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 Naan

I bake sourdough because it’s delicious. But many people find its tangy flavor because they have problems digesting other breads. Get sourdough recipes at
I bake sourdough because it’s delicious. But many people discover its tangy flavor because they have problems digesting other breads. Studies have found that sourdough—particularly homemade, long-ferment sourdough—is not only easier to digest but may have bonus health benefits. It makes sense if you think about it: You feed your sourdough starter flour. It eats it, turning it into more wild yeast and healthy bacteria. When you use it to make a bread, the longer the dough sits, the more it predigests the flour for you. As it does this, the sourdough bacteria release micronutrients, neutralize phytic acid, and stabilize blood sugar levels. And this all makes the bread twice as tasty.

The upshot is that if you have a gluten sensitivity but have not been diagnosed with full-blown celiac disease, you may be able to eat homemade sourdough breads. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, so you should discuss this with yours, but there’s disagreement on whether gluten-free products, particularly commercially processed ones, are better than their homemade, wheat-based counterparts if you don’t have immune reactions to gluten.
Learn to make Low-Gluten Sourdough Naan and Spiced Red Lentil Dip

Sourdough English Muffins

English muffins can combine tradition with the best aspects of sourdough and hollandaise. Get sourdough recipes at
If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram, you know I’ve spent weeks perfecting this Sourdough English Muffin recipe. Once I started researching recipes, I discovered people’s images of English muffins—including which ingredients to use and how they should be cooked—vary widely. I tested everything from extremely wet batters to baked muffins to rolls folded like Sourdough Brioche. After many practice batches, I developed the recipe I’m sharing here. It’s as close as I can get to the traditional English muffin process in my home kitchen while maintaining my favorite aspects of baking with sourdough: long ferment times, little handling, and smashing flavor and texture.

Despite its name, the English muffin’s closest kin is the crumpet; that’s probably why some English muffin recipes call for doughs so wet that they need to be cooked within a ring. The original creators baked the muffins on an open griddle; many modern recipes rely entirely on or finish in the oven to ensure the dough cooks through. I’m not sure who decided English muffins would be the perfect base for eggs Benedict, but we can all agree they pair beautifully with hollandaise.
Learn to make Sourdough English Muffins and Small-Batch Hollandaise