Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Homemade Bagel Experiment, Part One

On Thursday when I baked sourdough bread, I held back some of the sponge and baked a smaller loaf. I stored the leftover sponge in the refrigerator, since it's been very active in this warm weather. On Friday morning I tried to use it to make homemade bagels.

I should mention that we live near enough to New York City that we can purchase real New York-style bagels locally. (Not every local bagel shop is good, but good ones aren't hard to find. And I've never tried bagels from the chains like Einstein Bros. or Manhattan Bagel, so I can't compare those.) In any case, I've always wanted to try making bagels at home, and this leftover dough gave me an easy opportunity to try it.

Using the bagel recipe from How To Cook Everything as a guideline, I shaped the dough into balls and poked holes through the centers.

I boiled water in a saucepan and boiled each bagel for one minute on each side, then transferred them to a greased baking sheet. I sprinkled them with sesame seeds. The photo is a little blurry, but I only took one shot:

I used my toaster oven, since I only had enough dough to bake two bagels. I baked the bagels according to the recipe, but they weren't browning on top.

I took them out of the toaster oven while they were still not browned, but they're cooked through.

  • These were appropriately dense, but not chewy enough.
  • The outside was crispy but not as smooth and shiny as it should be.
  • Even with those weaknesses, they still taste good!

Notes for next time:

  • Use bread flour, and mix the dough longer than the sourdough recipe indicates. I hope this increases the chewiness of the finished product.
  • Add a little sugar. Some online bagel recipes call for malt syrup added to the water as well as the dough. I think this helps the bagels to brown, but it's not as readily available as sugar, which is what this recipe uses. The sourdough sponge contains no sugar at all, which may be why the bagels didn't brown.
  • Shape the bagels with bigger holes. As the dough continued to rise, the holes almost disappeared.
  • Bake in the oven, not the toaster oven, for more even heat.

The bagel recipe in How to Cook Everything contains sugar and also includes directions to refrigerate the dough overnight and finish the recipe in the morning. I'll try that next. That way we can have hot fresh bagels on Saturday mornings without my husband having to drive out to the bagel shop!

1 comment :

  1. They look very good in the pictures!! I love bagels but have not been brave enough to try making my own yet!


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