Boring bagels? Not anymore! These homemade sourdough bagels with dried fruit and nuts are the most satisfying and delicious bagels I've made so far! The natural sweetness of the dried cherries combined with the crunch of the pumpkin seeds is so delicious, especially with a generous slather of cream cheese!
ABOUT THESE SOURDOUGH BAGELS WITH DRIED FRUIT
These soft and chewy sourdough bagels are easy to make with very few steps! The addition of commercial yeasts helps the sourdough starter to rise more quickly than traditional sourdough recipes.
These bagels are made in three simple steps: forming the dough, boiling the bagels in baking soda water and baking the bagels in the oven.
Let me show you how to make Sourdough Cinnamon Crunch Bagels!
INGREDIENTS FOR SOURDOUGH BAGELS
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SOURDOUGH STARTER DISCARD || The star of this recipe is the ‘hungry’ sourdough starter discard. This is the byproduct of feeding and caring for a sourdough culture. The sourdough must be ‘fed’ water and flour at regular intervals to keep the colony healthy and growing. To learn more about the basics of sourdough, I've broken the process down in my post Simple Sourdough.
BREAD FLOUR || All purpose flour creates a slightly more dense and less chewy bagel. Bread flour is the best option for this recipe.
INSTANT YEAST || Sourdough starter naturally contains yeast and will rise over time, but to keep this recipe fast, I have added commercial yeast. This allows the dough to be lighter and fluffier in only an hour! I buy my yeast in bulk and keep it in the freezer.
NON-DIASTATIC MALT POWDER || This is an optional ingredient, but it is what gives the bagels their classic brown crust and chewiness. When I first began making bagels, I did not have non-diastatic malt powder. My bagels were a light brown color and very pleasant, but it was obvious something was missing. Now I add this every time and my bagels are **chef’s kiss** perfect!
WHOLE MILK || This adds a richness to the bagels that can only come from the addition of fat to the recipe. Personally, I have not tried this yet with a milk substitute, but in my opinion I think it would work… the bagel may be a bit less flavorful, though.
DRIED FRUIT & NUTS || For this variation on my plain bagel recipe, I added one cup of dried cranberries, raisins and pumpkin seeds. This adds both sweetness and crunchiness to the bagels! Helloooo, sourdough bagels with dried fruit & nuts!
MAKING THE DOUGH
When I am making breads or sourdough recipes, I always measure my ingredients by weight in using grams. A kitchen scale allows me to get a consistent final product. Sometimes a scoop of flour or splash of milk that is a little heavy handed isn’t a big deal, for example when baking cookies, but for breads the weight matters!
I use a stand mixer to knead this bagel dough. Place the mixing bowl on a kitchen scale that is set to grams, then hit the tare button. The tare function tells the scale not to count the weight of the bowl, which is important! Add the sourdough starter discard, bread flour, diastatic malt powder, dried fruit, nuts, whole milk, yeast, sugar and salt to the mixing bowl. I use the tare button between each addition to measure directly into the bowl.
Knead the dough in the stand mixer for about five minutes, or until the dough clings to the sides and feels soft and only slightly sticky to the touch. If the dough is too dry, add a splash of milk. If the dough is sticking to the bowl and seems too wet, add flour gradually until the texture improves. There is a bit of intuition involved with making sourdough recipes, but you will get the hang of it!
LET THE DOUGH RISE
Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover it with a tea towel and place it somewhere warm to rise for an hour. I turn my oven on to preheat for a few minutes, then shut it off to create a proofing box of sorts.
After the dough has warmly rested for an hour, it will feel soft and pillowy. Remove it from the mixing bowl and divide the dough into eight pieces using either a knife for pastry scraper. Form the pieces into balls and then gently flatten them into discs. Using a donut hole cutter or a thumb, press a hole into the center of the bagel.
MAKING THE BAGELS
Let the bagels rest on the counter, covered by a tea towel, while a large pot of water comes to a boil. Once the water reaches an boil, add the baking soda. The baking soda acts as both a binder and pH stabilizer to keep the bagels shape during the boiling process. This boiling step is crucial for getting the delicious bagel crust.
Once the water is ready, add 2-4 bagels to the pot. The bagels SHOULD NOT TOUCH EACH OTHER. Set a timer for one minute and let the bagel boil. After a minute, flip the bagel over and boil the other side for one minute more. Remove the bagels from the water and set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. These get VERY messy during baking and I highly recommend lining your pan!
Brush the bagel tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of flaked sea salt. Bake the bagels at 350° for about 20-25 minutes. This could vary a little depending on your oven.
HOW LONG DO THE SOURDOUGH BAGELS STAY FRESH?
The sourdough bagels with dried fruit and nuts can be stored in a plastic bag or airtight container for up to two days on the counter or two months in the freezer.
HELPFUL TOOLS TO HAVE
It is slightly possible that I have been obsessed with baking my entire life. When I graduated from high school, I asked for a stand mixer. This spring my stand mixer will be twenty years old and is still going strong! It is not an absolute necessity, but I cannot imagine kneading dough for five minutes without using my KITCHEN AIDE STAND MIXER. I use it for mixing cake batter, cookies, frostings, crepes, DIY sugar scrubs, literally anything and everything.
A KITCHEN SCALE is necessary for weighing sourdough ingredients. This is the model that I purchased several years ago, and I chose it because it was inexpensive and had plenty of positive reviews. I also am obsessed with my SILPAT BAKING MAT to keep my cookies and bagels from sticking to the baking sheets. This is the exact one I have, and I actually have several different sizes.
Another tool that I use frequently is parchment paper. It works like the silpat, but can be thrown away after use. This is the exact pack of PARCHMENT PAPER that I prefer. It is unbleached and naturally nonstick. You can see it in several of these bagel photographs.
The last game changer for this recipe is DRY MALT NON-DIASTATIC BAKING POWDER. While most bakers don’t routinely have it in their pantry, this is what gives baked goods (like pretzels and bagels) their gorgeous golden crust. It is made with barley flour and is formulated to provide boosted enzyme activity and add sweetness to doughs like pretzels or bagels. I have made bagels and pretzels without this powder, but it definitely makes the crust better.
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. For more delicious recipes from scratch and homesteading tips, follow me on instagram @NinnescahHomestead
Sourdough Bagel with Dried Fruit
- stand mixer with dough hook
- baking sheet & parchment paper
- stockpot or dutch oven
- 227 grams sourdough starter discard fed or hungry
- 360 grams bread flour
- 170 grams whole milk
- 1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 egg white whisked vigorously
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients including the dried fruit and nuts. Knead for about five minutes until the dough clings to the hook and is well combined. It will be soft and dense. If the dough is too sticky, add flour, one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of milk.
- Cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for one hour. This dough will not increase in size very much, but it will become soft and pliable.
- Divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll the dough into balls and gently flatten them into a disc. Using a thumb or a donut hole cookie cutter, make a hole in the center of the bagel.
- Once the dough has risen, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to the water. Place the bagels into the boiling water, not touching. This will likely need to be done in batches. Boil for one minute, then flip the bagels to boil the other side for one minute more. Remove the bagels from the boiling water and set them on a lined baking sheet.
- Brush the bagels with whisked egg whites. Bake the bagels at 350° for about 25-30 minutes.
- Enjoy the bagels warm or keep them in an airtight container for two days. These bagels can be stored in the freezer for up to two months.
- If you like these, be sure to try my Cinnamon Crunch Bagels that are a delicious Panera copycat recipe.
Variations for this sourdough bagel recipe
This recipe can be made so many different ways! The first bagel recipe I shared was my Panera Copycat Cinnamon Crunch Bagels with sweet cinnamon cream cheese. Since then, I have used this recipe as a plain bagel that can be customized in so many different ways.
- For cheesy Italian bagels, omit the dried fruit and nuts. Before baking the bagels, brush with egg whites and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and sea salt. Once it has baked, serve the bagels with warm marinara sauce.
- When I am craving the flavorful punch of Everything But the Bagel seasoning, I make my plain bagels and sprinkle them generously with the seasonings after the egg wash and before baking. They are so tasty when served with softened cream cheese.
- If dried cranberries aren't your favorite, try substituting any dried fruit! Dried cherries, raisins, apricots... the sky is the limit! I do like to coarsely chop the fruit into tiny pieces to help keep the texture more constant. Try serving it with cinnamon cream cheese. To make this, add 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix it for several minutes until smooth and fluffy using the whisk attachment.