The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dmsnyder's picture

Sourdough Bagels

(adapted from Hamelman's bagel formula in Bread)

David M. Snyder

January 2, 2019

Almost two years ago, I converted Jeffrey Hamelman's formula for bagels to sourdough, although I did continue to spike the dough with instant yeast. Since then, I acquired my Mockmill 100 and have been baking almost everything with at least some freshly milled flour. Today, I baked a batch of bagels using 24% home-milled whole white wheat. The rest of the flour was Breadtopia's "High-protein Bread Flour." These are by quite a bit the best bagels I have ever made. They may be the best I have ever eaten.

Total Dough




Wt (g)

Bakers' %

High-protein bread flour



Whole white wheat flour






Barley Malt Syrup






Instant yeast







Makes 13 113 g (4 oz) bagels.

Note: For this bake, the High-protein bread flour was from Breadtopia. The whole white wheat flour was freshly milled using a Mockmill 100.


Liquid Levain




Wt (gm)

Bakers' %

Hi-protein bread flour



Water (85ºF)



Active liquid levain






  1. Dissolve the levain in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  3. Place in a clean container and ferment until ripe. 8-12 hours, depending on vigor of your starter and the ambient temperature – 76ºF is ideal. (For a liquid levain, this means the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. It should smell fruity, not like raw flour and not sour.)

  4. If not ready to mix the final dough, the ripe levain can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Final Dough



Wt (gm)

High-protein bread flour


Whole white-wheat flour


Water (85ºF)


Barley malt syrup




Instant yeast


Liquid levain






  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the water, ripe liquid levain and malt syrup. Mix at low speed until these ingredients are well-blended.

  2. In a separate clean bowl, combine the flours, salt and instant yeast. Add this mix to the liquid ingredients a third at a time, mixing each addition at low speed until well-blended before adding the next.

  3. Mix at medium speed until an early gluten window forms (6-8 minutes).

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled clean bowl. Cover tightly and ferment at 76ºF for one hour. The dough should be almost doubled in volume.

  5. Transfer the dough back to the board and divide into 113 g (4 oz) pieces.

  6. Pre-shape into rounds and allow to rest, covered with a towel, for 20 minutes or so.

  7. Form bagels from each piece. Degas gently. Form a tube, as if shaping a baguette. Roll each tube into a cylinder (not tapered) about 12 inches long. Wrap this around your open hand, with the ends overlapping under your palm by 2-3 inches. Roll your open hand back and forth on the board to seal the bagel. If it sticks, flour the board lightly. If it slides, wipe the board with a very slightly damp towel.

  8. Place the bagels with at least an inch between them on parchment-lined baking sheets sprinkled with semolina or coarse cornmeal. Cover with plasti-crap or place in a food-safe plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. (I find quarter sheet pans most convenient. Each holds 6 bagels.)

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF (with an optional baking stone in place).

  10. In a large sauce pan (4 quart or larger), bring water to boil with 2 tablespoons of barley malt syrup.

  11. Take as many bagels as you can bake at one time out of the fridge.

  12. Boil the bagels right out of the fridge, 3 or 4 at a time, 15-20 seconds on each side. They should float.

  13. Remove the bagels to a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan. If topping, press the top or both top and bottom, if desired, into a pie tin containing the topping of choice. (If the bagels' surface is too dry for the toppings to stick, place a damp paper towel on a baking pan or another pie tin. Put the bagel on this for a moment before pressing into the topping mixture.)

  14. Then place the bagels on a clean, parchment-lined baking sheets sprinkled with semolina or coarse-ground cornmeal with at least one inch between them.

  15. Repeat steps 10. and 11. until all the bagels have been boiled and topped. (Note: If you cannot bake all the bagels at once, leave the ones you cannot accommodate in your first bake in the fridge until the first batch has been baked, then repeat steps 9.-11. with the remaining bagels.)

  16. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the desired degree of brownness has been achieved.

  17. Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Those that are not to be eaten right away can be frozen for later consumption.

These were baked this morning, so freshly baked for breakfast. I had one half with a lox shmear made yesterday ... 

I don't know how my local Whole Foods Market knew I would be baking bagels today, but yesterday, for the first time I can remember, they had genuine Great Lakes Smoked Whitefish! So, that's what I had with the other half bagel for breakfast. 

Very yummy stuff!

For your interest, this was not actually my first bake of 2019. Yesterday, I baked some more multi-grain sourdough, which continues to be our favorite "daily bread." You can see it here:

Happy New Year to all my Fresh Loaf friends, and Happy Baking in 2019!


dabrownman's picture

and the top 15 Mexican Food Blogs are

Yes I'm making instant pot Cicken Chili Verde to put over my Chicken Chili Verde Tamales for tonight's dinner:-)

Happy New Year


trailrunner's picture

This is based on Danni's Peasant Bread...thank you Danni !  I milled my spelt, rye and kamut and ground the flax seed. I sifted out the goodies  from the flours. I have never done this before but decided to give it a try. I used two different starters that I have had going for a while. Not sure what they are but one was fed only AYW and the other was fed only durum...but that was before and they were now going be on a " water and goodies" feed :). They loved loved loved it. Tripled in 2 hrs. Boom !  I did an autolyse with just the flour and water for about 2 hrs. Folded in the levain and salt. Bulk fermented for a couple hours with only two s and f's as I went to play with my grandson. Came back and the dough had doubled . Yikes. Quickly made 3 rough boules and put it in the fridge. My new procedure as of my last bake is to let it ferment at least 36 hrs. Amazing how well it does. Will look forward to seeing the crumb as last time not only did I get great oven spring, and this time too, but I had amazing open crumb.  Baked at 500 then 475 in my granite roasters. 

crumb shots...lovely tender a little sour and beautifully open












ckujawa's picture

Just pulled this from the oven about 20 minutes ago and can't wait to dig into it. We had cooked a turkey this past weekend and wanted to make sandwiches...but of course we needed a bread built just for such an occasion. So...I set to work with the breadcalc spread sheet and this is what I came up with.

Levain @ 50%: 100%/3oz
Water: 50%/2oz
KAF Speacial Flour: 90%/3oz
KAF White Whole Wheat Flour: 5%/1oz

Final dough...
All the starter: 25%?...I didn't weigh it, just threw 'er in
KAF Special flour: 80%/ 12.25oz
KAF White Whole Wheat Flour: 10%/1.5oz
KAF Pumpernickle Flour: 10%/1.5oz
Water 73%/11oz
Salt: about 1tsp (I estimated from here on out...)
Fresh sage, chiffonade 2Tblsp
Dried lavender, crushed 1Tblsp or so (still estimating)
homemade dried cranberries...about a cup

I let the starter do it's thing overnight. Mixed all the ingredients to the salt up, autolyze 10 minutes, knead with a mixer for 5 minutes and let them sit in bulk ferment for 2 hours (slap and fold every 20 minutes or so). Then, I put the dough on a lightly floured board, added the rest of the ingredients to the pile and kneaded until well mixed. Back to bulk ferment for another 1-2 hours--no slap and fold this time. Shape and rise in a banneton for about an hour, preheating the oven to 500 degrees toward the end of the rise (no time here...I just turned it on and walked away). Prior to the preheat I put a sheet pan in the oven upside down so it would get nice and toasty before I placed the load on it. Gently transferred the boule to parchment paper on a free sheet, cut my pattern, then transferred to the sheet in the oven. Added steam every 5 minutes for the first 15, then dropped the temp to 400degrees where the bread did it's thing for about 30 minutes (internal temp of 190). Of course, 1/2 way through the 400degree time I rotated the loaf 180 degrees.

Here it is on the way in...quite tasty too if I do say so myself.

davey1025's picture

Einkorn flour truly made a difference in both taste and texture. I only used about 10% of the total flour weight in this recipe.


Happy New Year everyone

Michael Fuhrman's picture
Michael Fuhrman

After years of reading these helpful blogs, I am reaching out for help.  For the past 20 years, I've been baking bread in my home kitchen.  Recently, I started using a Blodgett gas oven with a metal deck 30x42 at a local church to see if I can dramatically increase production and still maintain the quality I seek.  My initial goal is to move from 4 to 8 loaves in my Dutch Oven at home to 50 in the Blodgett gas oven.  The idea is to start a small bread shop in my hometown.  I've baked a couple of patches of pain de campagne at 78% hydration in the Blodgett oven. While the loaves exhibited the oven spring and maintained the taste, the crust failed to achieve that deep rustic look.  Instead, the loaves came out ashy.  Very disappointing.  

I've inserted a pan filled with hot water at the point the loaves went into the oven (temp. 450F) and sprayed the loaves with a hand-held bottle but to no avail.  The loaves just don't have the Dutch Oven look I get at home.  

Can I achieve that deep, dark reddish/blonde crust in a Blodgett oven?  I've attached an image of my first attempt in the church oven.  

Elsie_iu's picture

Sprouted White Wheat Buckwheat Barley SD


Dough flour (all freshly milled):

150g      50%       Whole white wheat flour

90g        30%       Sprouted white wheat flour

30g        10%       Toasted buckwheat flour

30g        10%       Toasted pearl barley flour


For leaven:

20g       6.67%       Starter

30g          10%       Bran sifted from dough flour

30g          10%       Water


For dough:

270g         90%       Dough flour excluding flour for leaven

100g      33.3%       Whey

143g      47.7%       Water

80g        26.7%       Leaven

5g          1.67%       Salt



280g       90.3%       Whole grain

310g       100%        Total flour

283g       91.3%       Total hydration


Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 30 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, around 5.5 hours (18.5°C).

Roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the salt and let it ferment for 20 minutes. Fold in the salt and ferment for 4 hour 10 minutes longer.

Preshape the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Shape the dough then put in into a banneton. Retard for 8 hours.

Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Remove the dough from the oven and let it warm up for 40 minutes. Score and spritz the dough then bake at 250°C/482°F with steam for 15 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


As the temperature of my home dropped to 18.5°C/65.3°F, the fermentation time of the dough more than doubled. Though I tried to feel the dough rather than relying on the clock, I still under-proofed the dough slightly…



This bread is quite robust in flavor. You can definitely tell the presence of the toasted buckwheat despite the small percentage of it used. The sweetness and toastiness are more pronounced than the sourness, thanks to the toasted barley and buckwheat, and sprouted white wheat.




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pul's picture

After some time without baking I am back with a repeat formula based on a mix of bread flour, whole wheat and durum. Roughly 180g bread flour, 80 g whole wheat and 40 g durum. The levain contained 15% of the total flour and the total hydration was 75%. The room temperature was about 16C. I built the levain the night before and processed the dough during the day. Below is the crumb shot.

Wish you happy baking in the new year.



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