Homemade Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bagels with Discard

Learn how to make homemade sourdough cinnamon raisin bagels with this simple recipe. They take less than a day and taste WAY better than store-bought bagels!

Cinnamon raisin bagels on parchment paper. There is a cutting board and a cooling rack. there are two sticks of cinnamon

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Who DOESN’T love a yummy, warm bagel in the morning? Today, I am teaching you how to make homemade sourdough discard cinnamon raisin bagels. This recipe takes less than one day, so you can eat a hot and fresh bagel in a couple of hours. They are delicious and easy to make! You can enjoy them fresh out of the oven or you can freeze them and save them for later.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Inspired by NYC Bagels!
  • Perfectly chewy bagels
  • Filled with streaks of cinnamon and juicy raisins
  • Golden brown and soft in the center
  • Perfect amount of sweetness

Scroll down for the complete recipe card.

A sourdough bagel on a cutting board with parchment paper. It is sliced in half.

Ingredient List

These ingredients are all easy to find at any grocery store. The only ingredient that you might not have is the sourdough discard. If you still don’t have a sourdough starter, make one using my fool-proof sourdough starter recipe.

  • Sourdough Discard + Yeast: The discard should be unfed and at room temperature. 
  • Bread Flour: We want these extra chewy! Make sure to use flour that has a high protein percentage. We want these to be chewy and not soft. 
  • Brown Sugar: New York City bakeries use barley malt syrup to sweeten the bagel dough. However, this ingredient is difficult to find. The good news is that brown sugar is a great substitute.
  • Raisins: Use ¾ Cups. We will be soaking these in water so that they become nice and plump. 
  • Warm Water: Water should be warm! Cold water will slow down the yeast, which will give you a slow rise. 
  • Ground Cinnamon: We will use our hands to knead the ground cinnamon into the bagel dough. This method helps create swirls of cinnamon!
A close up shot of sourdough cinnamon raisin bagels.

A Note On NYC Bagels and Dough Hydration Percentage

In making this sourdough discard recipe, I aimed to recreate delicious New York City bagels at home without any special equipment. I’ve tried many cinnamon raisin bagel recipes (both sourdough and non-sourdough). Sadly, they never quite amounted to live up to the bagels I’d eat during my trips to New York.

Nonetheless, I kept going with my recipe research and stumbled upon two helpful videos: Brian Lagerstrom’s “Pro Level Bagels at Home” and Joshua Weissman’s “How To Make New York Style Bagels“. 

Then it dawned on me: the dough hydration of Brian and Joshua’s bagels was between 56%-59% while the hydration of the cinnamon raisin bagel recipes I was trying was around 68%-71%. High hydration is NOT desired when it comes to making New York City-style bagels!!! (Hydration is the percentage of water compared to flour. Here is a helpful article by King Arthur on bread dough hydration percentages).

So, the hydration of my sourdough cinnamon raisin bagel recipe is 57.9%. This percentage has given me the best homemade NYC-style bagels.

three bagels sliced in half. There is cream cheese on the bagels.

Overview: Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Bagels Recipe

Sourdough NYC-style bagels are easy to make! Since this is a low-hydration dough, the dough is easy to work with and perfect for beginners. Here is an overview of the steps:

  1. Make the Bagel Dough: Knead the dough in your stand mixer. This will take roughly 10 minutes in total. You can knead this by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  2. Shape The Bagels: After the dough doubles (which takes about 1-1.5 hours), it’s time to shape them into the classic bagel shape! Divide the dough into 8 pieces, shape each piece into a ball. Then, poke a finger in the middle of the ball and make a 1-1.5 inch hole in the center.
  3. Boil The Bagels: We boil the bagels for 15-30 seconds each side before we bake them. Boiling the bagels gives them that classic exterior that we love.
  4. Bake The Bagels: Bake them at 425°F (218°C) for 25 minutes and then enjoy!

Boil Bagels Before Baking

After we shape the bagels, we boil them in a large pot of water. Why do we boil the bagels right after shaping?

  1. Texture: boiling sets the exterior of the bagel dough, giving the bagels that chewy texture. This helps prevent the bagels from rising too much in the oven.
  2. Flavor: The boiling water typically has malt syrup or honey. This adds sweetness to the bagel and helps create the golden-brown crust during baking.
  3. Shape: Since boiling cooks the outer layer of the dough, the bagels will hold their shape during baking.

Other Sourdough Recipes You May Like

Quick Sourdough Flatbread With Discard
Insanely Easy No-Knead Sourdough Discard Bread Recipe
Easy Soft Sourdough Dinner Roll Recipe No Yeast

5 from 3 votes

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bagels with Discard

Learn how to make homemade sourdough cinnamon raisin bagels with this simple recipe. They take less than a day and taste WAY better than store-bought bagels!
Xena Kai
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 8 Bagels

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Recipe Card


Bagel Dough

  • ¾ Cup Raisins (110 grams)
  • 1 Cup Warm Water (236 grams)
  • 1 Teaspoon Yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (39 grams)
  • 4 Cups Flour (480 grams)
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • Cup Sourdough Discard (200 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

Water Bath

  • 2 Quarts Water
  • ¼ Cup Honey (85 Grams) or barley malt syrup or maple syrup

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg Beaten with 1 Tablespoon Water


  • Soak The Raisins: Place the raisins in a small bowl filled with warm water. Let sit while you prepare the dough.
  • Bloom the yeast: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Let sit for five minutes until the yeast mixture becomes foamy.
  • Knead the dough: Add the rest of the brown sugar, flour, salt, and sourdough discard into the bowl. Knead with the dough hook attachment on low speed for seven minutes.
  • Add the raisins: Drain the raisins. Then, add the raisins to the dough and knead for one to two minutes until the raisins are evenly distributed into the dough.
  • Add the cinnamon: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon on the dough and knead until it is streaky. You can also do this in your stand mixer.
  • First rise: Place the dough in a lightly greased container, cover it, and let it rise for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Shape the bagels & second rise: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release air bubbles. Place it onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round dough ball with your hand. Then, press your index finger into the center of each ball to make a hole about 1 ½ – 2 inches in diameter. Cover the shaped bagels with a kitchen towel or loose plastic wrap while you prepare the water bath.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • Water Bath: Fill a large pot with water and stir in the honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high. Drop the bagels in the boiling two at a time. Boil the bagels for 15-30 seconds on each side.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the bagels with eggwash. Place the bagels on a full baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space them one to two inches apart to give them room.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. The bagels should be dark, golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit on a wire cooling rack before slicing and eating.


  • Overnight Instructions: Prepare the dough through step five, cover, and allow it to rise in the fridge overnight. The next morning, take the dough out and let it rise for 30-45 minutes at room temperature. Continue with step 6. 
  • Freezing Instructions: These bagels freeze beautifully! You can freeze them for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the bagel overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Sourdough Starter Instructions: Turn this sourdough discard recipe into a sourdough recipe by omitting the yeast and adding a fed and active sourdough starter instead of discard. The recipe steps will be the same. However, the rise times will differ. 
  • Special Tools: Stand Mixer | Baking Sheets | Pastry Brush | Wire Cooling Rack 
  • Yeast: Use active dry yeast or instant yeast. Since this is a sourdough discard recipe, the yeast is in charge for giving the bagels their rise.
  • Double Batch: You can double this sourdough recipe by simply doubling all of the ingredients (do not double the water or honey for the boiling step).

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