Baking Bucket List: Bagels (every one’s a fluffy one)

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.

Overnight ferment
Overnight ferment

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.

A dozen dough balls
A dozen dough balls

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…

30 seconds each side
30 seconds each side

… and after draining the bagels were dunked into either poppy or sesame seeds…

Seedy toppings
Seedy toppings

… before being baked, six to a tray…

Six to a tray
Six to a tray

… for a little longer than the recipe suggested (10 minutes).

12-minute bagels
12-minute bagels

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!

Possibly another two minutes would have been good
Possibly another two minutes would have been good

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.

Tea time
Tea time

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!

Fluffy and gorgeous
Fluffy and gorgeous

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