Breads

The Bagel cont. with 14-step Recipe

 

So this morning I set out to make my organic bagels and prepared the sponge. By the time I returned home, it was time to make the dough. So here is the recipe, which I copied from the book.

This recipe yields about 12 large or 24 miniature bagels.

Sponge
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 1/2 cups room temperature water

Dough
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups bread flour
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar

To Finish
1 tablespoon baking soda

Cornmeal for dusting

Seeds, such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds.

1. To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter. It should look like pancake batter. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

Foaming starter Bagel  Starter waiting bagel

2. To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl, add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and brown sugar. Mix on low speed with the dough hook or stir until the ingredients form a ball. Slowly work in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.

3. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes by hand or for 6 minutes if using a machine. The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour, and all ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F. or 25 to 27 degrees C.  If the dough seems to dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

4. Immediately divide the dough into 4 1/2 ounce pieces for standard bagels, or smaller if desired. Form the pieces into rolls.

 

 

5. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.

 

6. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with oil.

7. Poke a hole in a ball of the bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter (half of this for a mini-bagel). The dough should be as evenly stretched as possible.

Well, my bagels were not at all perfectly shaped and in trying to move my thumb slowly to create the perfect circle, I got nervous and ended up making it either too large on one side or too thin. Oh well!

8. Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with some oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for another 20 minutes.

9. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with room-temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight  or up to 2 days. If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

10. The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500 degrees F or 260 degrees C, with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda and optionally, a few tablespoons of dark brown sugar syrup.

11. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, using a slotted spoon. Boil them only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal flour. If you want to top the bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water, so that the topics will stick.

 

the first bagels which came out were terribly deformed -but by the second batch, I think that I got finally got it!

 

12. When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only 1 pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C. and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn to the desired colour.

13. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack.

14. Smeer with your favourite spread and enjoy!