Chewy New York Style Bagels are even better when made with a sourdough starter. The sourdough discard adds depth of flavor and keeps the bagels fresh longer!
The idea of making homemade bagels may seem a bit intimidating, but bagel dough is denser (more flour) and easier to work with than normal bread dough.
To make it even easier I made a full video tutorial that you can find in the recipe card below. If you have any questions I would love to help!
These bagels use yeast and sourdough starter. They are mild and delicious in flavor and done in about 2 hours. Although they are not purely sourdough they still have a beautiful soft and chewy inside!
These easy sourdough bagels are my most requested gift to give to friends. I have even been asked to make several dozen for brunches!
They are naturally vegan! No crazy ingredients to substitute! Top with vegan cream cheese or butter. Or try these Plant Based Bagels without a sourdough starter.
Have you tried a New York style everything bagel with cream cheese, lox (smoked salmon) and a slice of tomato? They are divine!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- The bagel are chewy on the outside and soft and on the inside!
- The dough is not sticky at all and so easy to work with!
- These will miles better than the store bought bagels.
- You can customize them with your favorite toppings!
You'll need the following ingredients to make New York Style Sourdough Discard Bagels.
Flour: Bread flour or a flour with higher wheat protein will yield chewier bagels. King Arthur bread flour or King Arthur all purpose flour are great.
Sourdough Discard: These will take your mediocre homemade bagels and make them magnificent. The discard adds flavor and longevity to the bagels!
Sugar: Helps feed the yeast.
Yeast: Hands down my favorite yeast is SAF Instant Yeast. I use it in all my bread!
Salt: Brings out the flavor.
Optional Toppings: everything seasoning, dried onion flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse salt.
How to Make Bagels
Here are some quick instructions. The full recipe with ingredient measurements is below! Also, check out the full tutorial video in the recipe card!
Add the water, flour, yeast, salt and sugar to the mixer. Knead for at least 10 minutes.
Take the dough out of the mixer and shape it into a ball.
Put the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rise.
Cut the dough into 8-12 pieces depending on the desired size of the bagels. Generously flour a clean surface for the shaped bagels to rest on.
There are two methods to shape the bagels. The video tutorial in the recipe card will be VERY helpful with shaping the bagels.
The first method is to roll it out like a snake and use the counter to roll the two ends together. I prefer method one.
The second method is to roll a tight ball and use your fingers to poke a hole in the middle of the dough and then gently stretch it out.
Let the boils rest on the counter while you bring the water to a boil and preheat the oven.
Boil the bagels and add toppings.
Bake the bagels and allow them to cool before slicing them open.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
There are two ways to shape the bagels. The first way is to roll each piece into a tight ball and then use your fingers to make a hole in the middle. Then, carefully stretch out the hole.
The second way is to roll the piece of dough into a snake that can fit around your hand. Then roll the overlapping dough against the counter to roll the ends together. Watch this Easy Homemade Bagels video to see them in action.
Storage and Reheating
- Storage: Store the bagels in a bread bag. They will stay fluffy for 3 days. After day 3 you may want to toast them or freeze them.
- Reheating: Take the frozen bagels out of the freezer. Allow them to thaw on the counter or in the microwave. Then toast them.
- Freezing: Cut the bagels in half and put the cut sides back together. Double bag them and freeze them.
Additions and Substitutions
- Toppings: It is fun to experiment with the bagels and toppings. Try everything seasoning, dried onion flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse salt.
- Cinnamon Raisin: Add an additional 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dough, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ cup of raisins.
- Chocolate Chip: Add an additional 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dough. Add mini chocolate chips after the rise and before shaping the bagels.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can keep it simple and add butter or cream cheese to the bagel. You can also add lox (smoked salmon), onion, tomato and capers on top of the cream cheese. Many people like to use bagels for breakfast or lunch sandwiches. You can add scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast. Deli meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato are perfect toppings for lunch.
Boiling the bagels creates that chewy outer crust, but keep the center of the bagel soft.
Barley malt syrup or sugar can be used in the water when boiling bagels. It helps to create the shiny, chewy exterior of the bagel.
You can make bagels without a mixer, but they need to be kneaded very well to create the classic chewy bagel. The dough is very dense and requires some strength to knead for at least 10 minutes.
More from Thyme at the Table
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New York Style Sourdough Starter Discard Bagels
- 2 cups warm water (454 grams)
- ½ cup sourdough discard (120 grams) (a heaping ½ cup)
- 3½ teaspoons Instant Yeast (9 grams) (prefer SAF Yeast, but can sub active dry yeast)
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (30 grams)
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt (16 grams)
- 6 cups unbleached bread flour (800 grams) wait to add the last ½ cup after you check the dough - see video
For Boiling Bagels
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (30 grams)
- everything bagel seasoning
- dried onion flakes
- sesame seeds
- poppy seeds
- coarse salt
- Add the water, sourdough discard, yeast, sugar and salt to a mixer. Add 5½ cups of flour to the mixer. Using the dough hook begin to knead the dough. It may take some time to mix well because there is a lot of flour. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough isn't sticky anymore and it feels very dense.
- Knead for about 10 minutes using a Bosch mixer and about 13 minutes using a Kitchenaid mixer.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise is a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and cut it into 8-12 pieces (It depends on how large you want your bagels. I usually aim for each bagel to be about 160 grams.)
- Dust your counter with flour and place the shaped bagels onto your counter. There are two methods to share the bagels (see video). Option 1: Roll the piece of dough into a "snake." Bring the two ends together under your palm and roll the ends together. Option 2: You can roll the piece of dough into a ball and stick your finger through the center to make a hole and then use your fingers to stretch the hole.
- While your shaped bagels are resting (you do not need to cover them).1. Fill a large pot with water and add the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring the pot of water to a gentle boil. 2. Arrange the oven racks to the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. 3. Line two pans with parchment paper or Silpat mats.4. Get your toppings ready.
- By the time the water begins to boil the tops of the bagels should be a little smoother and puffier. Gently lift a bagel and place it into the boiling water top side down. I can fit 3 at a time into my pot of boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds on each side. Remove them with a large slotted spoon or spatula. Place them gently on the parchment paper. If you want to add toppings now is the time - while they are still wet from the water.
- Put the first pan in the 400° oven as soon as it is full. Follow with the second pan as soon as you finish boiling the rest of the bagels.
- After 15 minutes swap the pans. Put the pan from the bottom on the top rack and put the pan from the top on the bottom rack. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure your bagels have started to brown nicely before taking the out of the oven. The dough is dense and if you take them out too early it will still be a little gummy in the middle. Let them cool before slicing.
Another short video about shaping the bagels is below.