by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Sunday, April 24, 2011
Chewy, Amazing, Addicting, 100% SOURDOUGH BAGELS
While I recommend that you go over and read them for yourself, I am going to mention a few points that were KEY in helping me finally "get" how bagels were made. First off, the dough shouldn't be too wet and it should be STRONG! Susan likened it to a new tire...and by that I pictured a new inner tube...and went for that feeling. It totally worked. Also, she insists that the rope method is the only way to form bagels. I agree, this makes a beautiful, hand-crafted bagel...no poke method for me. Go check out what else Susan says about making perfect bagels...chewy and amazing and 100% sourdough. Hmmmm, does this make me sound like a stalker?
recipe from Wild Yeast
349 grams high-gluten flour (or 339 g flour plus 10 g vital wheat gluten)
121 grams cold water
28 grams milk powder
16.4 grams brown sugar (use non-diastatic malt powder if you have it instead or barley malt syrup)
10.1 grams (1 2/3 teaspoons) salt
301 grams active 100%-hydration sourdough starter
1 Tbs. baking soda for boiling
Whisk the flour, malt (or brown sugar), milk powder, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the starter and water to this mixture. Mix on low speed to combine. Continue to mix until the dough is very smooth and very strong...and seems almost rubbery. This took ~6 minutes in my mixer...but it could vary a bit in yours.
Turn the dough out onto an unfloured counter and work a few turns by hand. Form the dough into a smooth ball; the surface should feel satiny and tight.
Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces of (~100 g each). Form each piece into a ball. Cover and let rest for another 10 minutes.
Line a sheet tray with parchment or a silpat, then dust it generously with semolina.
One by one, roll each ball into a long, thick cylinder that is ~8"-10" long. Keep the width even throughout (don't taper the ends). I've decided that I like making mine a bit longer, ~10"-12". My hands are probably bigger.
Wrap the length around your hand and overlap the ends by ~2". Roll this section on the counter to meld the ends together a bit. (A helpful note from Susan: if dough is a little dry, give it a quick spritz of water with a fine spray bottle before shaping...this will help it roll easier and help the ends stick together). I didn't need to do that this time, but each batch is different.
Place a clean dishtowel on your work surface and place a wire rack on top of it. Remove bagels from refrigerator (see photo 1). Lightly dust the semolina from the bottoms and place them on the rack (see photo 2).
When the water boils vigorously, add the baking soda.
Gently lower a few bagels at a time into the boiling water. Cook for 20 seconds (by which time they should be floating). If they float immediately, be sure to turn them after 10 seconds so both sides get the full benefit of the boiling water.
(see photo 3) before placing them back on the semolina-dusted, lined sheet tray.
Once they are all back on the tray (see photo 4), slide them into the oven. Once the oven door is shut, lower heat to 400° F. Bake until golden, ~24-26 minutes...opening the oven door very briefly half way through to vent any built-up steam.
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.