>Homemade Bagels – WAY Better Than Store Bought

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These bagels could change the world. Seriously though what is better than a homemade bagel spread with cream cheese,black truffles or pesto? How about using them to make ham and cheese sandwiches or your favorite morning egg sandwich?


As well as saving you some money these bagels are way better than any store bought bagel. Made east coast style as they like their bagels chewier, unlike the softer steamed version that’s most common in many stores. The chewier bagel is made possible by the water method, done by placing the bagel in alkalized water prior to placing in the oven. 


The sponge technique used to make these bagels produces a better flavor and textured bagel as well making as them better for harsh freezing and thawing. You will not produce a memorable bagel without using the overnight slow, cold fermentation which allows the naturally occurring enzymes to release their wonderful flavors.


Homemade Bagels

Sponge


1 teaspoon yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 1/2 cups flour


Dough
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cup high gluten or bread flour
2 3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar


Also will need;


1 Tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt, green onions, chopped onions tossed in oil


Making The Sponge


1. Stir the yeast into 4 cups flour. Add water whisking or stirring only until forms a smooth; sticky batter, almost like a pancake batter. Cover bowl with towel or plastic wrap and let sit out for 2 hours or when sponge is foamy and bubbly. Should double in size.


Dough


1. Using the same bowl or your electric mixer bowl, add the 1/2 teaspoon yeast. Stir. Add 3 cups of the flour and all the salt and malt (Or honey, brown sugar or malt syrup). Stir until the ingredients form a ball. Slowly work in remaining 3/4 cup flour to make a stiffened dough.


2.Knead dough for 10 minutes or for about 6 minutes if using your electric mixer. The dough result should be firm, pliable and smooth dough not tacky. If dough seems dry use a few drops of water and continue  to knead



3. Divide dough into about 12 rolls for large bagels, 24 rolls for smaller bagels . Make sure your rolls are formed into a tight ball 

4. Cover rolls with a dampened towel and let rest for 20 minutes.


5. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment and mist with spray. 


6. Poke a hole in a a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to make a hole about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Try to do it as even as possible.


7. Place each shaped piece 2 inches apart on sheet pans. cover with towel or plastic and let sit 25 minutes.





8. Keep covered bagels on sheet trays and put in fridge overnight or up to 48 hours for the long, cold fermentation process


9. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Remove dough from fridge. Bring large (as wide as possible) pot of water to a boil and then add tablespoon baking soda to the water.


10. Drop bagels in boiling water, after 1 minute flip the over and boil for an additional 1 minute.


11. Remove from water and sprinkle with seeds, (sesame seeds, poppy seeds,salt etc..) or any other flavoring you choose.





12.Once all bagels have been boiled place the sheet pans on the 2 middle racks of your oven. Bake 5 minutes then rotate the pans 180 degrees and switching shelves. Bake until bagels turn golden brown or darkness you prefer.


Let cool 15 minutes. Enjoy!




Adapted from The Bread Bakers Apprentice

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