Making homemade bagels is a great way to use up your sourdough discard and these Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Bagels are delicious and easy to make! Enjoy them fresh out of the oven, or pop a few in the freezer so you can save them for later!
If you don't have a sourdough starter, stop right here! There are many recipes that share how to make a sourdough starter. You'll need sourdough discard in order to make these Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Bagels.
Looking for other sourdough discard recipes? Check out these Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls, this Rosemary Sourdough Focaccia, and these Sourdough Pretzel Buns. If you're looking for a plain bagel recipe, check out my recipe for Sourdough Discard Bagels.
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
As long as you have sourdough discard, you are well on your way to making these bagels!
- Bread flour: Using bread flour is important for the texture of these bagels. If needed, you could substitute all-purpose flour (but you can expect the texture to be softer than a normal bagel).
- Instant yeast: Even though we are using sourdough discard, you will still need to use some yeast. Why? In order to keep the rise time reasonable, a little extra yeast is needed to help make these rise the way we want them to. If you've ever made sourdough bread, you know that is a multi-day process. We're trying to avoid that with these bagels!
- Sourdough discard: This should be unfed and at room temperature. This is important to make the bagels rise correctly. This recipe is designed for a sourdough discard with a 1:1 ratio (1 part water, 1 part flour). If you are working with a discard with a different ratio, you will need to tweak other ingredients in this recipe. Check out this post if you're looking for more information on how to feed sourdough starter.
- Raisins: The first thing you'll do is let the raisins soak in warm water while you make the dough. This helps them plump up a little bit so they're more juicy in the final bagel.
See full recipe below for detailed instructions.
These bagels only need one rise and come together in a few easy steps.
First, soak the raisins in a bowl with 2 cups of warm water while you make the dough.
Combine flour, 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix to combine.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the sourdough discard and one cup of warm water. Increase speed to medium and knead for 3-4 minutes until a smooth, sturdy dough forms. Knead by hand, if preferred.
Drain the raisins and discard the excess water. Transfer dough to a work surface, use your hands to flatten slightly, then add the raisins and cinnamon. Carefully knead until incorporated. This will be messy, so start slowly! Knead until the raisins are well mixed, but the cinnamon can still be streaky.
Transfer dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide into 8-10 pieces. 8 pieces will make large bagels; 10 pieces will make smaller bagels. This doesn't have to be perfect; you can just eyeball it.
Roll each piece in your hands, using the friction against your palm to create a ball.
Press your thumb through the center of the dough ball, then stretch the center to make the bagel your desired shape.
Bring a pot of water plus 2 Tablespoons sugar to a boil. Boil each bagel for 30-60 seconds on each side. Boiling longer will make for a thicker, chewier crust on the bagel.
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool fully before slicing and serving.
Hint: When you add the cinnamon and raisins to the dough, it will be messy, especially if you're kneading by hand. Keep kneading and the dough will slowly incorporate the ingredients. The raisins may add a little extra water to the dough as well; this is ok! Keep kneading and it will come together.
Stop kneading when you feel the raisins are incorporated; the cinnamon may still be streaky.
Shaping the bagels
To shape the bagels, first divide the dough into 8-10 equal pieces. 8 pieces will yield larger bagels and 10 pieces will yield smaller bagels. This doesn't have to be precise; you can eyeball the dough as long as the pieces seem roughly equal.
Roll the dough in the palm of your hands, using one palm to create friction on the bottom of the bagel. This will be the bottom of the bagel (the "ugly" side), so don't worry too much about what it looks like. The top of your bagel ball should be round and smooth.
Use your thumb to press a hole through the center of the dough ball. Roll the bagel around your thumb to enlarge the hole to your liking. Keep in mind these will rise and expand substantially!
Top Tip: The bagels may be a bit lumpy due to the raisins, and that is ok! If the raisins fall out of the dough, you can press them back in. If the bagel breaks, you can always re-roll / reshape it. They will likely not look perfect, and that's part of their charm.
What is Sourdough Discard?
Sourdough discard is what is left over when you feed your sourdough starter. A sourdough starter is a live fermentation of flour and water, generating natural yeast and good bacteria.
You can either make a sourdough starter from scratch (I recommend this recipe), or you can buy one. You can also get one from someone (a friend, neighbor), who has a sourdough starter and is open to sharing some of the discard with you.
If you are making sourdough starter, know that it is a multi-week process. This isn't something you can whip up before starting this recipe.
Once you have a sourdough starter, you need to feed it regularly. To do so, you measure out a certain portion of the starter, and feed it with fresh warm water and flour. The portion of the original starter that is left over (that doesn't get fed), is the discard. You can either literally discard this (throw it away or compost), or you can use it in sourdough discard recipes like this one. It adds more lift to bready recipes (as it is creating its own yeast) as well as a delicious sour tang.
Check out this post for an in-depth guide on how to feed sourdough starter.
Working with Sourdough Discard
This recipe is designed for sourdough discard with a 1:1 ratio (1 part flour, 1 part water). If your discard has a different ratio, you may need to tweak certain ingredients in this recipe.
Make sure your sourdough discard is unfed and at room temperature for this recipe. That will help to ensure the dough rises correctly.
This recipe is very adaptable; below are a few variations that would work well:
- Change up the raisins - consider trying this with golden raisins, or even dried cranberries. If using cranberries, leave out the cinnamon!
- Omit the cinnamon - not into the cinnamon? Leave it out!
- Add nuts - these bagels would be delicious with crushed walnuts added. To do so, reduce the raisins to ¾ cup, and add ¼ cup of crushed walnuts to the dough.
If you're looking for a plain recipe, check out my Sourdough Discard Bagels recipe here.
I like to use a KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer fitted with a dough hook to mix the dough, but you could also do this by hand with a large bowl and wooden spoon. You'll need a large bowl where you'll let the dough rise.
Store these Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Bagels at room temperature (in a paper bag, if you like) if you plan to eat them within 1-2 days. If you want to keep them longer, transfer the fully cooled bagels to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
Reheat the bagels in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to make them warm and soft before serving.
Bagels freeze incredibly well! Make a batch, set a few aside to eat in the next 1-2 days, then freeze the rest. That way, you'll be able to enjoy a fresh bagel whenever the craving strikes.
You will need to add yeast to this recipe to make sure the bagels rise appropriately, and to keep the rise times manageable. If you've ever made sourdough bread, it's a multi-day process. We're wanting to avoid that with this recipe!
You can leave the cinnamon out if you'd like.
Boil the bagels for 30-60 seconds on each side. Boiling for a longer time will make the bagels have a thicker, chewier crust.
You do! You can either make a sourdough starter (this takes several weeks), buy one, or perhaps get a starter from a friend or neighbor.
When you're kneading the raisins and cinnamon into the dough, it will be very messy. Keep kneading (about 3-4 minutes) until the raisins start to incorporate into the dough. The dough will also soak in any excess water from the raisins. The cinnamon will be streaky throughout the dough.
Check out this post for an in-depth guide on how to feed sourdough starter.
Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Bagels
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 ¾ cups bread flour
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar divided
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup sourdough discard unfed, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup warm water plus more for soaking raisins
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with warm water while you make the dough.
- Combine flour, 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sourdough discard and water until combined. Drain and add the raisins (discard the water the raisins were soaking in). Increase speed to medium and knead for 3-4 minutes until a smooth ball forms. This will be a sturdy, very thick dough. If needed, add more water or more flour (1 Tablespoon at a time), depending on your sourdough discard, until you reach the right dough consistency.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface. Sprinkle with cinnamon and knead until incorporated, but still streaky. This can also be done in the stand mixer, if you prefer.
- Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 90 minutes at room temperature, or until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and divide into 8-10 equal pieces. 8 pieces will make 8 large bagels; 10 pieces will make 10 smaller bagels*. Roll each piece in your hands to create a smooth ball, using one palm for friction to seal the bottom of the bagel. Press your thumb through the center of the ball to create the hole. Stretch the hole to reach your desired bagel shape (keep in mind these will rise and expand!).
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Bring a pot of water with 8 cups of water and 2 Tablespoons of sugar to a boil.
- Place each bagel into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds on each side**. You can likely fit 2-3 bagels into the pot of water, but make sure there is room for them to move around and expand. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the boiled bagels to the prepared baking sheet. If needed, you can reshape the bagels a little once they've been boiled.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool before slicing and serving.