Bagels have been on my ToDo list for a long time. This week, completely out of the blue, Mr L asked if we could try making some. He came to me already armed with research although I added some of my own.
Felicity’s perfect bagels use Malt Syrup, which I do not have but I noted in her article the use of Diastatic Malt Powder, which I do have, in some recipes. I also took good note of her approval of Richard Bertinet’s recipe, from Crust: From Sourdough, Spelt and Rye Bread to Ciabatta, Bagels and Brioche.
So, armed with the right book but without the 20g of honey called for, I winged it and added Diax.
Bertinet’s recipe begins with a fermented dough, which I left in a cold environment (my kitchen!) overnight.
This is how it looked after lunch today.
I expected a stiff dough, having read the Perfect Bagel article but this dough was so stiff after adding the remainder of the ingredients that neither I nor the Kenwood could knead it. I introduced a little extra water and let the machine do the hard work after my wrists had given up and were screaming at me.
After resting the dough for 20 minutes I found it to be wonderfully elastic and the hole-making part of the process was great fun and very easy.
Bertinet advocates punching a hole into the dough balls with the end of a rolling pin. Mr L took care of that part of the process and I did the hole-stretching bit, with two opposed fingers working the dough around until the hole was large enough to pass the ring over my hand and onto my wrist like a big pasty bangle.
The simmering was done with military precision, using the stopwatch facility on my smartphone…
… and after draining the bagels were dunked into either poppy or sesame seeds…
… before being baked, six to a tray…
… for a little longer than the recipe suggested (10 minutes).
We thought that they looked great and pretty authentic, but what would we know – neither one of us has been to a New York Deli!
We had our bagels as soon as they were cool enough to eat, and sandwiched them with smoked salmon and cream cheese. I also added Horseradish Sauce to mine and an accompanying salad was dressed with the Lime drizzle from the pack of fat-free dressings that I bought last week.
We found them agreeably chewy, though perhaps a minute or two longer in the oven might have improved them. They were far nicer than the cardboardy ones that Mr L usually gets from the supermarket and I think we shall be refining our recipe and making more bagels in the future. I must try and source the malt syrup.
Elsewhere in my life: I finally blocked (after a fashion) the Ladies Circular Cape in Shell Pattern that I completed knitting back in February 2013!