Friday, 10 July 2015

New York Style Bagels

Yes you can!!
 You can use your sourdough starter to make the chewiest bagels out there*. I used the autolyse method for extra rise but you don't have to (autolysing is where we add the salt after the first rising to allow for that extra oomph as adding salt at the start inhibits yeast growth).

The basic ingredients**:

1.25 kg Plain organic flour
3T sugar (I used honey)
2T salt


The night before:
  • Make a sponge with around half a kilo of flour and a litre of filtered water. Make it thick as pancake batter. Let it stand overnight until it bubbles nicely.

Day 1 (the next day):

  • Put some of your starter aside for the next batch and feed then fridge it.
  • Then add the sugar to the leftover sponge. Add enough flour to form a soft dough and knead briefly - 1-2 mins is all you need if your starter is strong.
  • Leave for 60-90 minutes in a warm place to rise.
  • Time to autolyse. (Add the salt)
  • Add the salt half a teaspoon at a time by sprinkling the ball and pulling the dough to stretch and knead it. Add all the salt till you generally can't feel the grains.

pull the dough to gently knead at this stage rather than pummelling it on the board.


Warning!!!! After a couple of minutes the salt will cause a chemical reaction where the gluten bonds will break down and the ball should suddenly get VERY VERY VERY sticky!!! You may need help... OIL YOUR HANDS!! This is all part of the fun of the autolyse method.

  • Pre-oil a plastic bag and drop the ball of dough in. Use a peg or other device to secure the bag so the ball won't rise to much. Place in a bowl in the fridge for 12-36 hours depending on what you've got going on in your week.

Day 2:
  • Remove dough from fridge and place dough in an oiled bowl.
  • Lay out some cling film (i find this easier than flouring a board) and cut off golfball-sized chunks of the dough. Stretch into tubes and join to form bagels. Lay on cling film. (Makes about 12) 
  • Let rise for about an hour only.
  • Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  • Now I've found the easiest way to get the bagels into the boiling water without them losing their shape is to cut the cling film into squares and drop the bagel into the water by the corner of the cling film.... the film should roll right off the bagel once it hits the water and you can dispose of it and voila... perfect bagel shape.
  • Wait for the bagels to rise to the top of the pot. Remove and place on a well-greased oven tray.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden. 
  • Place on a cooling rack and if you don't want that crispy sourdough crust but a softer bagel, cover the warm bagels with a plastic bag and some tea towels and leave until cool. You will have delicious chewy, soft bagels. 
  • Toast the inside and serve with cream cheese!
  • I like to freeze a big batch and take them out as I need them so they stay extra fresh. 

*warning - friends and family might insist you open a shop after making these.
**these are approximate amounts