When the weather is revolting, think driving rain and mad winds, I want to stay in my jammies and bake bagels. Then I want to toast those babies and slather them with butter and sit at the window thumbing my nose at the sky and stuffing hot buttered bagels into my bagel hole. I really don't care if I'm meant to be at the gym, attending meetings, mopping floors or grocery shopping... I really don't.
NOTE: I used Celia's recipe from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial without altering it very much at all. She is my sourdough guru.
slightly adapted from here
Makes 16 - 18
For the Dough:
450g active starter *See below
500g cold filtered water, a little more if needed
1100g baker's flour
20g fine sea salt
50g malt extract
For the Water Bath:
3 - 4 litres water
1 tablespoon malt extract
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
For Egg Wash:
1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water
For the Toppings:
Black sesame seeds
White sesame seeds
Everything topping: (1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes, 1/2 tablespoon sea salt flakes)
Prepare your Starter:
At 10am the day before you want to bake your bagels, put 1/2 cup of dormant starter into a bowl. Feed it with 1/2 cup baker's flour and 1/2 cup cold filtered water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. At 1pm, feed it with 1/2 cup baker's flour and 1/2 cup cold filtered water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. At 4pm, feed it with 1 cup baker's flour and 1 cup cold filtered water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. By 8pm it should be bubbling like crazy and fluffy. Do a drop test by taking a small spoonful of starter and drop it into a cup of room temperature water. If it floats on the surface it's ready to use, if it sinks to the bottom of the cup it needs another feed. If it needs another feed, give it 1/4 cup baker's flour and 1/4 cup filtered water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for another couple of hours. Perform another drop test. Don't attempt to make bagels with a sluggish starter, they will turn out like hockey pucks.
Make the Dough:
Measure out 450g of active starter and put it into a large mixing bowl. Add 500g water and the malt extract. Stir to combine. Add the flour and salt and get your hands into the bowl and mix until it forms a dough. You may need to add a little more water, but be aware that this dough should be a little stiffer than regular bread dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Give the dough a quick knead in the bowl, a minute or so will do. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature overnight.
The next morning, turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 120g portions (I got 18 out of this batch). Roll each portion into a ball. Poke a hole into the centre of the balls with your finger then twirl the dough around both index fingers to create a doughnut shape.
Line three large baking trays with baking paper and sprinkle the paper with flour. Place the bagels on them, leaving enough room for them to spread during rising and baking. Cover with clean cloths and set them aside to rise and get puffy for about 1hr - 1 1/2 hrs.
Preheat the oven to 200C (fan-forced).
Boil the Bagels:
Put the the 3 - 4 litre of water into a large, wide pan (I use a wok). Bring to boil and then add the malt extract and salt. Once the extract and salt have dissolved, add the bagels in batches and boil them for 1 1/2 minutes, flip them using a slotted spoon, and boil on the other side for another 1 1/2 minutes.
Pat them dry with a clean tea towel and lay them back on the trays.
Top the Bagels:
Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with desired toppings (or you can leave them plain).
Bake the Bagels:
Bake in batches for about 15 minutes, then turn the pans around and continue baking for a further 10 - 15 minutes, until bronze and beautiful. Leave to cool on wire racks while you bake the rest.