No Knead Sourdough Bagels are easy to make, deliciously flavored, and have an incredible texture.
In this post you’ll learn why no knead sourdough makes this so easy, the recipe, tips, and see a video of the entire process.
You can customize the toppings with your favorite toppings and these would make an incredible weekly baking ritual for breakfast or a weekend brunch.
What is no knead sourdough?
No Knead is a method of making yeasted breads that is simpler and less hands-on than traditional methods that require long or frequent periods of kneading.
The dough is mixed together just until there is no dry flour and all the ingredients are combined.
Then during the long bulk fermentation the gluten proteins in the dough will make connections and grow in strength on their own.
After the bulk, these are ready to shape, proof, poach, and bake!
If you want to learn more about no knead sourdough, you can read my ultimate guide to no knead sourdough here.
7 Benefits of no knead sourdough bagels
- Clear, easy to follow directions
- Uncomplicated shaping
- No need to refresh your sourdough starter
- More digestible than standard bagels
- More flavor
- Super soft interior
- Bagels retain softness longer than traditional bagels
How long do these no knead sourdough bagels take?
The longest part of this process is the bulk fermentation.
You have two options for fermentation, one is room temperature and one is cold.
The “fastest” option is room temperature bulk fermentation. This will take 12-16 hours at room temperature for the dough to double in volume. The range of time depends on the room temperature and season.
The cold fermentation in the fridge will be 72 hours and will result in the most digestible bread and doesn’t require the same guesswork as room temperature variability creates.
Once that is done, the timing of the final steps of the recipes is standard as far as sourdough is concerned.
Below is a video of how to make these bagels from my online Once-a-Week No Knead Sourdough course starting after the bulk fermentation of the dough. The recipe in this post makes 7 bagels, in the video I’m using portions from my large batch to make 6.
How to make No Knead Sourdough Bagels
For this recipe, you will need at least 40g of sourdough discard.
- Mix the dough.
- Cover dough and bulk ferment (room temp 12-16 hours, cold 72 hours)
- Divide the dough.
- Preshape and rest the dough.
- Shape and place on a baking sheet.
- Poach in boiling water with baking soda.
- Egg wash and add optional toppings.
- Cool, cut and enjoy!
See the full recipe below.
How to prepare your bagels so they are freshly baked for breakfast
The best part of bagels is having one fresh in the morning, right?
There’s a reason why there’s a joke about “day old bagels”. (Although that’s not the same case with sourdough, I’ll explain below)
After the fermentation is complete and your dough is doubled, you will want to divide and shape your bagels in the afternoon or evening of the day before you’d like them for breakfast.
Proof at room temperature for 1 hour if your dough was at room temperature to begin with or 1.5 hours if your dough was cold from the fridge bulk fermentation.
Then make sure the bagels are still well covered with plastic wrap and put into the fridge overnight.
In the morning, uncover the bagels and leave in the fridge while you preheat the oven and prepare to poach them. This air exposure will make the bagels less sticky on the outside so they are easier to handle and will help create the correct chewy texture after poaching and baking.
Preheat the oven and boil water in a large pot according to directions for poaching.
Then poach, egg wash, top, and bake as specified in the recipe.
You will need at least an hour to preheat, poach, and bake before your no knead sourdough bagels are ready to enjoy!
Topping ideas for no knead sourdough bagels
- Sesame seeds
- Cinnamon sugar
- Parmesan or asiago cheese
- “Everything but the bagel” seasoning
- Mozzarella and pepperonis
- And of course, the classic plain
How to use no knead sourdough to simplify your baking
This recipe comes from my Once-a-Week No Knead Sourdough method outlined in my online course.
I make a big batch of dough and let it bulk ferment.
Then pull portions of dough to make into bagels like these or english muffins, sandwich loaves, and more.
This has been so helpful for me to make sourdough bread on a regular basis for my family and even have pizza dough ready to go for a last minute dinner on a busy weeknight!
Need more help?
I’d love to support you with my books or online courses.
Along with my Once-a-Week No Knead Sourdough online course, I also have a Intro. To Sourdough online course if you are ready to gain a solid foundation for sourdough, the traditional way, to learn all the basics, language, techniques, and the process from start to finish to make sourdough bread.
Or if you’re looking for a traditional sourdough bagel recipe, I have one in my book, Everyday Bread Baking.
Living Bread Baker posts mentioned
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Rounded dough scraper or spatula
4 qt capacity dough bin with lid or Plastic cling wrap
Bread knife (my starter knife. A good bread knife is really important for safety and even slicing)
Deluxe bread knife (this is the one I use but it is an investment)
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No Knead Sourdough Bagels
- 340 g water
- 10 g salt
- 35 g sourdough discard
- 60 g whole wheat flour
- 440 g bread flour
- dash of water
- Take your jar of sourdough starter out of the fridge.
- In your extra large mixing bowl, add the water and slowly add the salt.
- Add the sourdough starter discard (Note for beginning sourdough bakers: after you add the 40g (about 3 T.) make sure there is a remainder to feed to refresh for future sourdough baking. Place jar to the side to feed after you mix the dough.)
- Add the whole wheat flour and the bread flour to the mixing bowl.
- Stir the ingredients in a circle using a mixing spoon or one hand in a circular motion, stir slowly to minimize flour flying out. Use a dough scraper to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure no dry pieces of flour are left on the sides or bottom of the bowl. Use hands to continue mixing and feel the texture for any dry flour that may be left. This usually takes 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take a slightly damp paper towel or cloth and wipe the edges of the mixing bowl so that the plastic wrap makes a good seal or transfer dough to a container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or lid and place in the fridge, preferably on a center shelf for 72 hours cold fermentation. Alternatively, you can leave the dough at room temperature to bulk ferment for 12-16 hours. Look for dough to double in volume.
- Divide the dough: Turn dough out onto an unfloured surface and divide into 7 sections weighing about 125g each.
- Preshape: Fold one half of the dough over itself then use a dough scraper to turn and rotate the dough to form a ball. Try to get your ball as tight as possible. Cover with a light tea towel or kitchen towel.
- Dough Rest (aka bench rest): Let the dough rest for 20-40 minutes.
- Prepare a baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment.
- Final shaping: Take a ball of dough and press a finger through the middle to create a hole then rotate bagel around on your fingers until the hole expands to 2 inches in diameter. Place shaped bagels onto parchment. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
- Proof: Cover proofing bagels with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature 1-3 hours at room temperature (room temperature determines proofing length). Put your bagels into the fridge with no plastic covering and only a kitchen towel for 30 minutes before poaching to create a less sticky "skin" on the outside for easier handling and better final texture. Optional: Check to see if your bagels are proofed and ready for baking by conducting a float test, fill a bowl with room temperature water and put a bagel into the water. If it floats, the batch is ready, if it sinks, shake off the water and return it to the pan to proof longer.
- Preheat oven: Within the last 30 minutes of proofing, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Poaching: Bring a large pot of water to a boil (filled at least 4 inches deep). Add baking soda. Add the bagels 1-3 at a time (depends on the size of your pot). None of the bagels should overlap in the pot. Boil for 30 seconds. Flip the bagels over and boil for another 30 seconds on the opposite side. Transfer the poached bagels back to the parchment with the bottom side down. Repeat with all the bagels.
- Egg wash: Whisk the egg in a small bowl with a sprinkle of water to create the egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the surface of the bagels. Sprinkle on additional seeds or toppings, if you’d like.
- Bake: Place the baking sheet of prepared bagels into the center of the oven. Reduce the temperature to 425 degrees F and bake for 18-24 minutes until they are golden brown all over. Tip: rotate the pan once midway through baking if they are not browning evenly.
- Cool: Place the bagels on a cooling rack and cool for 10-30 minutes before enjoying.