Sourdough Home

Having trouble finding what you are looking for?
Chances are good, we have a page or post that looks into that.
Just use the search tool to find it!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sourdough Bagels

This recipe is the one we used at the Colorado High Attitude Bakery. I can't count how often expatriate New Yorkers would stop me on the street with tears in their eyes, telling me that mine were the best bagels they'd had since they left "The City," and that they were better than most in "The City" these days. The reasons are simple. I didn't cut corners and used good ingredients. I don't know why so many bakeries cut corners on making bagels these days, it's really NOT that hard!

There are two main types of bagels in the United States, the New York Style and the California style. The New York style is dense, chewy, has a crisp crust and has a rich flavor that comes from overnight fermentation. The California bagel is light, well risen, has no real crust, and is relatively bland. People who like New York style bagels call California style bagels "donuts". People who like California style bagels call the New York Style bagels "bricks".

We will focus on making genuine New York style bagels. You can get donuts anywhere. New York style bagels are rare, even in New York. When the New York Bagel Makers Union was busted in the 1960's, quality control and tradition went out the window. A company that sells what it claims are the best bagels in New York makes a bagel that is horribly sweet. There are few places to get the real thing. After you go through this recipe, you will be one of the rare sources of the elusive, almost forgotten, New York style bagel.

It is interesting that this recipe gets such varied responses. A few people at The Fresh Loaf have said this recipe makes the best bagels they have ever had. That's truly flattering, since they reference recipes from famous bakers and say mine is better. A few other people have wondered what all the shouting is about. Some of the difference is a matter of taste. If you haven't had a New York style bagel you may not like them and prefer a lighter bagel. But, there is more. One baker commented on the recipe, saying she was unimpressed. I asked her how she had made the bagels. She said, "Oh, there was technique? I just mixed and raised the dough." Yeah, there IS technique involved. The overnight retard is essential for full flavor development, and the boil is essential for a good shiny crust. Even if you want to just mix and go, PLEASE read and follow the instructions.

In any case, this recipe will make 4 bagels of about 4 ounces each. I picked this recipe size because it can be easily made by hand in class. This recipe is a simplified version of the recipe I include in my "Back To Bagels" cookbook, available at Mike's Bread Shoppe.  You may be wondering why this recipe is for 4 bagels.  When we read "Dune" we learned "Fear is the mind killer". Here, we learn that bagels are the mixer killer.  Hobart makes heavy duty mixers that are so rugged the baker can hand them down to his children and grandchildren - I've seen Hobart's in bakeries that were older than anyone working in the bakery!  Unless... unless... you are making bagels or pizza dough, in which case your mixer may well be dead in 18 months.  Hobart makes special heavier duty (and more expensive) mixers for bagels.  In general, I encourage caution with regards to batch size and bagels.  With my ancient KitchenAid K45SS, I won't make more than 4 at a time.  With my Electrolux Assistent, now sold under the name Ankarsrum, I'll make 3 dozen.  The big take home here is, be careful.  If your mixer stalls when you are making bagels, you are overloading your mixer, so cut your batch size WAY down!  This happened with a friend's spiral mixer.  He thought it could make 4 dozen.  It disagreed.  We broke it into two batches in a larger mixer.


GramsIngredientBaker's Percentage
150 GramsWater50%
30 GramsActive Sourdough Starter10%
5 GramsLight Olive Oil1.66%
300 GramsHigh Protein Flour (1)100%
10 GramsMalted Barley Extract (2)3.33%
7 GramsSalt2.33%

  1. High Protein Flour - we are looking for a white flour in the 15+ percent range.  GM's All-Trumps unbleached and unbromated flour, King Arthur's Sir Lancelot, and Honeyville Grains Imperial Hi-Gluten Flour are all good examples of what we are looking for.  The GM and King Arthur flours are usually only sold through food service companies.
  2. Malted barley extract can be found in brewing supply shops and on-line vendors.  It is used twice in this recipe, in the dough and in the boil.  You want a light dry malt extract, and it can be either diastatic or non-diastatic.  Because the amount of malt is very small, you can use q liquid malt extract.  However, you really want a barley malt, not a malted milk product which is mostly sugar.

All the measurements are given in grams because the bagel dough is very dense and using cups would be significantly less accurate. Bagel dough has to be thin enough to handle, but dense enough that it can stand up to the steps we'll talk about below.

I cannot overstate the notion that bagel dough is different from almost any other dough you will encounter. The goal is not a light, fluffy well-risen loaf. It is a dense, chewy product. As a result, most of what you have, perhaps painfully, learned about doughs doesn't apply. I'll be mentioning how bagels are different from most doughs again from time to time. Try hard to not let what you have learned about most doughs get in your way and keep you from learning about bagels.

Process:Sourdough Plain Bagel Nutritional Analysis
Mix the ingredients above. In a mixer, I like to mix for 5 minutes, let the dough rest for 5 minutes, and then knead for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and well developed. The time can vary, depending on the efficiency of the mixer in dealing with doughs as thick and dense as bagels.

If you are making the dough by hand, knead, or stretch and fold, until the dough passes the windowpane test as seen in the Basic White Bread recipe. It cannot be overstated that the dough must be smooth and well developed. It is not easy to develop a dough as thick as bagel dough. Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours. The dough is so dense that it probably won't visibly rise. You may proceed when the dough will not spring back when gently pressed.

Unlike most doughs, I find that it is easier to judge the process by the results and adjust the process for the next batch based on the results, rather than going by the feel of the dough. We'll talk about how to adjust the process in later paragraphs.

The flour you use is CRITICAL to the success of the bagels. We usually use GM's All-Trumps, a flour only available to the trade at this time. It has about 14.2% protein. When we used another flour in the 11.8% protein range, the bagels did not come out as well. If the flour bag does not specify the percent of protein, divide the grams of protein per serving by the number of grams of flour per serving and multiply by 100. (A quick example. If a flour bag says the serving size is 1/4 cup, or 30 grams, with 4 grams of protein, the percent of protein would be (4/30)*100, or 13.33% protein.)

Because the dough is so thick, there is little reason to try to punch the dough down. Just use it. Cut the dough into 4 pieces that are more or less the same size.

This time, roll two of the pieces into strands about 10 inches long, and roll the other two into balls. Then cover the dough and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

There are two main ways to shape bagels. The easy way is to roll the dough into a ball, poke a hole in the center of the ball and then stretch the ball into the doughnut shape we all know and love. So that the pictures below would be clearer, we formed these bagels with a cinnamon - raisin bagel dough.

start by finding the center of the bagel ball
poke your fingers through the ball
then use a finger and thumb, twirl, and stretch the dough

The purist disdains the poker's method, believing the ONLY way to make a real bagel is to roll the balls into strands about 10" long, form the strands into bagel shapes, press the ends together with some overlap, and then roll the seam to seal it.

Start with a cigar of dough
Roll it over and press the ends together
then roll the union tight with your fingers in the bagel

Both methods work. Poking is easier, but it's also easy to stretch the bagel dough too far. The cigar roll can make a bagel with more a more consistent size, but it's also easy to not seal the seam well enough and have the bagel fall apart. Now that you've tried both methods, you can decide which you prefer. A hint - if you don't spread the bagels far enough, they'll be too tall to fit in a toaster.

Once the bagels are formed, put them on a baking sheet that has been covered with bakers parchment, spray them with some oil, and cover them with clingwrap. Leave them at room temperature for about an hour. This is called "floor time" in the trade, time when the dough is waiting for the next step in the process, or is perhaps minimally rising. Then put them in a refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, place a large pot of water on to boil and set your oven to 500F. If you want to seed the bagels, put some poppy or sesame seeds onto a plate as the water is heating. Add a tablespoon or two of malt extract to the water once it is boiling. Note, this is in addition to the malt extract that was included in the dough, or, there is malt extract in BOTH the dough and the boiling water.

Once the water is at a rolling boil, put the bagels into the boiling water, flat side down. Don't crowd the bagels in the pot as they need room to move around.

The bagels should sink to the bottom of the water. If they float at once, they were allowed to rise too long. After a few seconds, typically less than five, they should float to the top. If they don't, nudge them with a spatula, sometimes they will stick to the bottom of the pan. After a minute, whether they floated or not, flip them over. Give them another minute.

For your next batch: if the bagels never floated, or took more than a minute to float, let them rise a bit longer, give them a bit more floor time or use a warmer refrigerator next time. If they floated too quickly, let them rise a bit less, give them a bit less floor time or use a cooler refrigerator next time. If you are making a larger batch and your bagels never floated, let them rise a bit more at room temperature before you boil the rest of the batch.

A few people have had trouble with the timing and boil, I've added a blog post that covers it in excruciating detail. If you still have trouble, please write me. It works for me consistently and easily.

If you want to make seeded bagels, dip the rounder side - the top - in the seeds you prepared earlier as soon as the bagels are pulled out of the water.

Now it's time to bake the bagels in a 500F oven. Many bakers flip the bagels half way through the baking to insure both the top and bottom of the bagels are nicely crispy. I haven't found that to be necessary, but if you can certainly try. Steam helps give a crisp crust - toss a half cup of water into a heated cast iron skillet on the oven. I give the bagels about a 15 minute bake, with some steam in the oven. Since home ovens don't bake very evenly, after the 15 minutes I move the bagels around in the oven - from the top to the bottom rack, from the left to the right, and from the front to the back of the oven - and then give them another 10 minutes in the oven.  Don't be afraid to leave the bagels in the oven a few more minutes - you want the crust to have a nice deep tan/brown color.

Once baked, cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, you can slice them.  When they are fresh bagel purists tell you they don't need to be toasted.  Just schmear them with butter or cream cheese and enjoy.  When they get a bit stale, toasting can revive them.  I often joke that bagels are the only food we boil, bake and then toast... just to make sure they're really, really dead.

Since we just mentioned slicing bagels, be careful when you slice bagels!  In our hands-on bagel class we spend a bit of time teaching students how to safely slice bagels.  We put together a post on slicing bagels safely.

A little bit extra - Habanero Schmear

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm a bit of a pepper belly. I LOVE hot and spicy food. So, this devilish cream cheese schmear is right up my alley. All cream cheese schmears are variations on this theme, so if this isn't to your liking, go ahead and change it around. Use other flavors, play with the amounts. You'll never buy flavored cream cheese again!

8 oz cream cheese (I prefer the real stuff, no low fat/no fat cream cheese please!)
2 habanero peppers, stems removed and finely diced (yes, that include the seeds and everything)

Putting 8 ounces of cream cheese in a mixer and beat the cream cheese until it soft and fluffy. Add the finely diced habanero peppers and seeds. Mix in well. You can use the schmear now, but you'll be happier of you put in a sealable container and refrigerate for 4 hours or so to give the flavors a chance to mingle. I have no idea how long this, or any other home made schmear, will last. They are eaten around here before they have a chance to go bad!

34 thoughts on “Sourdough Bagels”

  1. its pretty amazing the difference flour makes, I made some using Sir Lancelot and a friend from Brooklyn taste tested and approved whole heartedly. Same recipe using Central Milling Mt High (which really isn’t) came out, meh. Too bad cause I’m out of Sir Lancelot and ended up with 50 lbs of Mt High. I have to find more uses for this flour, which seems rather soft for a self proclaimed high gluten flour.

    1. Hi,

      It could be the protein content, it could be the grains. It could be a bad batch. It can be hard to tell.

      Still, Sir Lancelot runs 14%, Mountain high is “only” 13%, which is a bit low for bagels.

      I’ve also had good luck making bagels with GM’s All-Trumps in the unbleached and unbromated version and Honeyville Grains Imperial hi-gluten flour.

      Central Milling makes some very good flours, but perhaps that wasn’t a good match for bagels. You might try making pizza or breads with it.

      Good luck,

  2. Thanks for the reply Mike, I always wonder about “the bad batch” possibility when I’m somewhat disappointed with a flour performance. . Its ok on its own, but I find it even a little too soft for breads with a good portion of whole grains and it isn’t malted (like CM’s ABC+ which I do like better for some things). Yeah, I’ll find some use for it, but pizza did come to mind, it might even work well for Neopolitan style in my Roccbox.

  3. Mike is my bagel yoda. After 5 years of sourdough baking at home, I can’t say what finally made me lose my hesitation and try this formula, but I sure don’t regret it. I started with All Trumps but have moved so Sir Lancelot – both have worked well. I favor shaping using the ‘cigar roll,’ but my technique certainly needs work (I have trouble getting the ends to seal). Regardless, these are delicious bagels and not daunting to make if you are faithful to the process on this page. Thanks, Sensei.

  4. David Schildkret

    I have barley malt syrup in the house. Can this be used to replace the malt extract? How much would I use? Thanks for a terrific site.

    1. This is an update, clarifying a clueless answer I provided before.

      The amount of malt extract in the recipe, and in the boil, is very small. You may use a dry or liquid malt extract, diastatic or non-diastatic barley malt extract.

      About the only thing you don’t want to use is malted milk powder as that is mostly sugar.


      1. Thanks. My flour arrived from King Arthur today, so bagels are in the near future. (Comment: for me, toasting is only needed for stale bagels. It’s almost a sacrilege to toast a fresh bagel.)

        1. Kenji Lopez-Alt says that a fresh bagel never needs to be toasted, but toasting can save a day old bagel. I tend to agree.

          PS – let us know how your bagels come out! -M

    2. I know this is two years out but I would think you could use conversion amounts as in beer brewing. After all, both use grains (malted and not) and yeast!
      From Midwest Supplies:
      The ratio for use between the dry and liquid forms of malt extract can be approximated as follows: 1 pound of dry
      malt extract equals roughly 1.2 pounds of syrup malt extract. Likewise, 1 pound of syrup malt extract would roughly
      equal 0.8 pounds of dry malt extract.”
      Just use the ratios and maybe adjust the water. Good luck.
      BTW the only Bagel recipe I use.

      1. Hi David,
        For the small amounts of malt we use, it doesn’t make any appreciable difference. If you want to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, you can do it.
        Best wishes,

  5. Hi Mike,
    If you don’t have the high protein flour needed, will adding vital wheat gluten make up for the lower protein content?

    1. Hi Autumn,
      Depending on where you are, you might check out a Restaurant Depot. This is a chain of restaurant supply warehouses. Normally they require one prove one owns, or works for, a commercial food enterprise. During the Covid-19 crisis, they have waived that requirement. The usually have a good stock of flour. (And toilet paper.)

      If that’s not a option, in a recent bagel class we were out of high protein flour and had no VWG (vital wheat gluten) and no time to get either. So, we used bread flour and the results were better than I was expecting. So, if you have bread flour, you might just use that and see what you think. All purpose flour is another matter, really. I wouldn’t recommend it without the addition of VWG.

      Using VWG helps doughs rise better and can make almost any bread taller. However, if you use more than about 5% VWG, the crumb becomes gummy. With that in mind, how much VWG does one have to add to get the protein of flours up to more reasonable levels?

      I played with some numbers. Bob’s Red Mill VWG is 70% protein. All-Purpose flour is usually around 10%, bread flour 12%, and high protein flour about 14%.
      The easiest case is upgrading bread flour to protein levels in high protein flour. If you use 96.55% bread flour and 3.45% VWG tiy get 14.001% protein. Or, remove 1/2 TBSP from a cup of bread flour and replace it with 1/2 TBSP of VWG.

      Upgrading all-purpose to have the protein levels of high protein flour is a bit trickier. To get to 14% protein would take 6.7% VWG which would be over our 5% threshold. It would also be just under a TBSP if you want to try it. Using 5% VWG would give us 13% protein, which might be good enough. Or, 95% AP flour, 5% VWG, or remove 2 tsp from a cup of AP flour and replace it with 2 tsp of VWG.

      Upgrading AP flour to have the protein level of bread flour is again pretty easy. 3.5% VWG will do it. Or, use 96.5 AP flour and 3.5% VWG. Or, remove 1/2 TBSP from a cup of AP flour and replace it with 1/2 TBSP VWG.

      The cup measurements assume you have a 130 gram cup of flour. We talk about that in the “What’s a Cup?” post.

      While that satisfies the math of juggling protein, it isn’t clear from the spreadsheet that it would make good bagels. If you try it, I hope you’ll let us know!

      1. ???? if I had only seen this during Covid
        Your recipes look amazing, I wouldn’t know where to start to find high gluten/protein flour, I use a locally milled flour here in Ontario Canada from a local farm, it’s a hard wheat, is that acceptable? It’s called red fife wheat.

        1. Hi Michelle,
          Thanks for the kind words! Let’s get you making some bagels! Red fife wheat is a great tasting wheat! However, the protein level will vary based on the growing conditions. A regional miller found one wheat, Warthog, varied from 9.5 to over 15% depending on where it was grown.

          So, you might want to check the Red Fife’s protein content. In the US, there is a nutrition information panel on all food and ingredients. It will tell you what a serving is, and how much protein is in a serving. With that information, you can determine the percentage of protein in the flour. King Arthur’s Organic Bread flour serving size is 1/4 cup or 30 grams, with 4 grams of protein per serving. 4/30 = 0.133333. Multiply that buy 100 to get a percentage and you have 13.333% Don’t get to excited about the digits to the right of the decimal point, flour vendors tend to round off their values. Maybe it’s 3.8 grams of protein, maybe it’s 4.2. It will be within half a gram or so.

          If your flour sacks don’t have that information, we need to think about what information you do have. Drop me a note and we’ll see what we can see.

          What you want for bagels is a high protein flour. 13.5% is a bit low, but probably OK. King Arthur has a flour sold as Sir Lancelot that fills the bill, GM sells their All-Trumps, and Honeyville Farms sells their Imperial flour. I have no idea if any of these are available in Canada or what suitable flours are available. Usually pizza flour is workable, but check the protein. Depending on where you are, you might drop by one of the two two classic Montreal bagel bakeries, Fairmount or St. Viateur Bagel, and see what sort of flour they are using..

          There are two last ditch things you can do. You can add a small amount of vital wheat gluten (VWG) to the flour to raise its protein level. VWG is a refined protein extracted from wheat. I find adding more than about 5% VWG tends to give the bread a rather gummy texture. The other last ditch thing you can do is to get the highest protein flour you can find and just make the bagels. You might be surprised to find that it works out well.

          Please let me know what you do and how it turns out!

  6. Just made a batch, and they are pretty good. (My shaping technique needs improving: I think the 10″ rope might be too long; 8″ might be more like it.) Yours is the only recipe I’ve seen that includes oil. I am not sure, but I don’t think this is usual in NY bagels. Is this a change you made for home cooks for easier dough handling? How would omitting the oil affect the final product?

    1. I also would like to know about the addition of oil to the recipe. Is it added because of the sourdough? To make the dough easier to handle? And what would omitting the oil do to the final bake?

      1. Hi Janey,

        I got the recipe from Greenstein’s “Secrets of a Jewish Baker” and modified it for sourdough. He called for the oil, so I left it in.

        A bit of oil helps dough development, in my experience. It also helps the baked good last a bit longer.

        If you have trouble with the oil, leave it out. The recipes here are not carved in stone and brought down from on high. If youy leave the oil out, please let us know how it works out.

        Be brave, change the recipe and make it yours,

  7. Oh, and by the way, only stale bagels require toasting–at least for me! As a native New Yorker (now living far from NY), toasting a freshly baked bagel amounts to sacrilege. :o) When I was growing up, toasting was viewed as a way to revive a day-old bagel. Nowadays, when commercial bagels are so pillowy, even fresh ones require toasting to ensure that they have any body at all.

    I hasten to add that this is only my view and that everyone should feel free to enjoy them however they want! (But do try a fresh bagel without toasting. I think you’ll be impressed with your handiwork.)

  8. I’m using a “Dry Malt Extract” in powdered form. I believe I read in the comments that your 10 gram weight is syrup. Since the syrup is around 20% water, should I be using only 8 grams of powder in this recipe? Thank you.

    1. Hi Skip,

      I’ve edited the recipe, and the answer to another comment, to remove ambiguity.

      The amount of malt extract is so small you may use dry or liquid, diastatic or non-diastatic barley malt extract without changing the measurements.

      About the only things you don’t want to use are hopped malt extracts or malted milk powder. Hopped malt extracts are more focused for making beer, and malted milk powder is mostly sugar and really not suitable for bagels.


  9. Hi Mike,
    Gettin bored so I’m tackling SD Bagels again. Paying more attention to protein % these days. I pretty much use KIng Arthur unbleached bread flour and have great luck with all your recipes. Knowing KA UBBF is about 13%, can I use Vidal Wheat Gluten to raise the protein enough to make better bagels? Loved your updated Total Cinnamon Rush being a cinnamon freak!
    Keep up the good work!
    Thanks again, Skip

    1. Hi Skip,
      Thanks for the kind words!
      I’d look for the All-Trumps, Sir Lancelot, or Imperial high protein flours. We’ve made bagels with bread flour and they’re good, but not great. Adding gluten helps, but it still isn’t where I want it to be.

      We’re about to have another Back to bagels class via Zoom. Details at the Our Class Schedule page in a day or two. If you get the “Just A Class Plus PLUS” we’ll send you the right flour. Many people will be happy to sell you a 50lb sack of flour, but that might be more than you want to buy. new York Bakers has an online store of reasonably priced flours, among them hard to find rye flours and high protein flours.

      Best wishes,

      1. Thanks Mike, will keep an eye out for that class. Have to figure out Zoom before then. Found a site “Megan’s Desserts” that sells a 7lb bag of the GM’s All-Trumps High Gluten unbleached unbromated flour. Shipping was pricey but 7lbs will last me awhile for bagels and pretzels! Thanks again, Skip

        1. Hi Skip,
          Luckily, Zoom offers help. Just go to with your phone, tablet or computer and they’ll help you make sure your device will work, and you can play with Zoom to get a feel for it. Thanks for telling me about Megan’s Desserts, I hadn’t seen that site before. Not too many people sell manageable quantities of All-Trumps.

          The baking class is now up on the “Our Class Schedule” page.

          Best wishes,

  10. Mike,
    First I would like to thank you for helping me nearly achieve the bagels of my dreams. I have followed your formula and method closely and with mostly excellent results. I use Bouncer flour from Bay State Milling, with 14% plus protein level. My hydration is 55% when the sourdough starter is accounted for. Given the fact that bagel dough is hard on mixers, I mix by hand and get my gluten developed by way of a series of stretch and folds. I have two issues.
    1) First, even with no bench rest after forming the bagels, (they go directly into the fridge overnight), they float as soon as they hit the water. They bake up a bit fluffier (not quite as dense) as I would like. Should I reduce my fermentation time? From the beginning of the mixing process until going into the fridge, I’m giving the dough 4 1/2 total hours to ferment at around 75° F.
    2)Second, and this might be related to the first problem, my bagels don’t brown evenly. They are nicely blistered and the crust is otherwise good, but the color is blotchy, with darker and lighter spots instead of a nice even brown all over. I use a home oven and rotate my bagels about halfway through but they always end up with uneven browning, something like the crust on a Neapolitan style pizza, but not as pronounced. I bake at 525° F. with a little steam for a total of about 15 minutes. How can I achieve that nice even brown appearance?

    1. Hi Dave,

      I haven’t used Bouncer, but I’ve had good luck with other Bay State products, so that’s probably not an issue.

      A friend develops his bagels with stretch and fold, so I know it is possible. However, the stretch and fold time does count as floor time, so I’m not a fan. I’d suggest kneading, rather than stretching and folding, to reduce that 4 1/2 hour up front time.

      It isn’t clear why the bagels would be blotchy. A picture would help. Perhaps you could email me a picture.

      If you are making enough bagels that kneading is difficult, I’ll suggest a more macho mixer. I’ve been using an Ankarsum for up to 3 dozen (10.5 lbs/4.8kg) at at time with no problems. I also just bought a FAMAG 8s mixer – it was delivered 2 days ago as I write this. It’s a spiral mixer which holds 11.5 quarts (17.7 lbs/8kg) of dough and has a tilt head. On it’s first outing it mixed 3 dozen bagels (10.5 lbs/4.8kg) without any complaint. FAMAG is sold by Pleasant Hill Grains in the USA.

      Hope this helps, please let me know how things work out,

      1. You mentioned you make a larger batch in your Ankarsrum. Do you find the roller or the dough hook works best with a stiffer dough? I made a different bagel recipe today in my Ank and I tried both. My recipe is quite dry and it struggled with both the roller and the hook. I started with the roller and switched to the hook when I felt it wasn’t really kneading it. I had to keep helping move the dough with the hook. It is probably user error! My machine is new to me.

        I want to try your bagel recipe next time, but would love to know which you prefer. (Or found to work better.)


        1. We did two fairly deep dives into the Electrolux Assistent/Ankarsum mixer. One was a throwdown, or comparison, between the KitchenAid K45SS and the Assistent, the other was a comparison between using the hook and the roller on the Assistent, or Ank.

          Basically, I prefer the hook for everything. It is easier and works very well.

          A recurring problem new users have is that they look at the mixing bowl and think the mixer isn’t doing anything. Many times the best answer is to just walk away and let it work for 5 minutes rather than obsessing over how the mixer is working. After 5 minutes, the dough usually looks better.

          When you say your dough is dryer, that opens another question. How dry is your dough? My bagel recipes have a hydration of 53 to 55%, which is quite dry. The mixer pulls the dough together very easily. Because bagel dough is so dry, I strongly recommend weighing the ingredients, cups are just too variable and are not suggested here. If the dough is too dry, it won’t come together. If it is too wet, the bagel won’t hold up to the stresses bagel dough go through.

          Hope that helps.

          1. Thank you for the reply Mike – it is helpful! Yes, I have already watched those videos. I was just struggling with a bagel dough and so wondering about your experience with the attachments for that particular kind of dough. You are so right about watching it too closely and obsessing if it is working right! That was exactly what I was doing. Not only am I a newbie with the Ank, I am a newbie to bread making.

            The recipe I was using was not yours. I am going to try it next! (I found it by doing a google search about sourdough bagels and using an Ankarsrum.) I much prefer weight measurements and the recipe I used was not written that way. It turns out good bagels, but the dough really is dry when kneading in the machine. Making bagels was one reason I upgraded to an Ank from a KA.

            I so appreciate your site for information and recipes. Thank you!

          2. I just filmed a video on making bagels with an Ank and am editing it. With luck it will be online “real soon now”.

            Best wishes,

  11. When I make a sweeter type of bagel such as cranberry orange, I notice that these bagels sink more in the pot of boiling water. I let them rest for the same amount of time as my other bagels but I wonder if you need to let these rest longer? Or use more yeast perhaps? Does anybody know? Is it the fruit that’s making them sink more?

    1. Hi Heidi,

      The short answer is, yeah, let them rise longer or use more riser. However, people expect more of answer from Sourdough Home! So, here’s the tl;dr response:

      Any time you add things to dough the results can surprise you. And then all you can do is compensate to make the product you want. Usually orange juice helps dough rise, so your expeience is a little odd. When I make cranberry bread, I use dried cranberries, often craisins, and they don’t seem to impact the rise. If you’re using fresh cranberries, you might want to try using dried ones.

      This is the time of year when people in the northern hemisphere suddenly notice their rises are taking longer. A proofer can help, as can paying attention to the rule of 240.

      I have similar issues with both my garlic-rosemary bagels and cinnamon-raisin bagels – both garlic and cinnamon slow the rise. We talk about this at some length in our Flavored Breads cookbook and class.

      Wrestling this to the ground – there are two answers -the rise and the riser.

      First the rise – let the dough rise longer. You can extend the bulk rise, which gives good vitality to a dough if you don’t overdo it, and this gives you the best boost of the rises we discus. You can give the shaped bagels more floor time before they are put into the cooler for the long slow overnight rise. This is the next most effective time to get rise out of the dough, but obviously, it’s too late to do this when your bagels are refusing to float.

      You can also give the bagels a longer overnight cool rise, and you may be able to raise the temperature of the long overnight cool rise. I find that a refrigerator is really too cold for an effective cold rise. In our bakery, we used a walk-in cooler to hold our dough for the overnight rise. We played with the temperature of the walk-in, usually keeping it between 45 and 55F (7.2 to 12.7C). Now that we’re not running a bakery and a busy day means making a few dozen bagels rather than hundreds, I use a wine cooler to handle the overnight rise. If you’re in that spot where a wine cooler is too small and you aren’t ready to purchase a walk-in cooler or a professional retarder, a good affordable solution is using a used upright freezer (look at The Thrifty Nickel or other local “bargain” papers, or CraigsList for inexpensive used freezers) with an external thermostat, available from brewing supply houses.

      You can also let the bagel rise longer at room temperature when you take them out of the cooler and before you boil them. I find that after being cooled overnight dough is reluctant to rise more until it is warmed up, so letting the dough rise in a proofer or warm area can help speed things along. Remember – once you bake them, they won’t rise any more – bagels really don’t offer much in the way of oven spring.

      The riser – you can use more riser, or a more active riser. I make sure that I have an active sourdough starter when I make bagels as I am asking a lot from the starter. If you are using yeast using more yeast is very easy. Changing the amount of starter requires some tweaking of the formula to keep the dough hydration where you want it. I should do a video about that.

      Finally, you can do both – more time and more starter.

      Some people may be tempted to just add some yeast to their sourdough bagels. When you are ready to boil the bagels it’s too late, but I discourage adding baker’s yeast to sourdough breads as it robs the sourdough starter of the time it needs to work its magic. If you want to make yeast based bagels, that’s fine, and we have a great recipe for Montreal Style Bagels on our sister site, The New Burgundians. But my feeling I’d rather make yeast based bagels or sourdough based bagels than a hybrid.

      Good luck – please tell us how you work out these issues,

  12. Pingback: Sourdough Bagels: The Ultimate Guide to Making at Home

Leave a Reply to Skip Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *