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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!
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Bagels
Servings: 8 -16
Author: Emilie Raffa


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


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.


  • 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 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