New York Style Bagels (sourdough version)

Who knew! Apparently bagels are not just a bun with a hole in them. I say apparently as I didn't know this & could count on one hand the number of times that I've actually bought bagels so I was a little lost on the difference until I read the blog/recipe by Sophisticated Gourmet. Essentially a bagel needs to be dense (I prefer mine lighter), chewy & boiled. should eat them freshly baked :).  

Sourdough Starter

50 g of previous days leaven

50 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Lukewarm water

~1.5 tsp Sugar (of some type)


50 - 70 g Roasted sweet potato


sugar + sweet potato I usually add both

The remaining 150 g of the previous days leaven I either use to make bread (below) or put it on the humus heap.

I'm not gentle when it comes to mixing the starter - I find the easiest way to mix is with a stab blender. It's quick & gets the lumps out.

Sugar - your starter will need a sugar source (the simplest one is glucose powder). Sugar comes in various forms for example grated apple, roasted pumpkin, roasted sweet potato, honey or simpler versions table sugar, raw sugar, molasses. We want to add the Goldilocks amount of sugar to our culture. Too little you will starve your starter, too much & you will kill it, just the right amount & your starter will grow happily. 

Adding the Goldilocks amount of sugar - Unfortunately I can't say what that amount is for your culture. For Arthur, my starter/leaven/culture, I know I haven't added enough food when I let the starter grow for ~6 hours (it has doubled in size) I swirl it back down & it doesn't grow again. 

Roasted sweet potato - I usually bake it whole for 1 - 1.5 hours (depending on the size). I blend it with a food processor & freeze it in ice cube trays. Two of my roasted sweet potato ice cubes weigh ~70 g. I've fed my culture on one ice cube of sweet potato however the culture is not as active. The water content of the roasted sweet potato will vary & may affect the final shape of your loaf.   


400 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

1.5 - 2 tsp Salt

25 g Sugar 

150 g Sourdough starter (leaven)

10 g - 15 g Psyllium husk

50 g Oil (I use Rice bran)

325 - 340 g Warm water

Extra oil

Optional Extras - honey, egg (for egg wash), sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt flakes


Water - the amount of water added will affect the shape of the bagels & how easy it is to pick them up to put in the water. If you use 15 g psyllium husk then you could probably use 340 g. 

Psyllium husk - helps keep the bagel shape & makes it easier for transferring them to the water.  More psyllium = denser bagels.  


Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the flat beater combine the mix until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides.

Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with a moist towel or clingwrap & place it somewhere warmish for 2 - 4 hours to rise. The actual time will depend on many factors particularly how active your sourdough starter (leaven) is. 

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lightly oil the baking paper.  

Put a little oil on your bench, tip out the dough & knead it a little. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Put a little oil on your hands & roll the individual dough into little buns. Oil a finger or the end of a wooden spoon & make a hole in the middle of the bun. Make the hole larger by twirling the bun around your finger (or the end of the wooden spoon). I actually had the bun on my finger in mid air & was spinning it like a little hoola hoop - I can imagine one flying off the finger :). Transfer the holed dough to the baking paper. Repeat with the remaining dough. 

Cover the tray with a damp cloth & allow the dough to rise for ~30 mins (or longer).  

Turn your oven on to 220o C. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil (optional - put some honey into the water). Reduce the heat to a simmer and use a slotted spoon to lower the bagels into the water. I must admit I was a bit rough with mine & simply plopped them into the water. I put 3 in at a time. Boil the bagels for at least 45 secs each side, I left mine in there each side for a bit over a minute. The longer they are in the water the chewier the crust will be. 

Transfer the bagels out of the water & back to the oiled baking tray. Repeat with the remaining bagels. 

If you want to put toppings on the bagels now is the time to do it. Make an egg wash with a whole egg & a little bit of salt. Coat the tops of the bagels with the egg wash & sprinkle on what you would like eg. sesame seeds, poppy seeds, a few salt flakes.

Transfer the tray to the oven and bake at 220o C for ~20 mins. The time will vary depending on the individual oven. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bagels halfway through baking.  

Take out of the oven & cool the bagels on a cooling rack. Eat them when they are still a little warm :).

Simply enjoy!