Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

Blueberries are everybody’s darling lately: antioxidant-rich, cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering, brain-sharpening, blood pressure-controlling, diabetes-battling. And they taste good, too! Even when they’re not in season, I usually keep a bag on hand in the freezer for smoothies, and a store of dried berries to throw into my oatmeal.

I can’t imagine why it took me this long — that is, until my number-one bagel eater made the request — to make blueberry-studded bagels. To keep the berries as intact as possible, I incorporated the dried berries into the mostly-mixed dough without soaking them first. I did make the dough a bit wetter than usual to allow for the berries’ absorption of some water.

If you haven’t made bagels before, don’t be intimidated! Bagels are one of my favorite things to make. There’s lots of hands-on time with the dough, a plus in my book. For more of my bagel opinions, take a look at my basic 100%-sourdough bagel recipe.

I’m sending these to Cinzia (CindyStar) for Weekend Herb Blogging, the weekly event  – created by Kalyn (Kalyn’s Kitchen) and managed by Haalo (Cook Almost Anything) – dedicated to cooking with plant ingredients.

Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

Yield: 12 bagels


  • Mix: 10 minutes
  • Rest, divide and shape: 35 minutes
  • Proof: 2 – 3 hours at room temperature plus 4 – 8 hours in the refrigerator
  • Boil: 5 minutes
  • Bake: about 24 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 80F


  • 466 g high-gluten flour, or 452 g flour plus 14 g vital wheat gluten
  • 169 g cold water
  • 37 g nonfat milk powder
  • 22 g non-diastatic malt powder
  • 13.5 g (2 1/4 teaspoons) salt
  • 400 g active 100%-hydration sourdough starter
  • 93 g dried blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda for boiling


  1. Combine the starter, water, flour, malt, milk powder, 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 blueberries 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 100 g 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 – 10 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 2 – 3 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 24 – 26 minutes. About halfway through baking, open the oven door briefly to vent any steam.
  14. Cool on a wire rack.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. breadsong says

    These sourdough blueberry bagels are gorgeous.
    How happy it’s made me to come across your post and this lovely formula (thank you)!
    :^) from breadsong

  2. says

    Yummmy! I love blueberries and bagels, together they are a perfect match. They look so delicious Susan! I made up some a while back and the frozen blueberries are tricky to use, dried ones seem like the way to go.

    Take care, Teresa

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