Pumpernickel Sourdough Everything Bagels

This one came about as I was planning the menu for my Brunch & Wreaths party. I figured some sort of a take on a lox bagel was a must, and naturally the bagel ought to be pumpernickel! You’ll have to check out my Whipped Feta and Herbs as well as Anders Braathen’s Cured Arctic Char with Pickled Onions here.


he first time I made sourdough bagels, I was feeling pretty unsure about how they would turn out. Every recipe seemed to have volume measurements rather than weight measurements, with no indication of the starter hydration. Well, they came out beautifully, and I now realize that bagels are MUCH less finicky than the loaves of bread I’ve made. What a pleasant surprise!

Another great thing about sourdough in general, it will hold up better over a number of days (I’d say up to 5). I made these the day before serving and they were as good as fresh baked. As I am typing, I’m finishing off the last bagel toasted with some coconut oil (delicious!) and it is still excellent (4 days later!). The fermentation process also breaks down antinutrients and increases the bioavailability of good nutrients, which means that some gluten sensitive folks might have an okay time with sourdough. If you’ve never made sourdough before, I would actually say bagels are a good place to start, as the dough itself is much less finicky. I’ll post some tips soon from my own experience on how to care for a starter, but for now if you’d like to get started, I’ve found The Perfect Loaf to be an excellent source of info.

I find it’s easiest to divide the dough by making one large disk, then slicing it like a pizza to get the bagels as even as possible. Don’t stress if they aren’t identical though, because some folks might prefer a smaller bagel, some a larger one…and you don’t have to worry too much about them cooking unevenly (again, these are so forgiving!).

As you’re shaping the dough into balls, place your hands on the end opposite you, and pull across the counter toward you. This will create some surface tension. Then, make a hole by pushing your finger through the middle. Stretch out the hole to be quite large (approx 2-3 inches as the dough will pull back, and the hole will decrease in size during the rise.

Don’t forget to cover your bagels with a moist tea towel during the final rise!

In my opinion, no bagel is better than an everything bagel! Who was the genius who came up with this mix?!


Pumpernickel Sourdough Everything Bagels

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 12 bagels
  • Category: Breads


You’re probably going to need some cured salmon with these! Also incredibly good as a tuna melt! I’ve referenced Kevin is Cooking Sourdough Everything Wheat Bagels and Milk and Honey’s Pumpernickel Bagels along with some trial and error experience in creating this one.


For the Bagels:

2 cups sourdough starter

1 1/2 cup warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons caraway seeds

3 cups rye flour (see note)

3 cups white flour

1 tbsp salt

For Boiling the Bagels:

1 tbsp baking soda


1 egg beaten

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 tablespoons onion flakes

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons coarse salt


In the bowl of an electric mixer; add water, starter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, molasses, cocoa powder, coffee granules, caraway seeds, rye flour, white flour, and salt. Mix to combine with a dough hook. If the dough still seems very sticky and is not holding together, add more flour. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Knead dough on low speed for about 10 minutes. Oil a medium bowl with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place dough in the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for about 4 hours, turning once or twice. My kitchen isn’t very warm in the winter, so I found in the oven with the light on to be a perfect spot.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface, and fold over twice, then lightly knead a few times. Divide dough into twelve equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and create some surface tension in the dough by placing your hands at the opposite end of the dough, then pull toward the edge of the counter (do this on all four sides). Poke a hole in the middle, stretching to create a center hole (hole should be about 2-3 inches, as it’ll be quite a bit smaller after the rise/boil/bake). Set bagels on parchment paper or a silicone lined baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for one hour.

In a small bowl, mix together the beaten egg and tablespoon of water. On a rimmed plate or wide bottomed bowl, mix together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes, garlic powder, and salt.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Fill a deep skillet or wide stock pot half full of water and add baking soda. Bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, add as many bagels as will fit into the pot. Boil for about 1 minute, 30 seconds on each side. Continue until all bagels are boiled

Brush tops of bagels with egg wash, then dip in seasoning mixture. Arrange seed side up on baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes, then cool on a rack.


You may need to add more flour, as the hydration can vary with flour as well as the density when measuring. Ultimately, you want the dough to be holding together and not be too sticky.

Keywords: bagel, sourdough, pumpernickel, bread, breads, everything bagel,

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