It was so long since I baked bagels. I had baked wholewheat bagels long back and since then the original has always been on my to-do list. I regretted not making these earlier when I tasted the perfect bagels all thanks to Baking Partners August challenge given by Swathi. The recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart's artisan Bread Everyday.
Honey : 1 tbsp
Instant Yeast: 1 tsp
Coarse Kosher Salt: 1.5 tsp ( or 1 tsp regular salt)
Lukewarm water: 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Bread Flour: 3.5 cups (3.5 cups All purpose Flour + 3.5 tsp of Vital wheat gluten)
Water: 4-6 cups
Honey (optional) : 1.5 tbsp
Baking Soda: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Stir in the honey, yeast and salt into water in a small bowl.
Place the flour in a big/deep bowl and add in the wet mix.
Stir in with a sturdy spoon for about 3 minutes until well blended to form a wet coarse dough mass.
Rest for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a lightly dusted surface and knead by hand for another 3 minutes to smooth out the dough.
Place the dough in a clean, lightly greased bowl, and let it rise for an hour at room temperature covered tightly with a plastic wrap.
After this you can refrigerate it overnight or shape into bagels and then refrigerate.For shaping bagels read below
While the dough is rising, prepare a baking sheet with lining and lightly grease the lining.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Take each piece and shape into a loose ball with a cupped hand on wet surfeace and not floured unlike the first kneading. Water will help provide the enough traction for the dough to form into a ball.
Poke a hole through the centre of the ball to create a donut shape.
Holding the dough with both thumbs in the hole. rotate the dough with your hands, gradually stretching it to create a hole 2" in diameter.
Place the bagel on prepared sheet, spray the top lightly with oil. Repeat the process until all bagels are ready. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight or for upto 2 days.
Day 2: Baking Day:
Remove the bagels 1.5 hours before you plan to bake them. If you had chilled as a whole dough then shape it into bagels and let them proof before rising.This proofing is optional and you can directly go to the next step.
Check immediately whether they are ready for baking using the float test. : Place a bagel in a small bowl of cold water.
If it sinks and doesn't float back to the surface, shake it off, return to the baking and let it rest/proof for another 30 minute before repeating the test again.
One bagel passing indicates all bagel passing. Now they all are ready to be boiled and baked.
If you are not ready for baking then return them to the refrigerator so that they don't overproof.
When you are about to bake the bagels, bring the water to boil, reduce to simmer, stir in honey, baking soda and salt.
Gently lower each bagel into the simmering poaching liquid adding as many as will fit the pot, they should all float to the surface withing 15 seconds. After a minute,use a slotted spoon to turn each bagel over. Poach for another 30-60 seconds,then use the slotted spoon to transfer it back to the pan, domed side up.Mine were done within 15 seconds per side.
Sprinkle on a genourous amount of toppings as soon as they are out of the water.I used regular white and black sesame seeds.
Bake in a preheated oven (preheat the oven to 500F/260 C 30 minutes prior to baking, transfer the bagel to oven,reduce the temp to 450F/ 232C) for 8 minutes.Then rotate the pan and also check the underside of bagels. If they are getting too dark, double the baking pan. Bake for another 8-12 minutes until they are golden brown.
My max oven temperature was 250C and I preheated the oven at this temperature. Then placed the baking tray and reduced it to 220 and then cooked for 7 minutes as they started browning at this stage.
Then rotated the pan and reduced the temperature to 200,doubled/insulated with another baking tray and then continued for another 5-6 minutes before they started burning.
Take out and let these cool on wirerack atleast for another 30 minutes before slicing and serving them with your choice of spreads or as such.
Perfect bagel. I loved it as such. Serve it for breakfast or if you don't mind as anytime snack with your choice of dip or spread.
The texture was not too soft crumb with a firmer crust. similar to sandwich bread but firmer/thicker and it had perfect soda aroma that makes sure its different from other breads.
Lets see who all baked bagels this time with us. Hop over to Swathis Post grabbing a bagel...