Cinnamon-Raisin Sourdough Bagels

There’s been a lot of bagel-making going on around here. More about that in a later post. These cinnamon-raisin bagels are a lot like the blueberry bagels, only with raisins. And cinnamon. Go figure.

And speaking of figures — at 85 grams, these bagels a little smaller than the 100-gram ones I’ve been doing recently. The missing 15 grams doesn’t seem to make the bagel appreciably smaller, but if I’m eating one every day (and I might be), those eliminated grams should eliminate more than three pounds from my waistline over the course of a year.

I guessed at how much cinnamon to add to the dough. It wasn’t a bad guess, but if you like your bagels really cinnamon-y, I think you could double the amount and still be in the ballpark. The bagelpark? Whatever.

To reiterate some tips on making chewy bagels:

  • Use high-gluten flour, or your regular flour with about 3% of it replaced by gluten flour (a.k.a. vital wheat gluten).
  • Don’t make the dough too wet. The hydration of this dough is about 56%.
  • Mix the dough until it is very strong (i.e., the gluten is very well developed)
  • Make sure you use non-diastatic malt powder (non-diastatic means the enzymes have been deactivated). If you can’t get it, you can use barley malt syrup, found in many markets and health food stores, or, in a pinch, brown sugar.
  • Mix the milk powder and the malt into the flour with your hand before adding these ingredients to the mixer bowl. This keeps the milk and malt from clumping when they get wet.
  • A spray bottle of water is useful during shaping in case the dough feels too dry or has trouble gripping the counter for rolling.
  • After you roll the dough into a rope, there may be a “seam” running along its length. Make sure when you join the rope ends together that this seam is on the bottom of the bagel, or it may tear open during baking.
  • Because the dough is stiff, it may be difficult for your mixer to handle. If it seems like the mixer is laboring, take the dough out and continue to mix it by hand. This will really give you a workout, and should be good for about another 3 pounds per year.

I’m sending these to Sally (Bewitching Kitchen), with many thanks for guest hosting YeastSpotting next week.

Cinnamon-Raisin Sourdough Bagels

Yield: 12 bagels


  • Mix: 10 minutes
  • Rest, divide and shape: 35 minutes
  • Proof: 2 – 4 hours at room temperature plus 4 – 8 hours in the refrigerator
  • Boil: 5 minutes
  • Bake: about 20 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 80F


  • 396 grams high-gluten flour, or 384 g flour plus 12 g vital wheat gluten
  • 150 grams cold water
  • 32 grams nonfat milk powder
  • 19 grams non-diastatic malt powder
  • 11.5 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) salt
  • 5 grams (2 teaspoons) or more cinnamon
  • 340 grams active 100%-hydration sourdough starter
  • 79 grams raisins
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda for boiling


  1. Combine the starter, water, flour, malt, milk powder, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed to combine.
  2. Mix on medium-low speed for another two or three minutes. Add the raisins and continue mixing until the dough is very smooth and strong, almost rubbery. How long this takes will depend upon your mixer.
  3. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured counter and work a few turns by hand. Form the dough into a smooth ball; the surface should feel satiny and tight.
  4. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 pieces of about 85 grams each. Form each piece into a light ball, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dust it generously with semolina.
  7. To shape each bagel, roll the dough into a cylinder about 8 inches long without tapering the ends. Wrap the cylinder around your hand, with the ends overlapping by about two inches in your palm. Roll your palm on the (still unfloured) counter to smash the ends together. (Note: if the dough is a little dry, give it a quick spritz of water with a fine spray bottle before shaping. This helps it roll more easily, and the ends stick to each other.)
  8. Place the bagels on the prepared cookie sheets, and slip into a large food-grade plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap. Proof for 3 – 4 hours at room temperature, until the bagels look and feel a bit puffy. Then refrigerate them for 4 – 8 hours.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F and put a large pot of water on to boil.
  10. When the water is almost boiling, place a cooling rack on the counter with a dishtowel underneath it. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator, brush the semolina off their bottoms, and place them on the cooling rack.
  11. When the water has reached a rolling boil, add the baking soda. Drop the bagels, three or four at a time, into the vigorously boiling water for 20 seconds. They may or may not float right away, but they should float by the time the 20 seconds are up. If they float right away so the tops are not submerged initially, flip them over about halfway through the boil.
  12. Remove the bagels from the water to the cooling rack with a slotted spatula. Let them drain for about 30 seconds before replacing them back onto the semolina-dusted, parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  13. Turn the oven down to 400F once the bagels are in. Bake until golden brown, about 20 – 24 minutes. About halfway through baking, open the oven door briefly to vent any steam.
  14. Cool on a wire rack.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    I sure can smell the cinnamon coming from your kitchen…Yum! Yum!
    Somebody ( a baker friend) once told me that the way to check if cinnamon is still good, is if it smells really good. If it loses its smell, then it should be discarded. My cinnamon still smells like it should so I guess I am all ready to make this bagels. LOve the post!

  2. says

    Wow! Those bagels look fabulous. Unfortunately, my starter died from neglect. I’ll have to get another one up and running so I can make these. Thanks for sharing, Susan. :)

  3. says

    I made my first bagels ever using your blueberry recipe. After the first time, instead of making them smaller I have been making 8 instead of 12, then pre-slicing before freezing. They key then is to only eat 1/2!!

    Also, I have been making some with dried cranberries which are quite good also. Thanks for the great recipes.

  4. Melanie says

    When I’ve made bagels before I’ve also shaped them a different way. After they have rested in ball form, make a hole in the middle with your finger and gradually stretch it out until the hole is about 2 inches in diameter. I find it’s a little quicker than rolling out each piece and, for me, easier to make sure it is close to the same thickness all the way around.

  5. Millicent says

    Thank you so much for these! I live in Southeast Asia, where we expats really miss bagels. I’ve now made three of your bagel recipes, and they’ve all turned out beautifully, even though I’ve been substituting Horlick’s for the milk & malt powders. (But I recently found rice malt powder — do you think that would work?)

  6. says

    Karen, I recommend substituting whatever you usually substitute for milk in bread recipes. I have not tried it with any substitutions.

  7. Chris says

    Second time I’ve tried these bagels as I’d love to make sourdough bagels. My sourdough bread comes out fine, so I know my starter is OK, but I’m really puzzled why nothing at all happens, even after several hours “rising”. They haven’t puffed up at all – I know bagels don’t rise like normal bread, but as the recipe says, the should look a bit “puffy”. After 7 hours at room temperature, mine still don’t – they’re exactly the same as when I shaped them. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?


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