Easy Sourdough Bagels | No Stretch & Folds

Easy Sourdough Bagels
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Thick, moreish and with a signature chewy crust, these Easy Sourdough Bagels are utterly delicious! With an extra depth of flavour due to the sourdough tang, these are amazing served with both savoury and sweet toppings! This is an overnight recipe, but with very minimal hands-on time – you won’t even need to stretch and fold!

Bagels are a wonderful invention! First made by the Jews in Poland, bagels didn’t take long to become popular across the world. Rightly so, there’s not much that can complete with the shiny and chewy crust of a well-made bagel (well, maybe soft pretzels can).

My Best Tips for Making Perfect Sourdough Bagels:

  • Active Starter: like with any sourdough bakes, make sure you use your sourdough starter at its peak. It means that your starter should have at least doubled in volume and look airy and bubbly. Since you are adding salt and honey to the dough, you will need a good starter to help the dough rise. I tend to feed my starter for two days in a row before making the dough to make sure my yeast cultures are not hungry. More on maintaining a sourdough starter, here.
  • Use strong bread flour: for a good chewy crust, you will need all the strength of the gluten. Plain flour simply won’t make a strong enough dough.
  • Make sure you shape tight balls of dough before shaping your bagels. This ensures they rise up evenly and hold their shape better during the boiling process.
  • Use lots of flour on your surface. You really don’t want your bagels to stick to the surface before you place them in the water to poach, as they will lose their shape. Ideally, use coarser types of flour for flouring surfaces. We find semolina flour works best for us.
  • High oven temperature.
  • Minimal time between leaving the water and going into the oven.
  • They are best on day 1. Toast them the day after and freeze if you’re not planning to eat them all within 2 days. They freeze and defrost without any problems.

How We Eat Bagels?

Whether you like your bagels sweet or savoury, there are as many topping choices as your imagination allows. Here, at Somebody Feed Seb, we have them in a savoury form most of the time:

  • Have them for breakfast with poached eggs, spinach or asparagus. One of our favourite recipes for Bagels & Poached Eggs with Pistou is here.
  • My personal favourite quick & easy lunch is a toasted bagel with soft goat’s cheese, tomato and rocket with a generous sprinkling of black pepper.
  • Seb’s favourite bagel topping is cream cheese, smoked salmon and some fresh dill.
  • Simply dip it in hummus or cream cheese laced with sweet chilli sauce.
  • If you have leftover bagels that are getting stale, top them with cheese and your favourite pizza toppings, and use them as a chewy pizza base.

Step-by-Step Sourdough Bagel Recipe:

Day 1:

Feed your starter first thing in the morning (or you can feed it the night before). Once it is almost doubled in size, you can start making the dough.

Mix 300g of strong flour with 220ml of water in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer, if you’re planning to use it for kneading). Mix only enough to incorporate the ingredients into a rough dough. Cover with the tea towel and leave it to autolyse for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Once the starter is at least doubled, add it to your flour/water mixture, alongside the rest of the flour, honey and salt. You can either mix and then knead by hand or knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. You should knead for at least 10 minutes or until you reach the windowpane effect (you can stretch the dough so thin that you can see through it without it breaking). The dough should feel soft and elastic at this point.

Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm spot for 4-6 hours. It should really puff up in this time, but don’t worry if it doesn’t double. It will finish proving in the fridge.

Cover the bowl thoroughly before placing it in the fridge for 10-16 hour (or simply overnight).

Day 2:

Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and flour generously with coarse flour (ideally semolina flour). Take the dough out of the fridge and tip it onto a kitchen surface. Divide it into 6 equal parts and shape 6 tight balls. Place the balls on a floured surface and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Taking one ball at a time, use your thumbs to make the hole in the middle of the dough ball and place your bagel on a floured baking sheet. Repeat with the other five balls. Then leave in a warm spot to prove for 2-3 hours. If you live in a very dry climate, flour the top of the bagels and cover them loosely with clingfilm to prevent them from drying out and forming a crust. They will puff up, but won’t double in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C Fan. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the honey and bicarbonate of soda. Drop the bagels in the water one at a time, and make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I normally boil 2-3 at a time). Poach them for 30 seconds, then gently flip them and poach for another 30 seconds. Swiftly transfer the bagels on a cooling rack set over the sink to drain.

Place the boiled bagels back on the floured baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little egg white. Then sprinkle with seeds and coarse salt if using.

Bake them for 5 minutes at 220°C Fan, then reduce the temperature to 200°C Fan and bake for another 17-20 minutes. Cool the bagels for at least 20 minutes before slicing them in half and spreading with your favourite toppings .


Did you make these Easy Sourdough Bagels? Let us know what you thought in the comments below. If you’re ready to make something else using your Sourdough starter, have a look at our favourite recipes below:

Easy Sourdough Bagels

Easy Sourdough Bagels | Overnight Recipe

Thick, moreish and with a signature chewy crust, these Easy Sourdough Bagels are utterly delicious! With an extra depth of flavour due to the sourdough tang, these are amazing served with both savoury and sweet toppings! This is an overnight recipe, but with very minimal hands-on time – you won't even need to stretch and fold!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Fermenting, Proving & Resting: 18 hrs
Total Time 18 hrs 55 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Jewish, New York, Polish
Servings 6 bagels
Calories 301 kcal

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer With a Dough Hook Attachment (optional)

Ingredients
 
 

  • 150 g active sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 450 g strong plain flour divided to 300g and 150g
  • 220 ml water
  • 10 g salt
  • 10 g runny honey

For Boiling:

  • 2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp honey

For Topping:

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp sesame, nigella or poppy seeds or a mixture
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt optional

Instructions
 

Day 1:

  • Feed your starter first thing in the morning (or you can feed it the night before). Once it is almost doubled in size, you can start making the dough.
  • Mix 300g of strong flour with 220ml of water in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer, if you're planning to use it for kneading). Mix only enough to incorporate the ingredients into a rough dough. Cover with the tea towel and leave it to autolyse for 30 minutues to 1 hour.
  • Once the starter is at least doubled, add it to your flour/water mixture, alongside the rest of the flour, honey and salt. You can either mix and then knead by hand or knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. You should knead for at least 10 minutes or until you reach the windowpane effect (you can stretch the dough so thin that you can see through it without it breaking). The dough should feel soft and elastic at this point.
  • Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm spot for 4-6 hours. It should really puff up in this time, but don't worry if doesn't double. It will finish proving in the fridge.
  • Cover the bowl thoroughtly before placing it in the fridge for 10-16 hour (or simply overnight).

Day 2:

  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and flour generously with coarse flour (ideally semolina flour). Take the dough out of the fridge and tip it onto a kitchen surface. Divide it into 6 equal parts and shape 6 tight balls. Place the balls on a floured surface and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Taking one ball at a time, use your thumbs to make the hole in the middle of the dough ball and place your bagel on a floured baking sheet. Repeat with the other five balls. Then leave in a warm spot to prove for 2-3 hours. If you live in a very dry climate, flour the top of the bagels and cover loosely with clingfilm to prevent them from drying out an forming a crust. They will puff up, but won't double in size.
  • Preheat the ven to 220°C Fan. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the honey and bicarbonate of soda. Drop the bagels in the water one at a time, and make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I normally boil 2-3 at a time). Poach them for 30 seconds, then gently flip them and poach for another 30 seconds. Swiftly transfer the bagels on a cooling rack set over the sink to drain.
  • Place the boiled bagels back on the floured baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little egg white. Then sprinkle with seeds and coarse salt if using.
  • Bake them for 5 minutes at 220°C Fan, the reduce the temperature to 200°C Fan and bake for another 17-20 minutes. Cool the bagels for at least 20 minutes before slicing in half and topping with your favourite foods.

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 10gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2140mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
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