Crisp, chewy, and fluffy New York style sourdough bagels will take your everyday bagel up a notch or two.
New York Style Sourdough Bagels
We’re carrying on this week with our love of all things sourdough. And, if you adore sourdough (or bagels, for that matter) as much as we do, you need this recipe in your life.
Like most naturally leavened breads, sourdough bagels take more time to make, but are 100% worth the effort. They are crisp on the outside, chewy and fluffy on the inside, and full of flavour. Combined with roasted garlic labneh, these sourdough bagels will impress any bagel and cream cheese lover, we promise!
How to make New York style sourdough bagels
The most important ingredient for this recipe is an active sourdough starter. Starter (wild yeast) replaces traditional dry yeast for this recipe and, when combined with a long proofing time, adds boatloads of flavour to your traditional bagel.
If you don’t have a starter or are new to the process, be sure to visit this post to learn all about making and keeping your very own sourdough starter. Other than having an active starter, there are only 4 other ingredients you’ll need to make these sourdough bagels at home (not including your toppings):
- Unbleached Bread or All-Purpose Flour
- Cold Water
- Fine Salt
- Malt or Maple Syrup
Like any New York style bagel, this recipe involves poaching the bagel dough before baking – poaching gives these bagels their chewy texture and super soft crust. We share exactly how to do this in the recipe card below.
How much longer do sourdough bagels take to make?
Standard bagel recipes typically take roughly 3 hours to make from start to finish. However, if you want to make this sourdough variation, you’ll need to give yourself a generous 26 hours. The key with any sourdough is a long proofing time (12-24 hours); this allows the dough to ferment slowly and develop that classic sourdough flavour.
Shaping Sourdough Bagel Dough
There are several different ways to shape bagel dough, however, this simple 3-step method is our favourite:
- Flatten a small ball of bagel dough into a disc and use your fingertips to roll it into an 8″ log shape.
- Wrap the log around your three middle fingers and bring the ends together to overlap by about 2″. The seam should be on the inside of your palm.
- Using the palm of your hand, gently roll the seam side on a clean work surface until the ends are joined together.
Consider your bagels shaped!
Labneh – and why you want it on your sourdough bagel
If you’re looking for something new, or a slightly healthier spread for your bagel, we highly recommend giving homemade labneh a try! Made with tangy plain yogurt, combined with New York style sourdough bagels, labneh will set you on the path to flavour country!
Like any cream cheese, you can add fresh herbs, honey, or roasted garlic (our favourite) to personalize your labneh. We have a great recipe for roasted garlic labneh, however, if that’s not your thing, we also have a recipe for sumac labneh. Feel free to experiment with your favorite flavours!
If you made our New York style sourdough bagels, we’d love to hear all about it! Tag us on instagram at @baked_theblog and #bakedtheblog. We’d also love to hear from you in the comments below.
Looking for more recipes like this one?
If you love bagels or sourdough bread, why not check out some of our other recipes in these categories:
New York Style Sourdough Bagels
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Tea towel
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Large pot
- Wire rack
- 1 cup active sourdough starter
- 1 ¼ cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons barley malt syrup, or maple syrup
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fine salt
- Flour, or semolina for proofing
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer* fitted with a paddle attachment, mix your bubbly, active starter with the water and maple syrup until well-combined. Alternatively, mix in a standard large bowl with a fork or whisk.
- Add in the flour and salt and transition to a dough hook. Knead on medium until the dough is smooth and somewhat pliable, about 6-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead the dough by hand on a countertop until smooth and pliable.
- Shape into a ball (return to bowl, if applicable) and cover bowl with a towel. Rest 20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces for large bagels or 10 equal pieces for smaller ones. Shape each piece into a small ball by tucking the corners underneath, cupping the dough, and rolling it in a circular fashion on a clean, flour-free countertop. This helps to create surface tension and a skin on the ball.
- Cover dough balls and rest another 15 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with flour or semolina. Note: If you make 10 bagels, you will need to use 2 baking sheets.
Shape The Bagels (Two Options)
- Flatten the ball of dough into a disc and use your fingertips to roll into a log about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
- Wrap the log around your three middle fingers with the ends overlapping by 2 inches (5 cm) on the inside of your hand.
- Roll gently, palm down, until the ends are joined together. This will create a larger hole in the centre of the bagel.
- Poke a hole with your finger directly through the centre of the dough ball.
- Insert both index fingers into the hole and roll fingers around each other to stretch out the centre (like a barrel roll) until it’s about the size of a walnut. This will create a smaller bagel hole, but is much faster and more efficient to do.
- Place on the lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the bagels. This is a fun step to do with kids 3 years old or older.
- Cover the shaped bagels with a towel, let them proof at room temperature for 2.5 to 4.5 hours, or until puffy. This could take more time, depending on the temperature in your house.
- Take a test bagel and place it in cold water. If it floats, they’re done proofing. Dry the test bagel off and return to the baking sheet. If it sinks, it still needs to proof longer.
- Once proofed, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Place toppings on flat plates, so they are ready to go.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the baking soda and brown sugar.
- Remove the bagels from the fridge and gently place them, a couple at a time, into the water.
- Boil for 15 to 20 seconds on each side.
- Remove boiled bagels with a slotted spoon to get rid of most of the water.
- Shake off excess water and immediately dip the top of bagel into desired toppings.
- Set back on the baking sheet.
- Repeat this process with the remaining bagels.
- Place the baking sheet into the center of the oven and turn it down to 400°F (200°C).
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden on top.
- Cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.