Sourdough Discard Bagels (Easy!)

These delicious New York Style sourdough discard bagels are topped with poppy and sesame seeds to add extra flavor to your bagel sandwiches. A great way to use up your sourdough starter!

Sourdough Discard bagels.

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Why You Will Love This Recipe

– These starter discard bagels have so much more flavor than regular bread.

– Great way to use up your sourdough discard!

Quick recipe, ready in less than 2 hours.

What is Sourdough Discard?

If you have never heard of what is sourdough starter discard you should check out my post on the sourdough starter to get a complete guide. Shortly, a sourdough starter is wild yeast you can grow at home to make sourdough bread with, and discard is what you need to get rid of every day in order for your yeast to become stronger. Instead of throwing it away, you can make plenty of sourdough discard recipes (like bagels).

Tools You Might Need

A bench scraper (so useful for most baked goods!)

An oven thermometer (ovens are rarely exact with their temperatures). 

A large pot;

A mixing bowl;

A stand mixer (you can also knead by hand but it is more difficult).

A rubber spatula;

Parchment paper (I once forgot to place the paper under the bagels and had to cut the bagels off of the baking sheet!)

Ingredients

For Bagels

Sourdough Discard Bagels ingredients.

You can use more or less of an unfed sourdough starter depending on how much you need to discard.

All-purpose and bread flour both work great.

For the Water Bath

Water bath for bagels Ingredients.

Substitutes and swaps

Toppings – feel free to use cheese, salt, or any mix of your favorite seeds.

Flour – don’t substitute the flour for gluten free flour as the recipe will not work. If you want to make gluten free bagels use a recipe specifically designed for it like this one.

Fresh yeast – I love baking with fresh yeast vs instant yeast. However, if you have to use instant yeast use 8 grams (2.8 tsp) of instant yeast.

You can boil bagels in water with baking soda, sugar, or honey. In this recipe, I am using honey! 

How to Make Sourdough Discard Bagels

Step 1 – mix the dough

Mix all the ingredients for bagels in a stand mixer or, if you are mixing by hand, in a bowl. Rest the dough for 15 minutes to let the gluten form and ensure more of that dense crumb. After the 15 minutes are up use the dough hook attachment and continue mixing for 10 minutes. If you are kneading by hand knead for 20 minutes.

Step 2 – let the dough rise

Shape the dough into a ball, place into a mixing bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave to double in size. Depending on your kitchen temperature it will take more or less time. For me, it took 50 minutes.

Step 3 – shape the bagels

Transfer the dough onto the kitchen counter and flatten the ball slightly with your hands. Using a bench scraper (or a knife if you don’t have a bench scraper) divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Then, shape each piece into a ball and poke a hole in the middle. Don’t be afraid to make a bigger hole, the bagels will rise and the hole will close up on itself. Once all the bagels are shaped, let them rest and rise under a kitchen towel while you are preheating the oven and preparing the water bath.

Step 4 – boil and bake the bagels

Boil the water with honey and start preheating the oven to 200C/390F. Once the water is boiling, take 2-3 bagels and lower them into the boiling water. Let the bagels boil for 1 minute, then take them out and place them onto a sheet pan to cool down. Once all bagels have been through the water bath, you can start dipping them into the toppings.

Prepare a bowl with poppy and sesame seeds (or cheese) and dip each bagel. Once ready, transfer the bagels onto a parchment-lined baking tray and place the bagels into the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Your bagels will be best on the first day but you can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat the bagels in the oven or microwave or just let them thaw on their own!

How to Eat Sourdough Bagels

– My absolute favorite way to eat these bagels is with cream cheese and avocado!

– Then you can also spread cream cheese, top it with tomato or cucumber, and place some smoked salmon on top. So good!

– Try fried egg with fried chicken, tomato, and mayo (a bagel burger!).

– Another great way to eat bagels is as a side for roasted tomato soup, pumpkin soup, or garlic cream soup!

baked bagel sliced in half with meat and egg.

FAQ

Why Do You Need to Boil Bagels?

Bagels are boiled before baking so that the outside starts cooking before the inside catches up. This way the outside layer is harder and chewier while the inside is soft.

Do I Have to Use a Stand Mixer?

You don’t have to! In fact, I don’t have a stand mixer and make all my bread and bagels by hand but it does require some muscle work.

Why Did My Bagels Burn on the Bottom?

We are using a water bath with honey in this recipe which means there is more sugar on the outside of the bagels which can burn very easily. To prevent burning, adjust the oven temperature if you notice burning, and use parchment paper to make sure the bagels don’t stick too much to the baking tray.

Can I Freeze Bagel Dough?

You can freeze the dough after the first rise. This way, whenever you are ready to bake, you will need to just take the dough out of the freezer, shape the bagels and let them become puffy before baking.

Other Recipes You Might Like

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Sourdough discard bagel with meat and Veggies.

Sourdough Starter Bagels (Easy!)

Natasha
These delicious bagels are perfect for sandwiches, they keep for a few days, and are a great way to use up that sourdough discard!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rising Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Sourdough
Cuisine International
Servings 8 bagels
Calories 296 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 135 grams (⅔ cup) sourdough discard or however much you need to discard
  • 520 grams (4⅓ cups) all purpose flour
  • 260 grams (1 cup + 4 tsp) warm water
  • 45 grams (¼ cup) sugar
  • 25 grams (3 tsp) fresh yeast you use use 8 grams (2.8 tsp) instant yeast
  • 12 grams salt

Water Bath

  • 2 liters (8½ cups) water
  • 40 grams (2 tbsp) honey

Toppings

  • poppy seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • cheese optional

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the ingredients for bagels in a stand mixer or, if you are mixing by hand, in a bowl. Rest the dough for 15 minutes to let the gluten form and ensure more of that dense crumb. After the 15 minutes are up use the dough hook attachment and continue mixing for 10 minutes. If you are kneading by hand knead for 20 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, place into a mixing bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave to double in size. Depending on your kitchen temperature it will take more or less time. For me, it took 50 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough onto the kitchen counter and flatten the ball slightly with your hands. Using a bench scraper (or a knife if you don’t have a bench scraper) divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Then, shape each piece into a ball and poke a hole in the middle. Don’t be afraid to make a bigger hole, the bagels will rise and the hole will close up on itself. Once all the bagels are shaped, let them rest and rise under a kitchen towel while you are preheating the oven and preparing the water bath.
  • Boil the water with honey and start preheating the oven to 200C/390F. Once the water is boiling, take 2-3 bagels and lower them into the boiling water. Let the bagels boil for 1 minute, then take them out and place them onto a sheet pan to cool down. Once all bagels have been through the water bath, you can start dipping them into the toppings.
  • Prepare a bowl with poppy and sesame seeds (or cheese) and dip each bagel. Once ready, transfer the bagels onto a parchment-lined baking tray and place the bagels into the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Your bagels will be best on the first day but you can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat the bagels in the oven or microwave or just let them thaw on their own!

Notes

– Make sure you place parchment paper under the bagels as they WILL burn to the sheet pan and be almost impossible to get off without cutting the bottoms off.
– For a denser crumb make sure to use a stand mixer.
– If you want a chewier outside boil the bagels for 2 minutes each.
– If you want to make overnight sourdough bagels, use an active sourdough starter and no yeast. You can also make fermented bagels by using unfed discard, but you will need to add a slight amount of yeast. The general rule of thumb is to wait until your dough has doubled in size.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bagelCalories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 62.5gProtein: 8.7gFat: 0.9gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 585mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 5.8gCalcium: 14mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Sourdough Bagels, Sourdough Discard Bagels
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