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4.92 from 12 votes

New York-Style Sourdough Bagels

Delicious and thick New York-style bagels with that iconic chewy crust. They are easy to make and naturally leavened with sourdough starter.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Bagels, Sourdough
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proofing Time 15 hours
Servings 6
Calories 311kcal



  • 50 grams sourdough starter
  • 50 grams strong white flour with a protein level of at least 11%
  • 50 grams water


  • 450 grams strong white flour with a protein level of at least 11%
  • 220 grams water
  • 12 grams salt
  • 12 grams sugar

For Boiling

  • 1 heaped tbsp honey

For Topping

  • sesame and poppy seeds optional


Day 1

  • Mix together the levain ingredients. Leave it to rise. It should at least double, if not triple within 4 hours (but not collapse). See the post for more information.
  • Once the levain has risen, add it to a bowl along with the dough flour, water, sugar and salt. Knead it together to make a ball, then tip it onto a clean bench.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes to develop the gluten. If you get tired, take a break and let the dough sit, then come back to it after a few minutes.
  • Once kneaded, place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with a plate and let it proof at room temperature for 2-4 hours dependant on the room temperature. (see post for more details.)
  • Place the bowl in the fridge to cold proof overnight (a minimum of 10 hours.)

Day 2

  • In the morning, pull the dough from the bowl and place it on a clean bench.
  • Cut it into 6 even pieces.
  • Shape each piece into a tight ball and let it sit and relax for 10-15 minutes.
  • Take a large baking sheet and generously dust it with semolina flour, or line it with baking paper.
  • Take a ball of dough and use your thumbs to make the hole in the middle of the dough ball and roll the dough ball around your thumbs to widen the hole.
    Place it on the baking sheet and continue with the rest of the dough balls.
  • Let the bagels sit at room temperature for around 2 hours to slightly puff.
  • When they have nearly finished proofing, bring a large pot of water to the boil and preheat the oven to 220°C fan-bake, or 240°C regular oven.
  • Once the water is boiling, stir in the tablespoon of honey. 
  • Drop the bagels in the water one at a time. If your pot is small, boil them in batches, but work quickly.
  • Let them poach in the water for 1 minute, flipping them after 30 seconds. 
  • Drain the bagels on a rack and sprinkle over any seeds for toppings whilst they are still sticky from the water.
  • Generously flour a baking tray with semolina flour or use baking paper and gently place the bagels on it.
  • Place them in the oven and let them bake for 2-3 minutes before turning the one down to 200°C fan-bake, or 220°C regular oven. Bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • If they are baking unevenly, turn the oven tray around after 15 minutes of baking.
  • Remove the baked bagels from the tray and let them cool and soften for 30 minutes before slicing.



Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.6g | Protein: 8.6g | Fat: 0.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 777mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 4mg