sourdough blueberry bagels
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These sourdough blueberry bagels don a blistered crust, sweet dried blueberries, and a perfectly chewy, New York bagel-style interior. Though the bagels spend a night in the fridge before boiling and baking, the hands on time goes quickly. There’s no need to toast them when they are fresh–they are just that good.

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sourdough blueberry bagels Pinterest image

I started down the road of sourdough baking a few years ago now, and I haven’t looked back.

I love making Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Soft Whole Wheat Sourdough Rolls, and Sourdough Danish Pastries.

When dough is allowed the time it needs to ferment, you get amazing results as far as the quality of the bake.

My husband and father-in-law said these homemade bagels are the best bagels they’ve ever had. I think part of that is being able to eat them fresh out of the oven while the crust is still crispy.

sourdough blueberry bagels arranged in a striped kitchen towel

If you haven’t had a bagel as fresh as a homemade one, you’re in for a treat.

The recipe yields a batch of 6 bagels. The process spans two days because of an overnight proof in the refrigerator, so you’ll want to plan ahead.

You can expect the bagel dough to be quite stiff. The recipe calls for bread flour and a long knead which both contribute to a chewy texture.

Traditional bagels are slightly sweetened with barley malt syrup. You can purchase a jar, or simply use honey as an alternative if that’s what you have around.

You will also notice that the recipe calls for sweetened dried blueberries. I tested fresh blueberries in one batch, but they didn’t add enough sweetness. Sweetened dried fruit works best.

The bagels take a quick bath in a pot of boiling water before baking. The boil sets the crust and adds moisture for steam during baking.

The crust blisters during baking due to the overnight ferment in the refrigerator which adds a lovely touch.

a close up look at the blistered crust on a sourdough blueberry bagel

Tips for Making Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

  • It’s crucial to use an active sourdough starter. If you store your starter in the fridge, feed it a few hours before you intend to mix your dough. Give it time to rise and become very bubbly.
  • Allow your bagel dough enough time to ferment and proof. You’ll know if your bagels are under-proofed if they sink to the bottom of your boiling pot instead of floating. If this is the case, they will bake up dense and rise up into a funny mounded shape. When they are proofed properly, they should keep their shape, bake up desirably chewy, and have a slightly open crumb.
  • I incorporate the dried berries during shaping. This gives me the flexibility to make different flavors of bagels in the same batch. If you’re making all 6 bagels blueberry, you could opt to add the fruit in at the very end of the kneading process.
a sourdough blueberry bagel sliced in half to reveal the inside

Equipment and Ingredients

sourdough blueberry bagels arranged in a circle with a small bowl of blueberries

How to Make Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

Step 1 – Make and Ferment the Sourdough Bagel Dough

Weighing your dough ingredients instead of measuring them will give you a more consistent result.

Add your sourdough starter, water, barley malt syrup (or honey), salt, and bread flour to the bowl of your mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Once the dough comes together, you’re going to give it a long knead. Since it’s a stiff dough, though, you might notice your mixer lagging as you continue kneading and the dough becomes stronger.

You can try increasing the speed of your mixer to compensate, but if that doesn’t help, transfer your dough to a clean countertop and finish by hand. It’s helpful to at least get it going in the mixer.

Knead until your dough is very smooth and stiff enough that it almost resists being kneaded–about 10-12 minutes.

a hand kneading the stiff bagel dough

Form the dough into a nice ball.

forming the dough into a nice smooth ball

Place the dough in a lidded bowl with the lid propped on and let it bulk ferment at room temperature for 4 hours.

Step 2 – Shape the Bagels and Proof

Now it’s time to divide the dough into 6 portions. Weigh your mass of dough in grams and divide the total by 6 to find the weight that each bagel should be. Cut the dough with a bench scraper and weigh as you go.

a kitchen scale shown next to 6 pieces of bagel dough

Form the portions into balls. I do this by pulling the ends of each piece of dough to the middle and pinching the seam closed. Then I roll the ball seam-side-down against the countertop with the palm of my hand to tighten the skin.

Cover the dough balls with a flour sack towel and let them rest for 10 minutes.

six portions of dough after they have been formed into nice smooth balls

To shape the first bagel, place a ball smooth-side-down on the countertop and press it flat into a circle.

fingers pressing a dough ball into a flat circle

Press dried blueberries or blueberry-flavored dried cranberries into the dough, doing your best to distribute them evenly.

a hand pressing dried blueberries into the bagel dough

Begin rolling the circle up from the bottom, pressing the seam down with each turn, until your dough is in the shape of a log.

a hand rolling the dough over the dried blueberries to pre-shape the bagel
rolling the dough up into a log shape to encase the dried blueberries
the bagel dough in a log shape

Lengthen the log to about 9 inches by rolling it against the counter with both hands as you use even pressure.

a hand lengthening the log into a 9-inch rope

Hold one end of the dough in your palm. Wrap the dough around the back of your hand until the ends overlap in your palm.

a bagel being shaped over a hand with the ends overlapping in the palm

Continue to hold the bagel around your hand while you roll the seam back and forth on your counter. This will seal it closed.

sealing the seam with a roll against the counter while the bagel is wrapped around the hand

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and sprinkle with a layer of cornmeal to prevent the bagels from sticking. You can use a small sheet pan at this point, if you want to.

Arrange the bagels on the pan. Feel free to give them a little stretch if you didn’t make the hole big enough in the first place.

bagels arranged on a baking sheet with parchment paper and cornmeal

Cover the blueberry bagels with plastic wrap, but give them room to expand. Allow them to proof at room temperature for 1 hour. They should look “poofy” at this point.

bagels shown covered with plastic wrap after the 1 hour proof at room temperature

Keep them covered, and refrigerate them for 12 hours (a few hours longer should be fine).

Step 3 – Boil and Bake the Bagels

The next day, you’ll notice the bagels will have risen even more until they are pressed against the plastic.

bagels shown after the long 12-hour proof in the refrigerator

Preheat your oven to 500°F and start a pot of water boiling on the stove. I use my Dutch oven for boiling bagels since it’s the perfect size.

I have chosen not to add any other ingredients to the water in my boiling pot. I find they aren’t necessary to achieve the result I’m going for.

Once the water is boiling, remove your bagels from the fridge. Gently drop 3 of them at a time in the pot. Let them boil for a total of 30 seconds, flipping them halfway through.

two bagels boiling in a red pot of water sitting next to a baking sheet with the bagels that have already been boiled

Use a spider strainer spoon to gently lift each bagel out of the pot, allowing any excess water to drip off.

Place the bagels back onto the baking sheet (use a parchment-lined half-sheet pan now if you used a smaller pan for proofing).

bagels shown back on the baking sheet after boiling

Bake the bagels on the center rack of your preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 425°F and continue baking them until they are golden brown.

Place them on a cooling rack, and allow them to cool completely before you slice into them and slather with some butter or cream cheese.

sourdough blueberry bagels resting on a kitchen towel

How to Store Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

The bagels will store fine at room temperature for a couple of days if you toast them after they are a few hours old. If you’re not planning on consuming them all right away, I would suggest you slice them and freeze in a gallon zipper freezer bag for optimal freshness.

Pop in the toaster when you’re ready to enjoy one for a quick breakfast.

If you make this recipe and love it, I would greatly appreciate if you would come back to leave 5 stars and a review! Tag me on Instagram @aberlehome to show me what you made!

sourdough blueberry bagels next to a small bowl of blueberries

Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

Yield: 6 bagels
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 17 hours
Total Time: 18 hours 22 minutes

These sourdough blueberry bagels don a blistered crust, sweet dried blueberries, and a perfectly chewy, New York bagel-style interior. Though the bagels spend a night in the fridge before boiling and baking, the hands on time goes quickly. There's no need to toast them when they are fresh--they are just that good.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (96g) active sourdough starter, 100% hydration
  • 1 cup (240g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (43g) barley malt syrup or honey
  • a scant 1½ teaspoons (8g) kosher salt
  • 3¼ cups (442g) bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon (unpacked) per bagel sweetened dried blueberries or dried blueberry-flavored cranberries*
  • Cornmeal for dusting the baking sheet
  • Water for the boiling pot

Instructions

  1. Add sourdough starter, water, honey, salt, and flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until the dough comes together.
  2. Knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is very smooth and stiff. If you find your mixer is lagging due to the stiffness of the dough, try increasing the speed. If that doesn't help, remove the dough to your countertop to finish kneading by hand.
  3. Form dough into a smooth ball and place in a lidded bowl with the lid propped on. Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature (75-80°F) for 4 hours.
  4. Remove the dough to a clean countertop and divide into 6 portions (weigh for accuracy). Form each piece into a tight ball. Cover the balls with a flour sack towel and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Press a ball smooth-side-down into a flat circle. Press a tablespoon or so of dried blueberries evenly onto the surface. Begin rolling the dough up from one side, pressing the seam down with each roll until you have a little log of dough. Use two hands to roll the log back and forth with even pressure against the countertop until it lengthens to 9 inches.
  6. Hold one end in the palm of your hand. Then wrap the dough around the backside of your hand until you can hold the ends overlapping in your palm.
  7. While the dough is wrapped around your hand, roll the seam against the counter with even pressure until the ends are fussed together. Shape the remaining dough balls in the same way.
  8. Sprinkle a parchment-lined half sheet pan with a layer of cornmeal to prevent sticking. Arrange bagels on the pan and cover with plastic wrap (not too tightly). Proof at room temperature for 1 hour until the bagels look puffier.
  9. Refrigerate (still covered) for 12 hours (or a few hours longer).
  10. Preheat oven to 500°F and set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Once water is boiling, remove your bagels from the refrigerator. Drop bagels three at a time into the pot for 30 seconds total, flipping once.**
  11. Remove the bagels with a spider strainer spoon and allow any excess water to drip off before placing them back on the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  12. Bake on the center rack for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 425°F and bake for 10-12 more minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  13. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing or storing. Bagels are best served without toasting while they are very fresh, and toasted after they are a few hours old.

Notes

*Do not use fresh berries.

**Bagels should float in the boiling pot. If they sink, allow the remaining bagels to proof longer at room temperature before boiling and baking.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 94gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 12g

*Nutrition information is not always accurate.