rustic sourdough bagels

When you wake up in the morning with a hankering for breakfast, what could be better than a Rustic Sourdough Bagel?! We’re going basic today, because truly there’s nothing more I’m craving right now that a cream cheese bagel and if this recipe is for anything, it’s to satisfy that craving. These bagels are soft and chewy and the sourdough flavour really complements a generous helping of cream cheese (dairy free, of course). Grab yourself a coffee and let’s get baking!

For this recipe, you’ll want to activate your starter with a mini punch of rye flour before giving it a good feeding with solely white flour. I don’t know about you but wholemeal bagels are not a vibe. I want that light, airy, fluffy texture that a nice plain/all purpose flour provides. I’m feeding my starter with 2 tbsp of rye flour just to wake her up from a long vacation in the fridge, then I’m feeding her with 2/3 cup of plain white spelt flour. I often use spelt flours in my baking because they’re an ancient grain – would you be interested in learning about why ancient grains are important? Let me know!

I’m also not going to add too much water to my starter for this recipe – let’s keep her nice and thick like waffle batter (or even a tad thicker). Once she’s fed, I leave my sourdough starter on the counter to rise throughout the day. Since we’re feeding with mainly white flour, we need to keep a closer eye on when she reaches her peak – white flour sourdough starters tend to flop really quickly which is why we need her nice and thicc today. Once lovely and risen and bubbly, our starter is ready to use!

the stretch-and-fold-process

Instead of kneading my sourdough, I prefer to complete iterations of a stretch and fold process about half an hour after I’ve initially made the dough. To stretch and fold the dough, take the top half of the dough, and stretch it out away from you (but do not pull it apart). Fold this stretched out half over the top of the rest of the dough. Turn the whole dough 90˚ and repeat the whole process until you’ve gone all the way around. I then place the dough back in the bowl and leave it for another half an hour before repeating again. I’ll repeat this entire process 3-4 times throughout the evening. At the end of the stretch and fold process your dough should no longer be dry and flaky but elastic and fairly smooth.


rustic sourdough bagels


  • 250ml (1 cup) warm water
  • 110g (1/2 cup) bubbly sourdough starter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g (3 ½ cup) strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

Toppings (optional)

  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • cinnamon sugar


In the evening

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the water, sourdough starter, and oil. Whisk everything together until only just combined.
  2. Add in the flour 1 cup at a time along with the salt, stirring all the while until a dough begins to form. You may need more or less flour depending on how sticky or dry it becomes.
  3. Once everything has started to come together, using clean hands, knead the dough a little in the bowl until all the flour has been absorbed and everything is fully combined. You should have a fairly shaggy dough.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to sit in a warm place for 30 minutes before completing the stretch and fold process (see above for details).
  5. After you’ve completed several iterations of the stretch-and-fold process, cover your dough with a damp tea towel once again and leave to prove for 8-12 hours overnight.

In the morning

  1. Your dough should be nicely risen and puffy come morning. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and leave to sit for 10 minutes. After this time, perform one last -stretch-and-fold.
  2. Using a pair of scissors or a knife, divide the dough into 10-12 roughly equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. To make the bagel shape, stick your thumb through the middle of each dough ball to form a hole.
  3. Stretch out the hole a little, going around the bagel to make it nice and evenly round, until you’re happy with the shape. Repeat until all the dough has been made into bagels.
  4. Place each bagel onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with a little flour (this prevents the dough from sticking). Let prove for 1-2 hours until well risen and puffy.
  5. Once so, preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Fill a large saucepan half way up with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add a tbsp of honey, sugar, or maple syrup to the water once hot.
  6. Once boiling, add the bagels a couple at a time to the water and let cook for 1 minute on each side. Take them out of the water and leave to drain on a towel for a few minutes before transferring back to the baking tray.
  7. Repeat this process for all the bagels. Once all the bagels have been partially cooked, bake them in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and the crust is semi-firm to the touch.
  8. Keep an eye on the bagels as they cook because all ovens are different. You want your bagels to be cooked throguh, but leave them too long and the crust will go too crispy (and we want chewy bagels).
  9. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Once completely cooled, these bagels can be stored in the bread box for up to 4 days, or in the freezer.

Serve these bagels fresh or toasted, spread with lots of (dairy free) cream cheese. Or however you want 🙂

I hope you love my Rustic Sourdough Bagels as much as I do. If you make this recipe, make sure you leave a like and a comment down below! I absolutely love hearing from you guys and you can be sure that I will try my best to get back to you soon! And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @amongsttheflour I love seeing the photos of recipes you’ve all made! Happy Spring and I wish you all a beautiful day!

Katherine x

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Hey, I'm Katherine. Welcome to my portfolio, my creative space. Here, you'll find an amalgamation of all my work - recipe creation, ebooks, writing, photography, and videography.

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