The Best Blueberry Bagels Made with Sourdough Starter

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Slightly sweet, new york style blueberry bagels are perfect for breakfast! This blueberry bagel recipe calls for sourdough starter for the best flavor. Try them with a little bit of butter or some cream cheese.

a cream cheese covered blueberry sourdough bagel on a plate.

Blueberry Bagels with Sourdough Starter

Our blog has a few sourdough starter recipes, but our Sprouted Rye Sourdough Starter is my favorite. This is the best starter for making these blueberry sourdough bagels.

If you’d like to try another type of starter or a quick 2-day starter option, check out our Easy Sourdough Starter Recipe with Sourdough Starter Feeding Instructions.

I know many people can struggle with sourdough starters in the beginning, so if you’re new to the practice and have questions visit this blog: The Most Common Sourdough Starter Problems and How to Fix Them.

Three jars of sourdough starter arranged in a line next to each other.

Types of Flour for Sourdough Blueberry Bagels

I make so many fun bread products with my sourdough starter these days. I’m most impressed with these bagels. When making sourdough bagels, you want to use bread flour.

I only use bread flour for this recipe (all-purpose flour will work, but use bread flour for a true bagel texture). I have not tried this with whole wheat flour. I think using whole wheat flour will result in too dense bagels and a little too chewy.

If you’re into experimentation, totally give it a try, and let me know how it turns out in the comments!

Sourdough Blueberry Bagel Recipe

It may seem like bagels are a tough product to make, but I promise it’s easy. It’s effortless if you have experience working with sourdough.

You start with a big, relatively dry dough ball. The dough will be of less hydration than a traditional sourdough loaf. Then you’ll let the dough rise for a few hours, stretching and folding once.

Next, you’ll divide the dough into 8 to 12 equal pieces (depending on the size bagel you are looking for; more pieces mean smaller bagels) and shape each piece just as you would a loaf.

Next, you’ll allow the small dough balls to rise for one hour and then finally shape them into bagels.

After shaping, the dough goes into the fridge overnight. In the morning, each bagel gets dipped into boiling water, then gets a sprinkle of toppings (optional) before baking.

Not too difficult, right? In the recipe, I explained the hand technique I used to shape bagels. Check the photos in our Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Sourdough Bagels recipe if you need a visual.

five blueberry bagels sitting on a counter, made with sourdough starter using this blueberry bagel recipe.

Blueberries for Blueberry Bagels

Please do not use frozen blueberries in this recipe. Frozen berries can add too much moisture to the dough.

You have a few options for blueberries in this recipe:

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The Best Blueberry Bagels made with Sourdough Starter

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Slightly sweet, new york style blueberry bagels are perfect for breakfast! This blueberry bagel recipe calls for sourdough starter for the best flavor. Try them with a little bit of butter or some cream cheese.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 bagels
  • Category: Breakfast & Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 6 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 Cup Sourdough Starter
  • 1 1/4 Cups Water, Cold
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Water, Set Aside
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries, fresh or dried

For the Boiling Water Bath

  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup


  1. In a large bowl, combine the starter, flour, salt, maple syrup, and cold water.
  2. Knead the ingredients together until a uniform dough ball forms. Use the extra 1/4 cup of water if necessary.
  3. Cover the bowl with a towel and rest the dough for 1 hour.
  4. Using a spray bottle filled with water, mist your clean countertop. Wet your hands and wet the top of the dough ball with the spray bottle. Turn the dough out onto the wet counter surface. Scrape out the bowl and rinse the inside of the bowl really well. Leave the bowl wet.
  5. Gently stretch out the dough on the wet counter into a rectangular shape. Spread out the blueberries on the dough, and then lightly press the blueberries into the dough.
  6. Roll up the dough and fold it. Stretch the top of the dough over the bottom, side over side, and bottom over top. Place the dough back in the bowl with the seam side down. Let the dough rest for 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Do another wet stretch and fold at this point and let the dough rest for another 1 to 2 hours. 
  8. Next, lightly sprinkle some flour on the surface of your counter. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the floured surface.
  9. Stretch the dough into a rectangle that’s a little bigger than a sheet of paper. Be gentle with the dough!! You don’t want to flatten it. Just lightly pull the sides until it’s a rectangle about the size of a sheet of paper.
  10. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 even squares. 
  11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle flour on top of the parchment paper.
  12. Grab a single square, and fold in the corners of the dough over each other, forming a small round dough ball. Place the dough ball on the floured parchment paper. Repeat for the other squares.
  13. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough balls with flour. Cover the dough balls with a towel and let them rise for 1 to 2 hours.
  14. Flour your hands and pick up a dough ball. Place it in your right hand. Using your thumb on the top of the dough ball and middle finger on the bottom, squeeze a hole through the center of the dough ball. Bring your index finger and ring finger through the hole in the dough to touch your thumb.
  15. Use your other hand to guide the donut-shaped dough through your right-hand palm and fingers that are held in a circular shape. This is how you create a nice bagel shape.
  16. Place the shaped bagels back on the floured parchment paper. (lightly sprinkle more flour if you need to)
  17. Let the shaped bagels proof at room temperature for 2 hours.
  18. Place the bagel dough in the refrigerator for a final proof of 12 hours.
  19. After 12 hours, preheat your oven to 450° F. 
  20. If using toppings (such as poppy seeds) Gather your toppings and add them to small bowls for easy use.
  21. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the baking soda and the maple syrup. 
  22. Using a slotted spoon, place each bagel in the boiling water for about a minute or two, flipping half way. 
  23. Remove the bagel from the water, place it back on the parchment paper, and sprinkle on toppings (optional). 
  24. Repeat for the remaining bagels.
  25. Place the bagels in the oven. 
  26. Bake for approximately 20 minutes* until golden brown. Rotate the bagels at 10 minutes for even baking. 
  27. Remove and allow to cool for 30 minutes. 


*While kneading, you can add 1/4 to 1/2  cup more water to the dough to help it come together. 

*Bake time may vary. I usually bake for 35 minutes. You can check the bagels every 5 minutes to ensure you do not overcook them.

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Nutrition information is auto-calculated and estimated as close as possible. We are not responsible for any errors. We have tested the recipe for accuracy, but your results may vary. We are not liable for any damages caused by your use of this content.

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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Darlene December 21, 2020 - 6:55 pm

Hi Kaitlynn!!
Thank you so much for the recipe! My friends and family loved the bagels! I tweaked the recipe a little (added 1 less cup of flour and a little more starter).

Kaitlynn Fenley December 22, 2020 - 7:42 am

Happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe and that your adjustment worked out just fine!

Isabelle January 2, 2021 - 3:38 pm

I just made the recipe last week and the bagels were delicious!! Thank you for the recipe, I’ll probably be making it again soon 🙂

Terri-Lynn March 30, 2023 - 1:42 pm

Boiled and baked this morning…they turned out great! I mistakenly used discard (fresh – non refrigerated). I used all purpose flour and 1.5 cups of water. when resting, I placed in a sunny window hoping the discard would get hungry (lol). The fresh blueberries I had were rather large so next time I think I will double the amount. Thank you for the recipe.

Erin March 12, 2021 - 1:38 am

You refer to ‘toppings’ throughout this recipe. What toppings do you use?

Kaitlynn Fenley March 12, 2021 - 2:11 pm

For blueberry bagels, I like to add poppy seeds, chia seeds, or hemp seeds as toppings. This is completely optional though. Blueberry bagels are delicious with or without!

Hannah May 14, 2021 - 8:39 pm

These turned out pretty well! They are large and rose beautifully. The outside is nice and chewy but the inside is typical bread texture and a bit dry. They are not over baked. Are they supposed to be chewy inside as well? If so, any pointers on where I might have gone wrong? Thank you!

Kaitlynn Fenley May 15, 2021 - 6:39 am

It sounds like you used all-purpose flour and not bread flour. Typical chewy bagel texture comes from using bread flour which is higher in gluten. Check the section in the body of this blog post entitled “types of flour for sourdough bagels”

Helena February 19, 2024 - 6:23 pm

I am very new to sourdough. These bagels and a loaf of bread are my first sourdough bakes. I’m wondering if I have to let them rise in the fridge for 12 hours or if I can boil them sooner.

Kaitlynn Fenley February 20, 2024 - 3:25 pm

You can skip the overnight fridge proof if you want.

Bel February 3, 2022 - 4:37 am

Are you not meant to boil them in baking soda instead of baking powder? Baking powder is a raising agent

Kaitlynn Fenley February 3, 2022 - 5:54 am

You can use either one. I like the outer crust of the bagel when the boiling water includes baking powder instead.

Heather April 17, 2022 - 5:36 pm

Curious why there’s no photos of the process? Are you using fresh, frozen, or dried berries?
Followed your recipe as directed and after adding the frozen blueberries, the dough only became over whelmed with the juices and the gluten structures broke making bits of dough. No way to stretch and shape into balls or bagels….

Kaitlynn Fenley April 18, 2022 - 10:29 am

Sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe. Since I did not specify frozen or dried in the recipe, the blueberries are meant to be in their natural state, fresh. I’ll go ahead and edit the recipe to clarify. However, any type, even frozen should work. It would have been best to defrost them and drain them first.

Marylin Cooper-Jenkins February 20, 2023 - 7:30 pm

Loved how these turned out, I made 8 but had alot of rise so they were huge however still delicious. If next time get that same rise I’ll make 10 or 12.

Deb July 18, 2022 - 2:46 pm

Will bake tomorrow morning but the bagels are very large. I notice in your intro that you say to divide in 12 pieces but the recipe says 8 servings and 8 equal pieces. I went with 8 but now not sure it’s right. Hopefully they will bake ok tomorrow!

Kaitlynn Fenley July 18, 2022 - 5:23 pm

8 is correct! the intro should have said 8-12 pieces depending on the size you want. 12 pieces would be mini bagel bites and 8 pieces is regular sized bagels.

Anonymous November 11, 2022 - 11:35 am

I made this recipe and did cinnamon raisin bagels! They turned out great!