit for 1-2 hours until doubled.
  7. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, flip the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide the bagel dough into 8 to 10 pieces.
  8. Take each piece of dough and shape it into balls by gathering the sides and pinching them together in the center. Turn the dough over so that the seam side is down on the kitchen counter, and gently form a smooth ball. This shape will help the dough develop a good gluten structure.
  9. Use your thumb to poke a hole in the middle of your dough balls and rotate the dough around your thumb, while smoothing and shaping the ring. The hole needs to be bigger than you think, as the dough will shrink when performing its second rise.
  10. Place the bagels on the parchment lined baking sheet, spaced apart, then cover with a tea towel and let it rise while you prepare the water.
  11. Boil a large pot of water and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  12. Once the water is boiling, add baking soda and coconut sugar.
  13. Drop the bagels into boiling water and boil the bagels for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  14. Remove the boiled bagels and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet, and sprinkle your choice of toppings over the top.
  15. Once the bagels have been boiled and seasoned, bake for 20 minutes until they’re golden brown.
  16. Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool before serving the delicious bagels.

Tips for Sourdough Bagels

To ensure you achieve the perfect bagel texture, take note of these tips:

  • Make the holes of the bagels bigger when shaping your dough, as the hold will shrink once they start to puff up. If the holds aren’t big enough they will completely disappear.
  • The boiling method, helps the outside of the bagels cook enough to ensure the bagels can hold their shape when baking. It also helps the toppings stick better. Moreover, it gives the bagel a shiny, crisp coating making them appear incredibly gorgeous.
  • Don’t skip baking soda and sugar in the boiling water, as this is used to increase the surface gelatinization, by breaking down some of the starts in the dough, also providing them with a unique pretzel-like flavor.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before adding salt. If you don’t the salt will kill the yeast before it has been given the chance to become active.

What to Serve With Sourdough Discard Bagels

There are many ways to serve and enjoy these delicious sourdough discard bagels, some of these include:

  • Deli Sandwich – You can create many varieties of a bagel sandwiches. Just slice your bagel in half and place your favorite sandwich toppings on one half, place the other half on top, and eat it like a sandwich!
  • Breakfast Sandwich – To make your bagel into a breakfast sandwich, place eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and anything else you fancy, on your bagel to make this delightful bagel breakfast sandwich.
  • Classic – Bagels topped with cream cheese, or butter and cheese, is incredibly delicious.
  • Simple – Sourdough discard bagel with butter spread over them is especially delicious when you have additional toppings such as, cheddar cheese, or bagel seasoning.
  • Sweet – Perhaps you have a sweet tooth, and prefer to top your bagels with something sweet like cinnamon sugar, jam, or sliced fruit.
  • Avocado Toast – Instead of using regular bread to make avocado, why not try these delicious bagels!
  • Smoked Salmon – Smoked salmon, coupled with cream cheese in a bagel makes another great sandwich option!
  • Tuna Salad – Create a divine tuna salad, using canned tuna, and sweetcorn if you wish, combined with mayonnaise, and spread over your bagels for a delicious snack.
Sourdough bagel

You HAVE to Try Sourdough Bagels!

These sourdough discard bagels make a simple bagel taste incredible. With a unique sourdough twang to keep your breakfast bagels interesting, top these chewy bagels with your favorite cheeses or seasonings for a fun snack.


Is Sourdough Discard Healthy?

While sourdough bread is incredibly nutritious, it is not as nutritious as a true sourdough bread, which has many health benefits including: lower glycemic index, keeps your blood sugar at a stable level, and keeps you fuller for longer.

What Happens if You Bake Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard is a combination of flour and water, which are the key components required for baked goods. The discard is not active enough to make the bread rise, but it does have lots of other uses, and baking powder can be added if necessary.

Why are My Sourdough Bagels Flat?

Bagels flatten when they’re over proofed, and boiled for longer than needed.

Does Sourdough Discard Spoil?

At room temperature, sourdough discard should last about 1 to 2 days, anything beyond that will cause the discard to become more acidic. In the fridge it will remain good for over a week, and in the freezer it will last indefinitely.

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.

1 comment

  1. Hello,
    I would love to give these bagels a try but I’m not seeing the quantities for the ingredients.
    Thank you

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