Sourdough Bagels

Many commercial operations make soft, fluffy bagels. You can do far better at home. Get sourdough recipes at
My first attempt at sourdough bagels followed our backcountry adventure last summer: it was a win for its poke bowl and huckleberry sourdough pancakes but a loss in the bagel department, when I had to resort to supermarket bakery “bagels.” Our county’s only bagel shop closed years ago, so the only local option was closer to squishy rolls than chewy, dense bagels. I started testing my own version as soon as we returned home.

Some research revealed the main problem: many commercial operations steam their bagels. It’s quick, cheap, and easy to automate for massive batches, but the bagels are soft and fluffy. (I’m not even sure the supermarket went this far; more likely, they took their hamburger bun dough and poked a hole in the center.) As with soft pretzels, bagels really want to be immersed in boiling water before baking. Boiling the dough lets its starches gel, forming a firm crust that surrounds a dense interior after baking. Without this step, you’ll end up with a texture and flavor closer to a bread roll. Although some bakers swear by a water bath spiked with honey and others go au naturel, I find a soda bath, similar to the one used for Sourdough Pretzel Bites, adds flavor and color.
Learn to make Sourdough Bagels and Bagel Breakfast Sandwich


Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I love letting dough rise overnight to bake off for sweet breakfast buns. My creations haven’t always been successful—but this one is. Learn to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze.Last week’s Sourdough Brioche post evolved out of a desire to make this week’s recipe: Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. I’ve long loved letting dough rise overnight to bake off for sweet breakfast buns. But I’ve had some failures. I once overloaded a bundt pan with balls of frozen bread dough to make my mom’s favorite buttterscotch roll recipe—only to wake up and find the dough balls dangling rather obscenely outside the pan.

Initially, my cinnamon roll recipe was also unappealing—but for its flavor, not its looks. The plan was to use pizza dough. I’d read about such conversions on various blogs and websites, with titles like Easiest Cinnamon Rolls Ever and Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls. My attempt resulted in spiral-wound, cinnamon-tinged… pizza crust.

So although a handy ball of pizza dough seems like an easy shortcut, you’re better off learning to make last week’s delicious Sourdough Brioche Dough. It won’t just turn into the best hamburger buns you’ve ever tasted; it will turn into breakfast buns that taste and feel like cinnamon rolls.
Learn to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

Sourdough Brioche

Buttery, rich, and sourdough? It may not be traditional, but brioche doesn’t get much better than this. Learn to make Sourdough Brioche Dough and Sourdough Buns.One of the beauties of making your own bread is that once you’ve mastered a dough recipe, you can often use it in many ways. As you saw last week, a ball of Sourdough Pizza Dough can take many shapes: pizza pies, calzones, empanadas, and even breadsticks. Brioche is just as versatile and delicious.

Sourdough brioche may seem as much of an oxymoron as bread master Peter Reinhart’s whole-wheat brioche. But I see it as adding just another layer of flavor to an egg- and butter-rich dough. Once you’ve learned the basic recipe, you can use it to make any number of breads with various flours, sweetness levels, and shapes. I’ve just begun my brioche dough adventure, working it into buns and sweet rolls, but Reinhart recommends using it in everything from bread pudding to toast points to savory tarts. I see more Twice as Tasty brioche-style recipes on the horizon—starting with Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls next week.
Learn to make Sourdough Brioche Dough and Sourdough Buns