So, here I sit...doing things a bit backwards...but that is what you get when you're a bit tired and attempt bagels the night before.
I read Floyd's Bagel wizardry and decided I'd give these puppies a spin. As I am wont to do, I tried experimenting a bit without ever having attempted a non-experimental batch.
...ok, so I ended up "experimenting" because I didn't read far enough ahead while I was actually making the damned things. In my defense--like I have to defend myself--it was 2am.
My first experimentation (which was supposed to be my only experimentation) came by deciding to really let the sponge ferment for a good long while. I wanted the bagels to have a deeper flavour, so I let the sponge sit for a good ten hours. Just as the sponge was threatening to devour my kitchen, I proceeded with the final dough. Aside from having to mount my sponge and defeat the beastie-yeasties in order to get the balance of the ingredients into the bowl, it was a beautiful dough by the time I was finished kneading.
I divided it into vaguely similarly sized pieces, then rolled them into vaguely similarly sized balls. As instructed, I allowed them to sit for 20 minutes before, rather crudely, shoving my thumbs through the middle to create the "bagel".
Now, seeing as it was, by this time, around 1am, I neglected to note that I needed to let them rise, just a skosh. I sprayed the sheet pans, laid them out, covered them with plastic wrap and chucked them in the fridge.
After I performed my nightly ablutions, just prior to shutting down for the evening, I gave the recipe a one final look-see. Here's when I look-see'd that I should have been letting them rise a bit. Oops.
So...full-circle...here I sit, buns (bagels) in the (lightly warmed) oven, seeing if I can't get them to do that wee rise before I hurl them into boiling water...
Hmm...well...some seem to have risen pretty well. Others seem to have spread beautifully...while, still others, seem to be dying a slow, painfully puck-like death. But my motto is: don't just quake, boil and bake!
All right...that isn't my motto at all...but we've only just met and that's some deep, personal information. I'll call that my bagel motto. I have mottos for each of my baking adventures. For instance, my doughnut motto is: don't sit there and cry, cut them and fry!
OK...I just made that up...but I think I've just discovered my blog brand.
The "bagels" are now re-retarding a bit...this is because I would like to be able to actually get them in the water (which is currently heating). They aren't easy to handle (read: you can't pick them up) when they're room temperature/freshly risen (ish).
More bagel hell later...or...the afterbatch.