The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Silverton's sourdough bagel and Hamelman's Bialy

txfarmer's picture

Silverton's sourdough bagel and Hamelman's Bialy

The bagel recipe is from Nancy's Siliverton's book "Breads from the La Brea Bakery". The procedure is very similar to the one in BBA, cold rise, boil, bake, except that it uses some starter in addition to commercial yeast. I like the end product a lot, as happy as I was with the BBA ones, I find these ones are more chewy, the crumb is tighter, more like a true NY bagel. I used various toppings, my favorite one was Asiago Cheese, yum!

I used my 100% starter, and adjust water content accordingly. Also used some baking soda in the boiling water to get that shine. The following is my modified version:

water (70F), 14.5oz

instant yeast, 1.75tsp

white starter (100%), 11oz

high-gluten flour (I used Sir Lancelot), 2lbs

sugar, 2oz

salt, 1tbsp

barley malt syrup, 2tbsp

milk powder, 6tbsp

1. Mix everything until gluten is well developed

2. Rest for 10 minutes

3. divide into 4oz pieces, round and relax for 15 minutes

4. shape into bagels - I use the "connect two ends of a rope method", but some prefer the "punch and stretch a hole in the center" method. Keep the hole in the center fairly big.

5. refriderate for 12 to 24 hours.

6. take out and take one to test whether it floats in water, if so, they are fully risen and ready to be boiled, otherwise, they need more time on the counter to rise, check every 20 minutes.

7. boil in water and baking soda, 20 sec each side

8. take out and add on toppings

9. bake at 400F for 20minutes (but oven is preheated to 450F then turned down when breads are loaded).

Liking the bagels, I wanted to make some bialys as well. Used Hamelman's formula even though I see Glezer has one that's straight from Kossar, Hamelman's has lower water content, and bialy is supposed to be chewy, so I chose his instead.

Nice and chewy out of oven, full of onion aroma. The problem is that there's no salt in the onion topping, so while it smelled wonderfully onion-y, but the taste is ... not salty enough. I added a pinch of salt in the onion mixture for the 2nd batch, much better. I checked Glezer's formula, the onion topping is also saltless. I've only tasted Kossar bialy once before, I remmeber it had some salty taste, did I remember wrong? Salt or no salt, these are some yummy little rolls.

Since they are the best fresh, still warm from oven, I think it's really worthwhile to make them at home. Plus they are quite easy to make! I am not posting the recipe since it's straight from the book with no modifications. My order of dried onion is on its way, plan to make some Norm's onion rolls to compare to these.


dmsnyder's picture

So many wonderful bagel recipes to try! And the bialys look wonderful.

Norm's Onion Rolls are fantastic, but the only thing they have in common with bialys is the onion topping. They are meant to have a crisp crust and not too chewy crumb. The flavor is marvelous. I'm sure you will enjoy them.

After posting the recipe, Norm added various tips and comments to others' topics. A while back, I attempted to gather them all in one place. So, to save you some time, here's a link to my compendium: March 3 should be a TFL holiday!

Let us know how they turn out. 


txfarmer's picture

You are so helpful, as always. That link is priceless, saved me so much leg work. Will certainly report back when I get them made. :)

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

MMM-Those look so good. Now I have to try them. I'm thinking when my pepper plants start producing I'll make them with roasted jalapenos, habaneros, cowhorns and cheese. Yummy!

SylviaH's picture

I'am such a big fan of Nancy Silverton.  I especially love her rustic approach/style to pastries.


txfarmer's picture

I got her bread book only a few weeks ago, late to the game I know. Don't know why I waited this long, I have made a few recipes in there, and loved them all. I am indeed eyeing her pastry book, with your recommendation, I might take the plunge and buy it!

SylviaH's picture

Lot's of lovely recipes.  Measures are US with some oz. measures, the photo's are all in flat brown's...I think it's done that way to give a rustic appearance and old timely look so it matches her style of baking.  Watch her bake pastries on PBS Julia Child's chef video's.  I drool over her savory tarts so rich and buttery.  These are not recipes I would bake often but the book is a must have for me.


txfarmer's picture

Yeah, her recipes are often very involved, but yum.

LeeYong's picture

Great looking bagels - thanks for the recipe! Is there a replacement for the Malt Syrup? Thanks!

Happy baking as always!


txfarmer's picture

I suppose you can use sugar, but I find barley malt syrup gives a more subtle sweetness that's more authentic. You can find barley malt syrup in most organic food market, e.g. Whole Foods.

LindyD's picture

Lovely, txfarmer.   I've been enjoying bagels for breakfast all of last week. Figured I better take a week off - or get in another 30 minutes of walking a day...

Your post has made me regret that decision, though.  They all look quite luscious!

txfarmer's picture

Maybe you can hand knead teh dough and count that as extra workout? ;)

mrmambo's picture

Just found this thread after reading about Melissa Weller in NYC; her supposedly fantastic bagels are based on Nancy Silverton's recipe. I can't find the book locally, so wound up here. 

Do  you use both a starter and yeast?

I was going to use a 100% starter I have from recent Cook's Illustrated recipe and their NY Bagel recipe from 2015. I'm feeding and rousing the starter now; was going to let it wake for 8 hrs and then mix Dough, shape, chill overnight, and bake tomorrow morning. 

Any advice?