I wanted to something good for the first breakfast of 2011. Wally and I we are heading to San Jose’ today, just to take a short trip and visit the Winchester Mystery House. We wanted to do something fun, as the end of our time off is approaching. And a few days ago on twitter I was talking about bagels with Mara, from What’s for Dinner? and the whole conversation made me crave for bagels. So I thought “Why not have a couple of toasted bagels with cream cheese with us in the car?”
I’ve already made bagels before. They came out very good, although not totally pretty. This time I decided to go for a different recipe and use one that makes the dough rise overnight. Rising the dough overnight usually allows for yeast goodies to get a much “deeper” flavor. I really wanted to see if this was true for bagels or if the extra work and extra waiting time were not worth it. Well, I have to say it was totally worth it! Wally is more expert than I am in bagels, after all, I've had my first bagel only 4 years ago, when I moved to the US. But I've had New York style bagels, in New York, not here on the West Coast. We both thought these bagels were pretty darn close to those. We loved them. And to be honest...it's not that much more work. You just have to get organized to start the night before. But isn't it worth it, if the day after you can have wonderful fresh bagels in less than half an hour?
I tried the recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and modified it just a tiny little bit to get cinnamon raisins bagels instead of plain ones….hmm except for then discovering that the raisins I had at home very reeeeally old. So I ended up making cinnamon only bagels J
Oh, I’ve also skipped one of the steps in the preparation (see below in the method section)
Makes 1 dozen
For the sponge:
5 gr (1 tsp) instant yeast
540 gr (19.2 oz or 4 cups) bread flour
590 ml (20 fl oz or 2 1/2 cups) water
For the dough:
2 gr (1/2 tsp) instant yeast
510 gr (18 oz or 3 3/4 cups) bread flour
14 gr (2 ¾ tsp) salt
2 tsp malt powder (or 1 tsp malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar – I used honey)
5 gr (1 tsp) cinnamon
15 gr (1 tbsp) baking soda for the water
cornmeal for dusting the pan
First of all, you need to prepare the sponge. To do this, stir the yeast into the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until all ingredients are blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for two hours.
Remove the plastic wrap and stir the additional yeast into the sponge. Add 410 gr (3 cups) of the flour, the malt powder (or the honey in my case), the salt, and the cinnamon into the bowl and mix until all of the ingredients form a ball. You need incorporate the extra 100 gr (3/4 cups) of flour to stiffen the dough, either while still mixing in the bowl or while kneading.
Put the dough onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes.
When you are done kneading, split the dough into a dozen small pieces around 4 1/2 oz each. Roll each piece into a ball and set it aside. Cover the balls, with a damp towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.
Shaping the bagels: simply press your thumb through the center of each roll and then rotate the dough, trying to make the bagel as even in width as possible.
Place the shaped bagels on a baking pan prepared with parchment paper and lightly oiled. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough to rise for another 20 minutes.
Now, the original method say to test whether the bagels are ready to retard by dropping one of them into a bowl of cool water: if the bagel floats back up to the surface in under ten seconds it is ready to retard. If not, it needs to rise more. I did not do that….after all it was new years eve and I wanted to watch a movie with Wally so after the 20 minutes wait I just put the pan in the refrigeration for the night.
Look at these guys! Before getting boiled in the water, and right out of the oven! Don't they look great?!
Preheat the oven to 500F degrees. Sprinkle corn meal onto another baking pan.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tbsp of baking soda to the water.
When the water is boiling, place the bagels into the pot one at a time and let them boil for a minute each side.
When you remove them from the water, place them on the baking pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Repeat this process until all of the bagels have been boiled.
Bake the bagels for about 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 450 degrees, rotate the pan by 180 degrees, and bake for another 5 minutes until the bagels begin to brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes. I really could not resist eating them and I tried to cut them sooner than that but they really need to sit for a little…believe me it’s worth it!
Have a sweet day and happy new year!
Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice