Sourdough Bagels With Toasted Sesame & Sunflower Seeds

Now, I will set one thing straight from the beginning. This is not the recipe you want to dive into if you are in a rush or want speedy results. This recipe is a labour of love and should be enjoyed and not at all rushed. The process of making sourdough is one thing but shaping these 12 magical morsels is something else. I was so so impressed with the result and will definitely make them again.

12 bagels was far too many for myself and my boyfriend to get through so we just froze half a dozen and kept the other half stored in an airtight container.

There is something to be said about creating your very own bread from scratch. Sourcing the correct flours, weighing out the ingredients to the gram, patiently waiting for the proving process and carefully folding each fold makes taking your beautifully smelling little bagel babies out of the oven for the first time that much more special. I have become quite hooked on the satisfaction acquired after doing such an act. So as I said, if you do not have time, try another recipe. If you're looking to learn something new and feel the soft stretchy dough change beneath your hands with every stretch and fold then go for it!



220g active sourdough starter

360g warm water

630g all purpose flour or bread flour

20g maple syrup

20g molasses

1 Tbsp salt

50g granulated sugar

2 tsp baking soda


4 tbs plant based milk

2 tbs maple syrup

sesame seeds/sunflower seeds


  1. Combine the starter, water, and flour in the bowl. Mix by hand until a shaggy mass is formed. Let sit for 30 minutes.

  2. Add the salt, maple syrup, and molasses to the bowl and mix until mostly incorporated then invert onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 15 minutes.

  3. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. Fold the dough, which means turning the bowl quarter turns at a time, stretch and fold the top of the dough to the bottom. Cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.

  4. Fold again then let rest for an hour before folding for a third and final time. Let sit for another hour. 

  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into twelve 100g pieces of dough. 

  6. Working with one piece of dough at at time, roll the dough into little balls, creating as much surface tension as you can bu cupping the dough and pulling it towards you on the counter top. They should resemble mini pizza dough balls. Once all dough balls are formed, starting with the first one, squeeze together your thumb and fore finger to create a whole in the centre of the dough ball. Once this hole is form place the dough ring around your fore finger and swing the dough ring around your finger creating a bigger even hole. Just swing the dough for 3/4 seconds.

  7. Transfer to a heavily floured sheet pan and repeat with the remaining 11. Space them about 2 inches apart to leave room for them to proof overnight.

  8. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing in the fridge overnight. 

  9. The next day, remove the bagels from the fridge. Leave them at room temperature while you prepare for baking. Fill a pot that is big enough for 2-3 bagels with water and bring to a boil. Preheat your oven to 450F/230C.

  10. Prepare your toppings and bagel wash by mixing the plant based milk and maple syrup together.

  11. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the granulated sugar and baking soda. Prepare a sheet tray with a cooling rack on top for draining the bagels and two more sheet trays with parchment for baking. 

  12. Take a bagel and carefully lay it in the boiling water. It should rise to the top and lie flat on the surface. Add as many as you can fit and are comfortable watching at a time. Cook for 30 seconds then flip the bagels and repeat. Transfer to the cooling rack to drain and dry. Repeat with remaining bagels, working quickly but carefully.

  13. Transfer the bagels from the cooling rack to the parchment lined sheet trays, leaving room for them to expand. Brush with milk & maple mix and top with desired toppings- sesame and sunflower. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. 

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