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Sourdough Discard Bagels Recipe

Chewy New York Style Bagels are even better when made with a sourdough starter. The discard adds depth of flavor and keeps the bagels fresh longer.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Cuisine: American
  • Prep Time: 35minutes
  • Cook Time: 25minutes
  • Rise Time: 1hour
  • Total Time: 2hours


  • 2 cups warm water (454 grams)
  • ½ cup sourdough discard (120 grams) (a heaping ½ cup)
  • teaspoons Instant Yeast (9 grams) (prefer SAF Yeast, but can sub active dry yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (30 grams)
  • 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

  • water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (30 grams)

Optional Toppings

  • 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.


Good parchment paper or Silpat Baking Mats are a must. These bagels come out of the boiling water and the dough will stick to a bare pan.
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.
Dairy Free: These are naturally dairy free. Top with dairy free butter or cream cheese.

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