Okay, so this recipe isn’t really my own making as I followed this one over at the Fresh Loaf exactly, but as a pretty amateur bread-baker a lot of the stuff on that post is over my head, so I thought I’d summarize it here with my pictures. For more details, you should go read that post, but I’m going to give you the jist of it here.

The first thing I should mention, is that when making bread apparently measuring everything by weight is the way to go, which is why the ingredients are listed in grams first below. This works fine for me when I’m at my parents’ house as they have a kitchen scale, but I’ve included not quite so accurate cup measurements for those lacking in the scale department. Again, for info on how to get a starter going, try here or read my my last post. Also, the recipe calls for some instant dry yeast in addition to starter, which I just omitted in the place of slightly more starter.

Sourdough Bagels

Make your own sourdough bagels with the toppings of your choice.


  • 350 grams 12 oz, slightly heaping 1.5 cups 90% hydration white flour starter
  • 20 grams 0.6 oz, 3.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 12 grams 0.4 oz, 2.5 teaspoons malt syrup
  • 14 grams 0.6 oz, 3.5 teaspoons salt
  • 359 grams 12.5 oz, 1.5 cups water
  • 186 grams 6.5 oz, heaping 3/4 cup whole grain flour - maybe rye, whole wheat, Heartland Mills Golden Buffalo, or just use white flour
  • 587 grams 20.5 oz, 2.5 cups high gluten flour (substitute bread flour or other high protein white flour)
  • parchment paper
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • cornmeal
  • toppings of choice salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, etc.


  • Put all ingredients in a bowl from the starter to the gluten flour and mix/knead them up until everything is of uniform consistency. The dough should be dryish, but not falling apart dry. You want it to hold together well, but it shouldn't be that super sticky kind of moist.
  • When everything is combined well, cut little bagel sized pieces about 3 oz (6 tbsp) each. The goal is to get about 18 bagels out of the recipe, so keep that in mind. The way I shaped the bagels was to cut off a piece, roll it into a ball, stick my finger into the middle to make a whole and then spin it around my finger like it was a hula hoop. Once the hole is big enough I evened out the edges so there weren't some really skinny areas and some really thick ones.
  • Roll out some parchment paper on a baking tray and lay the bagels down as you shape them. To make sure they don't dry out and form a "skin" spray them every couple minutes with water and/or cover with plastic wrap as you shape.
  • Once they're all shaped, leave in the refrigerator overnight covered well with plastic wrap so they don't dry out.
  • The next morning, take out one batch of the bagels to thaw/rise a bit while you get the next step going, about 30 minutes. Get a big pot of water boiling (recipe says 5 quarts, I used smaller and did the bagels one at a time) and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to it, less if you use a smaller pot. Prepare your toppings by laying them out on plates to dip your bagels in.
  • Preheat your oven (and baking stone if you have one) to 400F.
  • Once the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon to put one of the bagels in for 20 seconds. It should float to the top, so if it doesn't you may want to leave the bagels out to rise for a bit longer. I left mine out for almost an hour and they still all sunk, so who knows. Mine still tasted great once they were done, thus I'll gander this isn't super important unless your enough of a bagel connoisseur to tell the difference?
  • One by one, give each bagel it's 20 second bath in boiling water. Remove and place back on the parchment paper to dry off enough that they won't flood your toppings, about a minute or two after boiling. You might want to boil half, put the toppings on those and then do the others.
  • When the first batch are dressed with their toppings, take out your baking stone and sprinkle generously with cornmeal to prevent sticking. If you don't have a stone, you can just use parchment paper on a baking tray.
  • Bake the bagels for 20 minutes. Not all my bagels fit on my stone/oven at once, so I had to do two batches. If you're in the same boat, take out your second batch of bagels from the refrigerator to thaw as soon as you put the first batch in the oven.
  • Once the first is done, repeat the above steps until everything's all cooked and yummy.
Here’s some shaped bagels: