Cardamom Scented Sweet Potato Sourdough Bagels #BreadBakers

Although I'm not too big on store bought bagels, homemade bagels are another matter altogether.  So much easier on the teeth and just the flavors you like.  For this batch, I decided to use up a purple sweet potato.  You can use purple or orange, also called garnet yams I believe.  It's hard to tell what is a true sweet potato in the U.S.A.  I do not usually purchase the white ones that are probably true sweet potatoes.  The cardamom is a spice I love and honestly I wish I had used more as it was practically undetectable.  The bagels were delicious regardless.  They turned out just lovely and I would make them again.  Homemade is the only way I like bagels anyway.  If bagels are wrinkled after boiling, they have been over proofed.  I just learned this.  And this is the first time I have made bagels that have not been wrinkled! 

Quite pleased that these were good enough to convert my mom who was visiting and doesn't normally like bagels.  Lovely flavor and light sweetness.  Thank you to Cook with Renu for hosting our bagel theme for this month's BreadBakers!

(Recipe may be halved)
Overnight Sweet Potato Sourdough Bagels
Makes 12 bagels


    412 g flour
    177 g sweet potato puree (steamed and mashed with a little water added to make a softer puree)
    65 g cold water
    20 g (5 tsp) light brown sugar
    12 g (2 tsp) salt
    1.5 - 3 g (½-1 tsp) ground cardamom (optional or reduce if desired)
    354 g active 100%-hydration sourdough starter
    semolina for dusting baking sheet
    1 tbsp baking soda for boiling

Combine flour, sweet potato, water, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, and starter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix with dough hook on low to combine.  The dough will start out looking dry but will get more supple with continued mixing.  Check after a couple minutes of mixing.  Depending on the water level of the puree, the dough may require 1-2 tbsp more water.

Mix on medium-low speed until the dough is strong, smooth and elastic.  Up to 10 minutes, the gluten needs to be well developed.

Turn the dough out onto an unfloured counter and knead a few times by hand.  Tuck the edges under to form a smooth ball.  The surface should feel satiny and tight.

Cover loosely and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of about 90 grams each. Flatten each piece (they will be approximately 2 inches in diameter) and then roll tightly just to form a short cylinder.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust generously with semolina.

To shape the bagels, roll each cylinder like a rope to lengthen to about 8  inches long, without tapering the ends. Wrap the dough around the back of your hand with the ends overlapping by an inch or two in your palm.  Roll your palm on the unfloured counter to seal the ends together.

 Place the bagels on the prepared baking sheet, and cover with a large food-grade plastic bag or plastic wrap.  Proof for about 2 hours at warm room temperature (or longer if your room is cooler), until the bagels look and feel a bit puffy.  Then refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 450ºF and bring a large pot of water to boil.

When the water has almost reached boiling, place a wire rack on the counter with a dishtowel underneath it.  Remove the bagels from the refrigerator, gently brush the semolina off their bottoms, and place them on the cooling rack.

Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the baking soda.  Drop the bagels, three or four at a time, into the vigorously boiling water for 20 seconds or until they float (whichever is longer). If they float right away so the tops are not submerged initially, flip them over about halfway through the boil.  The color of the sweet potato dough will darken slightly during this process.

Remove the bagels from the water to the cooling rack with a slotted spatula or spider.  Let them drain for about 30 seconds before replacing them back onto the semolina-dusted, parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven. 

Turn the oven down to 425ºF once the bagels are in.  Bake until golden brown, about 28 minutes.  About halfway through baking, open the oven door briefly to vent any steam.

Cool bagels on a wire rack.  Serve as desired, split and toasted if desired, buttered or spread with cream cheese.  Ricotta and preserves are a delightful topping, as is mascarpone and preserves.

Adapted from Wild Yeast

 Be sure to check out the rest of our bagel bakes:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 




  1. Oh wow a bagel with a sweet potato puree. You are giving me ideas. That looks very good and such a nice colour.

  2. Congratulations on no wrinkles! The purple is so pretty in these. I bet they smelled amazing.

  3. Love the color this sweet potato has rendered to the bagels!

  4. I love the sweet potato and cardamom combination. The bagels are spot on!


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