Mini Sourdough Bagels and Schmear

By: A Dash of Cinema | |

By A Dash of Cinema

Mini Sourdough Bagels & Shmear


Serves 18-20


  • 250 grams active starter
  • 324 grams warm water (90-100°F)
  • 215 grams whole wheat flour
  • 227 grams all-purpose flour
  • 8 grams olive oil
  • 27 grams maple syrup
  • 8 grams salt
  • 1 T baking soda to boil
  • 1 egg (mixed) + 1 T milk
  • Optional: Sesame seeds (white and/or black)
  • Optional: Poppy seeds
  • Optional: Caraway seeds
  • Optional: Dried garlic (minced or flaked)
  • Optional: Dried onion (minced or flaked)
  • Optional: Coarse grain sea salt
  • Schmear: Cream cheese + dried chives, dried onion, dried garlic


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the starter, water, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and 2 cups of whole wheat flour together. Mix until the flour fully hydrated.
  2. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Using the dough hook, mix the dough together on the lowest speed. Alternatively, you can knead by hand until the dough comes together, about 5-10 minutes. Either way, the dough should feel smooth and slightly firm by the end of the mixing.
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough so there’s a nice sheen of oil on it. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rest at room temperature for 4 hours.
  5. During those 4 hours, you’ll want to fold the dough into itself a few times (as you do with focaccia and other breads). Lift the top, bottom, and both sides and fold it across the dough, stretching it as much as you can without ripping the dough. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and repeat this every 30 minutes.
  6. Once the dough has rested for 4-5 hours (if your kitchen is cooler, the dough may need to rest for 5 hours).
  7. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and sprinkle it lightly with flour. On the counter, sprinkle flour lightly over the top. Transfer the dough to the counter and lightly knead the dough. Don’t do this too hard because you’ll knead the air out.
  8. Divide the dough into even pieces. This could range from between 18-20 pieces. If you’re making bigger bagels, this could range from 8-12 equal pieces. Gently cup your hands around each piece and roll them into balls.
  9. Now it’s time to form the bagel (the fun part)! Use your thumb to poke a hole through the center of each ball. Lightly push your thumb while spinning the dough around with your hands to create a larger hole. This hole can be as big as you want to make it. If you want the hole to be visible, make it a little bigger so that when it boils and bakes you can still see it. For these mini bagels, you won’t need to push and spin for too long before a nice-sized hole is formed.
  10. Place each formed bagel on the parchment-lined sheet tray. Once all the bagels are formed, cover the tray with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes. Place the tray in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the dough to rest longer AND we’ll be able to make these bagels fresh the next morning for breakfast.
  11. The next morning: Remove the tray(s) from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap. Let the bagels rest at room temperature so they can rise a bit longer.
  12. Preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven is preheating, in a large pot combine a large pot of water with the baking soda and bring to a boil. Once you’ve reached boiling point, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  13. This is when we’ll want to prepare ourselves for when the bagels come out of the boiling water. Lay a kitchen towel next to the stove and place a cooling rack over the towel. Next to this set-up, prepare your sheet trays lined with parchment paper.
  14. Once the oven is preheated, bring the water back to a boil. Boil the bagels for 30-45 seconds on each side (top and bottom). If you boil the bagels for a shorter amount of time, the bagels will rise in the oven and have a softer texture. If you boil them for longer, the bagel will have a denser interior. Because these are smaller bagels, we can boil 3-4 at a time. Just don’t add so many that the water cools down, defeating the purpose of boiling.
  15. Remove the bagels from the water and set them on the cooling rack to drain off any excess water.
  16. Brush the bagels with the egg+milk wash. Sprinkle your bagels with your preferred toppings (dried garlic, dried onion, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, salt, caraway seeds, etc.) I like to do this when the bagels are still on the cooling rack so that the egg wash doesn’t linger on the tray (and cook/burn in the oven on the bagel)
  17. Place each bagel on the parchment-lined sheet tray for baking, giving them space between each other. You may need two sheet trays for this (depending on your number of bagels).
  18. Bake the bagels until they’re golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. This timing will depend on how big your bagels are, so keep an eye out on that coloring.
  19. Serve bagels warm with schmear (cream cheese + dried chives, dried onion, dried garlic – mix (together or in separate bowls, per people’s preferences). Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Or, if you want to save the bagels for longer, cut the bagels ¾ of the way through (cutting through frozen bread is not only difficult, but dangerous!) and freeze. Toast before serving.