Easy Small-batch Sourdough Bagels

Do you love bagels? Are you newer to the world of sourdough? Do you not want to make a huge batch of bagels because you don’t have a bunch of mouths to feed? Or maybe this is your first time making sourdough bagels and a batch of 12-16 seems intimidating?

All these questions are reasons why I created this recipe! When I was looking for bagel recipes, there were so many that made 12-16 bagels, which Jake and I felt was too much for just us. Although, bagels can be frozen for later, they taste best fresh!

I think the most intimidating part about making bagels for the first time is shaping them. I tried 3 different methods and I felt the easiest was forming dough ball, flattening it, and poking a hole though it with my finger. Once, my finger was through the dough and touching the counter, I began making little circular movements (spinning the dough). This will slowly form a hole in the center of the dough. You can also spin the dough around your finger in the air if you’re feeling confident! There are plenty of Youtube videos too.

Easy Small-batch Sourdough Bagels

  • Servings: 6 Bagels
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


Note: You will need an active sourdough starter.

  • 120 g active sourdough starter
  • 125 g cold water (bottled preferred)
  • 300 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 g whole wheat flour
  • 4 g salt
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • Molasses and baking soda (for boiling the bagels)

  • Directions

    1. Prepare Starter: Make sure you use an active starter or levain. Make sure your starter has been fed within the last 12 hours and is stored between a temperature of 70-80F.
    2. Make the dough: Add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Use a dough hook attachment on a standing mixer to mix the ingredients to form a ball of dough (This will take 5-6 minutes). If the dough is too tough, feel free to add more water, 1 Tbsp at a time (do not add too much water because the dough is meant to be a little stiff). Take the dough out of the bowl and continue to knead the dough by hand for 2-4 more minutes, this helps strengthen the dough.
    3. Dough Rise/Shaping the Bagels: Coat a large bowl with oil and place the dough ball in it cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature (70-80F) for 6 hours to rise. After 6 hours, place the risen dough on a floured surface. Lightly flatten the dough out to form a rectangle (try your best to not deflate the dough). Divide into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and lightly flatten the ball. Poke a small hole, with your finger, in the middle of the dough ball and begin spinning the dough around your finger to form a small hole. You can do this by keeping your finger on the counter or spinning the dough around your finger in the air. Repeat this for each ball. Place the bagels on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 4-6 more hours. Then, place in the fridge for 12-24 more hours.
    4. Boil and Bake the Bagels: Take the bagels out of the fridge the next day and them let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 425F. Bring a pot of water with 1 Tbsp of Molasses and 1 tsp baking soda to a boil. Place one bagel in the pot and boil on each side for 30 seconds. Place back on the baking sheet and top with your favorite seasoning (I love Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning). Repeat this for each bagel. Once all the bagels have been boiled and seasoned. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

    Can I add active dry yeast to my dough?

    Yes, of course, but its not needed. I did not, because I wanted to keep this recipe simple, plus I know many people cannot find yeast right now. If you want thicker bagels (more rise in your dough) it doesn’t hurt to add a little yeast. Although, you can make perfectly fine sourdough bagels without.

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