Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

Sourdough Bagels

As I write this post, my sourdough starter is sitting on the counter in the kitchen growing and getting bubbly so I can mix together the dough for these Sourdough Bagels to bake off in the morning. Heaven. This recipe comes from Emilie Raffa’s book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple (she calls them Sunday Morning Bagels in her book) and she has graciously allowed me to share her recipe with you. I have talked about this cookbook A LOT — I love it so much! If you love sourdough, want more sourdough recipes, want to get started with sourdough or are just sourdough curious ;) I cannot recommend it enough!!

This is a pretty straight-forward recipe that turns out amazing every time. The key to its success is making sure you have a robust starter that is rising and falling predictably and has lots of large and small bubble development. I have my guide for making a sourdough starter here if you need to get one going (and I highly recommend you do!!). If you have a starter going, use it once it has doubled (or more) in size with lots of bubbles. I like to use mine when it’s reached its peak and you can continue to use it even once it’s fallen a bit. 

*IF* your starter isn’t super robust, you can throw a teaspoon of store-bought yeast in with your starter and the warm water. That will give you the taste of sourdough with the added insurance of store-bought yeast making sure everything rises properly. This is something I did during my early days of sourdough baking years ago. And it works!

I am loving sourdough baking more than ever right now! It’s incredibly cathartic and relaxing and best of all, you don’t have to leave the house to have warm bagels in the morning. This is definitely a lemon-lemonade scenario.

Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple


 

SCALE

Baking bread with a scale is so helpful, this is the one I use if you’re in the market. Otherwise, the cup measurements are also listed below!

SOURDOUGH STARTER

You can check out my sourdough starter guide here or you can call a local bakery and ask if they would share some of their sourdough starter with you (most are happy too do so!) if you can’t be bothered. As mentioned above, you want a bubbly active starter that has doubled in size and has lots of large and small bubble development. 

Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

 

TOPPINGS

I love to use Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning. You can also just sprinkle your bagels with sesame seeds or even simply sea salt flakes (which is delicious). To customize your bagel:

EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING 

To make your own everything season follow this recipe.

CINNAMON RAISIN BAGELS

From Emilie: “For cinnamon raisin bagels, add 6 grams (2 teaspoons) to the dry ingredients. While the dough is resting, soak 80 grams (1/2 cup) of raisins in warm water. Drain well before kneading them into the dough to incorporate.” Do this after the dough has been mixed.

FLOUR

Flour is a bit scarce right now; this is a great resource for sourcing local flour across the US and worldwide. Bob’s Red Mill is set to be back in stock later this month (April 2020), same with King Arthur Flour. If you only have all-purpose flour (and no bread flour), you can still make them. You may need a touch more flour (added very conservatively at 1 tablespoon at a time) as the all-purpose flour won’t absorb as much moisture as the bread flour resulting in a slightly stickier dough.

Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

 

INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions below are Emilie’s from her book. I added my own notes in italics.

 

SEA SALT

I love salt. I add a full 1 tablespoon of sea salt to the dough and I think you should consider it. Just saying.

 

MIXER

You don’t have to have an electric stand mixer to make these bagels. The instructions will reference it, but you can mix and knead using those beautiful arms of yours.

HUMIDITY

A quick note about humidity… If you live in a dry climate consider covering the bowl with plastic wrap while the dough rests overnight to keep moisture in there. A damp towel, as recommended in the instructions, can dry out overnight and there is nothing more frustrating than when the top of your dough develops a scab (from lack of moisture). I hate to recommend plastic wrap, so if you can come up with another way to keep it sealed, use that and let me know in the comments below so we can help others.

Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

 

SCHEDULE

Feed your starter in the morning, mix the dough in the afternoon/evening when your starter has reached its peak and then allow the bagel dough to rest and rise overnight while you sleep. When you wake up, proceed with Step 3. This is known as living your best life.

QUESTIONS + SUBSTITUTIONS

If you have any questions regarding the technique or substitutions, please leave them in the comments below so that they can help others and I will answer as soon as possible to help you along!

Let’s bake some badass sourdough bagels, shall we?

Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple
Sourdough Bagels | DisplacedHousewife Rebecca Firth; Recipe from Emilie Raffa's book Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

Sourdough Bagels

As promised, here is that AMAZING sourdough bagel recipe from my friend Emilie Raffa!! The bagel dough is quickly thrown together the night before, rests on the counter overnight and then is baked off in the morning. SO GOOD!
4.78 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Bagels
Servings: 8 -16

Ingredients

For the Bagels

  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) active starter
  • 250 grams (1 cup plus 2 teaspoons) warm water
  • 24 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 500 grams (4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) bread flour
  • 9 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) fine sea salt (I use 1 tablespoon of sea salt in this dough)
  • 20 grams (1 tablespoon) honey

To Garnish

  • You can use everything seasoning see note above, cinnamon raisin variation (also see note above), sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt flakes…get frisky

Instructions

Make the Dough

  • In a large bowl, whisk the starter, water and sugar together with a fork. Add the flour and salt. Combine to form a rough dough, then finish mixing by hand to fully incorporate the flour. Because this dough is stiff, consider using a stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook attachment) to give your hands a break; run on low speed for 5-6 minutes to combine. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, replenish your starter with fresh flour and water. Store according to preferences. After the dough has rested, work the mass into a semi-smooth ball, about 15-20 seconds and place in a large bowl that’s lightly oiled.

Bulk Rise

  • Cover with a damp towel and let rise until double in size, about 8-10 hours at room temperature, 70F (21C). Note, this dough can also be stashed airtight in the fridge for several days until ready to bake if you can’t get to making them right away.

Shape

  • Line a sheet pan with nonstick silicon mat or parchment paper. If using parchment, lightly coat with cooking spray or oil to prevent sticking. Remove the dough onto a non-floured surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle and divide into 8 equal pieces, about 115 grams (4 ounces) each. (I divided mine into 16 pieces for more, smaller bagels). Gather the ends, flip the dough over and roll each piece into a ball. Let the dough rest on your sheet pan for 10-15 minuets to relax the gluten. Working with one ball of dough at a time, poke a hole straight through the center. Lift up the dough, insert both index fingers through the center hole and barrel roll to gently stretch the opening to about the size of a walnut. When finished, place the dough back onto your sheet pan. It’s ok if the hole shrinks slightly. Repeat shaping the remaining dough. Set on the prepared baking sheet.

Second Rise

  • Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 15-20 minutes. The dough will puff up only slightly at this stage. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the honey and whisk well to dissolve. Preheat your oven to 425F (220C). Add the seeds and/or any other toppings to a rimmed tray or shallow bowl.

Boil the Bagels

  • Add 2-3 bagels into the pot and wait for them to float to the top, about 10 seconds (some will float immediately). Cook for 30 seconds on each side for a thin crust. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bagels back to the sheet pan you used earlier, placing them rounded side up. Once slightly cool but still wet, dip the rounded side of the bagels into the seeds (or whatever topping, if using) to coat. Place back onto the sheet pan and finish boiling the rest of the bagels.

Bake!

  • Bake the bagels for about 20-25 minutes in the center of the oven. Flip them over to briefly cook the bottom side, about 1-2 minutes or less. When ready, your bagels will be puffed up and light golden brown, and they will feel light to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, but indulge yourself and eat one (or two) warm. The chewy texture of bagels is best enjoyed when made fresh. Stir tin a plastic bag at room temperature for up to 2 days. Bagels freeze well; freeze them whole or slice, covered in plastic wrap and a layer of foil, for up to 3 months.
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

 

63 Comments

  • Karen Gardner 2020/11/16 at 4:45 PM

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious! Thx!

    Reply
  • Li Lammert 2020/11/15 at 12:44 AM

    5 stars
    OMG! I’m pretty new to the sour dough baking. But I love bagels so I thought I’d give this recipe a try. And it is the BEST bagel I’ve ever had! I made the dough in the Ninja food processor with the dough attachment. Came together so well. Otherwise, I followed your recipe to the letter. Thank you for the best birthday bagel ever!

    Reply
  • Flynn 2020/08/19 at 4:26 AM

    4 stars
    I halved the recipe and it tasted wonderful, but they were a little bit too toasted in the oven so next time I’ll low the time to sixteen minutes.

    Reply
  • Stacybeth 2020/08/13 at 4:40 AM

    I live in RI and it’s been very hot and humid but our AC has been on and the humidity hovers around 50% in the house this time of year.

    Reply
  • Katrina 2020/08/03 at 1:01 PM

    I have made onion bagels before by just rolling them in dried onion flakes instead of the sesame seeds or everything seasoning. I have also combined them into the dough much like she talks about combining the raisins.

    I am NOT an expert baker (elementary teacher who just loves trying – and eating – new recipes!), but I have had great success with that!

    Reply
  • Maureen 2020/08/07 at 4:20 PM

    Did you try this? I would love to know if it works and I can make them quicker in the morning!

    Reply
  • Dallas 2020/08/08 at 12:20 PM

    5 stars
    Hi Erin, I have done that a few times with this recipe and they turn out wonderfully. I shape them the night before, put them in the fridge covered for the night, and when I pull them out in the morning give them 20-30 minutes to come up to room temp. Great time saver!

    Reply
  • Becky 2020/08/10 at 2:04 PM

    I have successfully subbed it for molasses in the boiling water. Not sure if that is Vegan though.

    Reply
  • Stacybeth 2020/08/13 at 4:38 AM

    Thank you for your reply! I just noticed it. I have actually made the bagels 3 more times (today included) and made sure to grease the bowl a little more and the dough wasn’t so dry! In fact, I felt like it was a little too wet so the dough stretched out a lot and the holes didn’t keep their shape. Added 20 more grams of flour to today’s batch which is rising overnight as I type.

    Reply
  • Stephanie R Rogers 2020/09/30 at 8:36 PM

    So I have been making these delicious bagels for the last 6 months. However, had one problem: The toppings dis not stay on and made a mess in the bag. Solution (per my husband): mix poppy seeds, sesame seeds and onion flakes in before adding the flour! It worked!

    Reply
  • Stacybeth 2020/08/13 at 4:39 AM

    5 stars
    I live in RI and it’s been very hot and humid but our AC has been on and the humidity hovers around 50% in the house this time of year.

    Reply
  • Alicia 2020/08/23 at 5:20 PM

    My guess is the added sugar in the water helps with browning once the bagels get to the oven.

    Reply
  • Rebecca Firth 2020/09/30 at 9:31 PM

    I love this idea — I’m trying it next time!! xo

    Reply
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