One of my favorite things to eat is a chewy bagel with fluffy cream cheese on top. Many moons ago, when I lived in southern California while attending UC Irvine, on weekends that I didn’t come home, I would venture from my little one room garage turned apartment on the Balboa peninsula to Huntington Beach for an everything bagel with cream cheese, thinly sliced red onion, tomato, and cucumber. There was something about the chewy exterior, perfectly salty, the creamy cheese, and burst of freshness from the cold, crisp veggies. Not long after one too many stomach aches from the cream cheese, I finally gave into the fact that I was lactose intolerant and unlike bagel shops now, there weren’t any non-dairy options. So I had to say goodbye to my beloved weekend treat; I guess that was the real reason I decided to leave and finish my degree closer to home (ha!).
The good news is, I finished college AND found some dairy-free cream cheese (the two were of equal importance). More good news came when I began making all things sourdough a couple of years ago. These bagels are so easy to make from scratch with your starter… just a few ingredients, an easy proof process, a little boil, a little bake, and boom, chewy delicious homemade sourdough bagels to enjoy with whatever you choose to top them with! Sometimes we just slather with salted butter, sometimes it’s cream cheese, sometimes it’s the vehicle for little turkey sandwiches. You can also make these any flavor you’d like… sesame, everything, plain, cinnamon sugar, onion, the possibilities are endless!
easy sourdough bagels
- + 3/4 cup active bubbly starter – if it floats in water, you are ready to go! I feed my starter first thing in the morning to have it bubbly by the evening, and in the colder months, I keep it in the oven (off) with the light on to ensure lots of activity.
- +1 cup + 2 tbs warm water
- +4 cups flour (whatever you have on hand – I have found that this recipe isn’t picky. I use AP)
- +1 1/2 tsp salt
- +2 tbs sugar
- +1 tbs honey (for the boiling water – don’t add to dough)
- So about an hour before you head to bed, combine the starter, water, flour, sugar, and salt and combine into a shaggy dough. Cover with plastic wrap, beeswax wrap, or a dish towel, set inside your oven (off) with the light on and leave for about 45 mins.
- Now bring that shaggy dough out and knead with your hands a few times to bring it together into a ball and place back into the bowl and cover and leave overnight in the oven (off) with the light on.
- By morning it should be double in size. Take the dough and divide into 12 equal parts… about 110g each if you have a kitchen scale to ensure uniformity. Roll them into little balls, smooth the top, and poke a hole using your finger. Set these aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Leave the now bagel shapes to rest for about 15 minutes, while you get a pot of water boiling and add the tbs of honey.
- Get your oven preheating to 425.
- Once boiling, lower about 3 bagels at a time into the water and flip them after about 30 seconds, set them on a wire rack placed atop a dish towel to catch excess water.
- Once all bagels have been boiled, while still a little wet, you can top them with the toppings of your choice ( I listed some examples above).
- Place the bagel back onto the parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425 for 25-27 mins.