The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first sourdough bagels

bencheng's picture

My first sourdough bagels

I have made a sourdough starter and my first project is sourdough bagels.

I have been using "Baking Artisan Bread: 10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home" formula to make bagels and I quite like it. so I decide to adapt the formula.



  • 1 tablespoon of my sourdough starter.
  • 125g water
  • 125g Strong bread flour

Main dough

  • Leaven 240g
  • Strong bread flour 295g
  • Water 110g
  • Diastatic malt 6g
  • Salt 3g

and the result is pretty good. It's chewy and taste good and not sour at all. The only thing is I think I have over-proved it so the bagels are not as dense as I expected from sourdough starter.


RonRay's picture

Bencheng, your post is very well done and the results certainly look impressive Yum ;-)


Syd's picture

Those look gorgeous.  The shaping is spot on!


jaywillie's picture

I wonder if what you think is over-proofing is due to the use of diastatic malt, which will improve the rise of the dough and therefore affect the density of the bagel. You might try non-diastatic malt and see if it makes it difference. As you probably know, non-diastatic malt imparts the same characteristic bagel flavor but does not have the enzymes that aid the yeast.


bencheng's picture

No. I didn't know that about non-diastatic malt, but unfortnately it's not easy to get non-diastatic malt powder here in New Zealand. May be I'll go to some health shop to see if I can get some non-diastatic malt syrup. thanks.

mrfrost's picture

You can gently toast(or roast) your non diastatic, on the stove top or in the oven, until it becomes a light golden brown. This will deactivate the enzymes and you will then have non diastatic malt. I do this all the time. It works, and is delicious.

I usually start out on the stovetop, slowly stirring the powder, over medium' low heat. After a few minutes, you will notice it begin to start browning a little, and it may start sticking to the pottom of the pan.  I then finish it off in a low to medium oven, where it can fiinish the browning in a lower, gentler and more even heat. Check and stir it every few minutes. The whole process may take 30 minutes or so. No need to rush it and you don't want to let it get scorched or burned.

You can also deactivate the enzymes be gently boiling)simmer the malt powder in some of the recipes water. However, I find the toasting method results in a much better end product.

Here is a picture of some of my self roasted malt powder, before and after. The after, now nondiastatic is the more tan/golden brown flour.

All that said, I don't really know if this will turn out to be the solution to your "overproofing". I have seen several bagel recipes calling for diatatic malt. You can also control the proofing by just allowing it less time on the bench and/or refrigerating the dough.

They really don't even look overproofed to me. They look almost perfect, but to each his own.

Good luck.