Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bagels!
And I say finally because it’s a long time coming.
I’ve been trying to perfect my sourdough bagel recipe for a long time.
And this is the best recipe I could come up with so far.
There are also a few tricks.
Since I’ve tired so many bagel recipes, I know everything that’s out there. I will tell you what worked for me and what didn’t.
Then again, it might be that some of these tricks that didn’t work for me, could work for you, who knows?!
So, if you are in the “Perfect Bagel Saga”, here are my tips. Try them yourself, and let me know what worked for you.
Let’s begin with the sourdough part of the Sourdough Bagels.
My starter (Phoebe, and you can read more about her here) is at 100% hydration, which means I feed it with equal parts of starter, water, and flour.
I am adding quite a bit of active starter to this Sourdough Bagel. 300 grams, or 1 1/2 cups of starter.
I’ve tried adding less before and felt like I should up the quantity.
Make sure your starter is active before making these bagels.
If you keep your starter on your counter, you can feed it a few hours before making this bread, depends on how long your starter takes to activate. This will vary a lot from starter to starter. My Phoebe takes a few hours to active once fed. So if I am making sourdough bread in the morning, I feed her the night before. And if I am making my dough at night, I feed her in the morning.
Now, if you keep your starter in the fridge, you might have to take it out of the fridge a couple of days before making the bagels, and just feed it until it activates.
The bread will have a slightly tangy, more rustic feel to it because of the addition of the starter. Sourdough Bagels simply are my favorite!
Most, if not all recipes all there are going to call for bread flour.
Bagels are supposed to have a chewy texture, and a crusty outside. And bread flour has more gluten than all-purpose flour, and therefore, it’s supposed to provide those qualities to the bagels.
However, I find it that with my homemade bagels, the bread flour makes them a bit too chewy, and slightly tough.
I decided to experiment with a combination of half of whole wheat flour, and half of all-purpose flour. And the results were the best I’ve ever had. It’s my favorite combination. The whole wheat flour give the bread such delicious nutty tones, that go so well with the tanginess of the sourdough!!
See for yourself, I invite you to try baking your bagels with this blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, instead of bread flour, just for once. Make it your weekend baking challenge!
Barley Malt Syrup
Go ahead and use honey if you don’t have any barley malt syrup laying around. No biggie.
Bagel dough is the type that has to be kneaded for a really long time!
You want the best gluten development you can get! So you can achieve a crusty outside and a chewy texture!
I recommend using a stand mixer with the dough hook to knead bagel dough.
It can definitely be done by hand, but you’ll need some elbow grease, and some stamina.
Knead by machine for about 7 minutes. By hand, I’d try about double that time.
I’ve tried very different approaches to proofing bagel dough.
First, I’ve tried Peter Reinhart’s method in the book The Bread Baker Apprentice. Immediately after kneading the initial dough, you shape it into balls, let them rest for 20 minutes, shape the holes, and retard bagels in the fridge overnight, to be baked next morning. This is what used to do for years.
Second, I’ve tried leaving the dough resting on the counter overnight, shaped in the am, second proofing, then baking.
Third, I have tried resting the dough in the fridge overnight, letting it come to room temperature in the morning, and then shaped and baked.
Fourth, I’ve tried leaving the dough to rest for about 4 hours on the counter. Shaped, did a second proof for about 2 hours, and then baked.
I gotta say, I am loving number 4 method lately! It might be because the dough is so on point too, so I am still going to try retarding this dough in the fridge overnight to see how it bakes the next day. I’ll let y’all know!
I try my best not to boil the bagels for more than 20 seconds on each side.
Reinhart recommends boiling each bagel for 1 minute on each side. Or even 2 minutes if you like your bagels extra chewy.
In my experience, that really didn’t work.
Actually my last batch, I decided to boil half of them for 1 minute on each side, and the other half for only 20-30 seconds on each side.
Guess what, the bagels that were boiled for 1 minute on each side were unnecessarily tough! The ones boiled for only 20-30 seconds retained that perfect bite and chew, without being too tough!
So, that;s my opinion. It might be that it really works for you to boil your bagels for longer. Just experiment with it and see how it goes!
I like to bake my bagels at 425F.
Lots of recipes recommend 500F or 450F.
With the current oven I have, I find it better to set it to 425F so the outside and the inside bake evenly and the bagels have that beautiful deep golden color, and are still perfectly cooked on the inside!
Again, please experiment with your oven, and find what temperature works best for you.
Have a fabulous day!
Check out my post with the toasts I made with these Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bagels!
Here are some other recipes you might like.
Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
active sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups, 10.6 oz.
90-100F (1 1/4 cup- 1 1/2 cup, 10-12 oz.)
barley malt syrup
fine sea salt
3 cups, 13.5 oz.
whole wheat flour
3 cups, 13.5 oz.
To boil bagels
for boiling bagels
Start by mixing the active sourdough starter, 1 1/4 cup of water, vegetable oil, malt syrup, sea salt, flours, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Mixture will seem extremely stiff. That’s ok. Just make sure all the flour is getting hydrated. If necessary, pour that remaining 1/4 cup of water in, if you see too much dry flour that won’t incorporate into the dough.
Cover bowl with a damp towel and let dough sit for 10 minutes.
Kneading: I would recommend a stand mixer to knead this dough. Or a lot of elbow grease.
Bagel dough should be kneaded at least 7 minutes by machine, probably double by hand. And it’s a very stiff dough, so it’s not the easiest to knead.
At the final 2 minutes of kneading, add raisins so they get incorporated into the dough.
It’s very important that you knead this dough properly, so the bagels will have their proper texture and gluten development.
At the end of kneading, dough should be smooth, but still pretty stiff and dense.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover with a damp towel.
Let it rise in a warm place for about 4 hours.
If your place is cold, let it rise 5 hours.
Transfer dough to the counter.
I split mine into 100 g (3.5 oz.) pieces, and ended up with 14 pieces.
Turn pieces into balls by rolling them against the counter, with your hand in a cup shape.
Use the counter to push the dough against itself and turn into a perfect round.
There are plenty of videos on youtube that show this technique properly. Very easy, and you’ll always end up with perfectly shaped rolls, bagels.
Now that you’ve rolled all the pieces into balls, start by making a hole in the center of each ball with your finger. Expand the center out with your hands, by rotating the bagel as you shape the hole in the middle.
Then, place bagels in 2 baking mat or parchment paper lined baking sheets.
I put 7 bagels in each baking sheet.
Cover both trays with a damp towel. Let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Once the dough is springing back as you touch it, means your bagels are ready to go.
Pre-heat oven to 425F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Once water comes to a boil, add baking soda to the pot.
Boil bagels in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
You should boil bagels about 20 seconds on each side. I don’t like to boil them over 1 min total, or their crust might turn out too hard.
Remove bagels with a slotted spoon after they have boiled about 20 seconds on each side.
Place boiled bagels in a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Brush bagels with milk.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Rotate pans. Bake for another 5-15 minutes. It will really depend on your oven and what size bagels you decided to make.
Once bagels have a deep golden color, remove them from the oven. Let them cool and enjoy them fresh.
STORAGE: I like to enjoy the bagels when they are very fresh. That’s when they are the best. However, nothing wrong with leftover bagel toast in the morning. Keep bagels in an air-tight container for up to a couple of days, I wouldn’t go longer than that. You can also freeze them wrapped in foil and inside of a ziplock bag or freezer container for up to 2 months.
I love sourdough but have never made it at home. That has to happen soon, yours looks so beautiful and fluffy!
Thank you Shadi!!!
Making your own bagels is the best idea ever!!!!
Yess!! Agreed, friend!! Thank you!
I’ve always been intimidated by making bagels – I love how you laid it out so easily!
Might just take a little practice, or you may get it right at first!! It’s well worth the try!!
Your bagels look awesome. I am completely intrigued by making my own bagels and your recipe sounds fantastic!
Thank you Sara!!
YUM! These bagels look so delicious and perfect for brunch! I love cinnamon and raisins combination – so good!
How can I make the starter dough ? If I want to make the bagel , the bagels looks wonderful ! Will like to make it , thanks for help
I am so glad you liked the bagels!!
Making the sourdough starter will take around 7 days. I still don’t have a recipe for it yet here on my blog. But I plan on making one showing how I made my starter and how I care for it. Meanwhile, there are tones of resources online for it. Or books. I recommend the book called Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. Or you could take a look at other websites online!! Thank you so much, Dave. I hope to write a post about my sourdough starter soon! Have a great day!
Thank you for the reply , will check it up .. have a great day ahead camila
Wow, when you say stiff you’re not kidding. I can’t even use my mixer because the dough is too stiff and keeps making my bowl come off the base… very frustrating! So I had to take it out by kneading it by hand. Didn’t get the structure I was looking for.
Hello Lee, yes the dough is stiff but should be ok to knead with the machine. Did you measure your ingredients with a scale? There’s a chance you added too much flour, because the dough shouldn’t be THAT stiff. thank you. Have a great day
We do a lot of sourdough in our family, we aim to only eat flour that has been fermented, and we LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it several times and it has turned out wonderfully every time! Thank you for this fool proof family favorite. We have tried everything bagel toppings, cinnamon raisin, and next we want to experiment with blueberries!
Thank you so much Daisy! I really appreciate it! I am so glad you like this recipe!! I also love it, I havent made it in a long time, but you reminded me to make it again!!! Cinnamon raising bagels are a family favorite 🙂 have a great day!
Hi! Camila. As I left you comment about everything bagels, I decided to give a try this ones too. I used dry blueberries. Again I made a half recipe and I end up making 8 bagels, each one aprox. 100 gr. The dough I’ve made in the bread maker machine, in dough menu. In the end of the cycle I eded 1/2 cup of dry blueberries and even they were dry blueberries, they crashed all over the dough. The dough came out a little bit wet and sticky. So I eded some additional flour and another 1/4 cup of blueberries and mix them by my hands. They turned out perfectly! Beautiful shape, beautiful inside with a lot of blueberries😀 and delicious! Thank you very much for everything!🥰
Awe omg I am so happy this sounds incredible!!! thank you so much Nargiza!!!
hi Camila, can I make this with only all purpose flour ?
Sure thing!! 🙂 It will be fantastic!
Since I have so much time while quarantined, I’ve finally made a sourdough starter. This is the first thing I’ve baked with the completed starter. I usually have to make slight altitude adjustments, but I was surprised when I needed almost 2 cups of water to incorporate all of the flour.
I don’t have a mixer with dough hooks so I kneaded by hand and when you say you need some “elbow grease” you really mean it! My palms were tired so I decided I was done at around 15 or 20 mins then realized I’d forgotten to knead in the raisins. Haha It’s also very arid here so during the first rise, I should’ve put it in my slightly warm oven with a bowl of steaming water. I ended up with a dried skin on top instead after my 5 hr proofing. So I did the steam for the second rise.
I definitely learned some things, but overall they turned out great! Perfect crisp but thin crust and soft, chewy, and not too dense inside.
Also I weighed out 100g for each one and ended up with 18 bagels.
Sounds amazing!!! Thank you for sharing your lovely experience!!! I appreciate it! 🙂
Because I started so late in the day, have you tried proofing the bagels after shaping overnight in the fridge and then boiled/baked next morning?
Yes!!! I have and this will absolutely work! Go for it! I’ve done it! 🙂
LOVE LOVE LOVE these! I made the everything bagel recipe a few days ago and had some extra active starter to use up so I threw these together. They came out perfectly! I would recommend this recipe to everyone for sure. It’s easy and straight forward and the bagels are so tasty when they come out of the oven.
Yay! Thank you SO much! this means the world to me!
for baking in the morning, which overnight method would you recommend out of 1, 2, or 3 that you mentioned in the blog post? thanks!
I’d go with the first one, let the shaped bagels proof in the fridge overnight 🙂
Hi, have you tried making a gluten free version of these?
I haven’t tried using gluten free flour to make these
These look great and I have some starter discard to use up.
Is it possible to add the cinnamon later in the process? I’d like to make half a batch of plain bagels and half of the cinnamon raisin, if possible. I’m dying for an egg and cheese bagel sandwich and don’t think it would taste too goo on cinnamon raisin 🙂
Maybe you can sprinkle some of the cinnamon as you’re forming the balls to make the bagels, so add a bit of cinnamon to each individual ball, roll it, and then shape the bagels. that might work 🙂
I did that very thing for my first two batches of bagels, made half into cinnamon raisin and the other half got a cheesy topping of shredded cheddar. The cheese bagels needed a plain dough, so that’s what I made. Then for the cinnamon raisin, I flattened the whole half of dough a bit and then sprinkled over the raisins and cinnamon. I kneaded till cinnamon and raisins were incorporated. The benefit of doing the additions by hand is that you get those streaks of cinnamon that really add to the appearance of the bagels.
That sounds extremely amazing!!!! Thank you SO much for sharing!
Can I use Maple Syrup instead of the barley malt syrup? Thanks heaps
I made the everything bagels on another post of yours- Great recipe and easy to follow! Definitely want to make these next- When do you add the cinnamon? After the milk brush?
Also, I used sour dough discard (so not super active sour dough starter) that I’ve been saving in my fridge and it seemed to work just fine! Dough still rose after the 4 hours and Still springy bagels before the boiling.
I add the cinnamon straight to the dough along with the flour. Some people have told me they made this by also adding a mixture of cinnamon and sugar to the top of the bagels after brushing with milk. I have to try that technique since it sounds delicious!
Thanks Camila for the Bagel Recipe. I am from the UK. Your recipe came up well. I use half and half . Also I use the 4th Mehtod and only use half the amount of the recipe stated. And used maple syrup instead of honey.i also cut down on the boiling time 10 secs on each side, basically giving them a total of 20secs. I did each of them that way. It was very quick. I used almond milk for brushing the bagels as we hv adults with dairy intolerance in our household. It baked beautifully for 15mins at about 210°C for those who work on Centigrade measures.. just waiting to get it tested and tasted to see if the chewy ness is up to scratch 😁. I will update all of you later. I’ll post the update pictures on Instagram check is out on there. Thank you again Camila.
Thanks Camila for the Bagel Recipe. I am from the UK. Your recipe came up very well. I use half and half (bread flour and Cake flour). Also I use the 4th Mehtod and only use half the amount of the recipe stated. And used maple syrup instead of honey.i also cut down on the boiling time 10 secs on each side, basically giving them a total of 20secs. I did each of them that way. It was very quick. I used almond milk for brushing the bagels as we hv adults with dairy intolerance in our household. It baked beautifully for 15mins at about 210°C for those who work on Centigrade measures.. just waiting to get it tested and tasted to see if the chewy ness is up to scratch 😁. I will update all of you later. I’ll post the update pictures on Instagram check is out on there. Thank you again Camila.
Btw , I got 9 bagels from my half recipe of 100gms. We tried the bagels just now toasted with butter absolutely so beautifully soft and the perfect chewyness to it Eventhough it has cooled down the Bagel is still so soft. But we felt it could hv done maybe alittle more baking inthe oven maybe another 2 -3 mins may be . Taste so good being sourdough 👍😋 Got my super taster my Hubby to like it as .He is not normally a great fan of sourdough but is gradually getting to like it by me making thing with things like this, and adjusting proving time with loaves. Which I hv managed to achieve a perfect texture and baking and taste with good moisture content still on the loaf.
Hving a grt time experimenting with Sourdough.
As I keep improving and changing ways how to make it taste as good as normal bread loaf at the same time it holding its texture and taste and moisture in the loaf with out all that compromises. It is achievable 😊.
oh that’s awesome I loved hearing about all of your adaptations!! That’s incredible!!! I appreciate you taking the time to let us all know and also help other readers! Thank you!!!! Have a fabulous day!
Thks Camila, I am making another batch today. Will see how this one turns out . There is slight differences in this batch… I will see the end results first then will post it here and let you know.
Thank you Sheela! You rock!
Mine do not look very pretty but they taste good. Any suggestions on what would help make their appearance better? They do not look puffy.
It could be from adding too much flour, not enough rest time, or the starter wasn’t active enough. maybe just a shaping issue. Just keep practicing, next time you make it they will look great! Every time you make bread you learn a little more. The first bagels I’ve ever made weren’t puffy either, but with practice they became puffy and nice!!! I am glad you like the taste! Thank you so much Naomi!
I have the same issue with them not looking pretty but they do puff and taste great. Thanks for the above information on how to improve the cosmetics.
Hi! I’m thinking of making your bagel recipe soon and I’m wondering if I could use 6 cups all-purpose flour rather than 3 all-purpose and 3 whole wheat? I’m wondering because I don’t have wheat on hand right now and would really like to try this recipe.
sure can!! 🙂
Very delicious! I will be making these regularly for my family!
Awesome! Thank you!
Great recipe! Thank you.
Halved the recipe. They are so good. I managed to make some plain ones topped with sesame. Nothing tops the cinnamon raisin though!
I kept some in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days and toasted them for a quick breakfast. They were as good as fresh.
Thank you so much Jacquelyn!! So happy to hear that!!!
These are really good!
They’re bagels, so the dough needs to be stiff, but my mixer doesn’t handle the dough with all the flour. I used all the water, and then left out the last 80g of flour until the dough had kneaded 7 minutes. Then I added in as much as it would take, which still left 40g of flour unused. (Maybe my flour is just really thirsty, but I usually need to add more water or leave out some flour in bread recipes.) I like more cinnamon, so I’ll up it next time. One of these days I’ll actually try a lye bath instead of the baking soda water.
That’s great to hear, love how you adapted!!! And I’d love to try the lye bath as well!!
Have a great day!
I know white AP flour probably weighs less than Whole Wheat. 382g+382g = 764g which equals 7 1/4 cups of AP flour.. That’s a whole 1 1/4 cup difference! What do you recommend to adjust to AP white flour? I usually go by weight not volume, but was not sure what to do here.
I found a guide by king arthur flour saying to substitute 113 grams of whole wheat flour for 120 grams of all purpose. So doing the math it would only be 400 grams of all purpose flour instead.
I am not sure how accurate the guide is, and I haven’t tried this substitution myself, but you could try it, and if the dough isn’t stiff enough, continue to add a bit more all-purpose flour as needed.
What does the milk do? I hate to buy milk to use a tiny amount. Is there a substitute?
My dough has some seams when I ball them. I’m afraid to overwork and don’t think pinching seams will hold up when baked. Suggestions? I’m sure they’ll taste fine regardless.
This recipe came together simply and was easy to work with. Thank you!
the milk is just to brush on top, to make them golden, you could even do an egg wash if you want, or leave it out, but it might not get too golden, which is fine.
For it to not have seams the dough needs to not be so dry or tough, maybe let it rest longer before shaping.
They came out great even if they looked odd. Didn’t add milk or egg since I missed your reply in time.
Today I’m trying kalamata olives for raisins with a spice mixture to replace the cinnamon. Dough is much wetter. Probably should’ve squeezed the moisture from the olives. 🤞🏻
I’ve made these twice and they’ve come out perfect each time. I’ve also made your everything bagels twice, and they’re also perfect! Thanks for the easy to follow recipes!
Oh! Meant to say I have frozen both kinds (after baking and cooling completely) in large freezer bags and it works like a charm. I’ve also made the batch into 18 (instead of 14) to keep the calories/portions lower and had no issues.
You make me want to make them again lol! Thank you Rachel!
That is so wonderful to hear!!!!
Made this yesterday. I used unbleached all purpose flour for entire recipe and honey and it turned out great! 20 sec boil on each side was perfect texture. Will keep in my recipe box!