Bagels: The Lye Bath Method
So I'm sitting here typing this with a dent on the bridge of my nose from the safety goggles, and slightly tingly fingertips (shoulda worn gloves), and I know what some might be thinking: was using lye worth it?
Well yeah duh.
Here is the recipe video I made for them
Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves. I'll include the recipe at the bottom.
230g bread flour
80g rye starter
Mix this first then let ferment for 8hours
rest of dough:
710g bread flour
2.2kg cold water
After the levain is ready, mix in these remaining ingredients, knead for 15 minutes, and let ferment for about 6 hours. Then refrigerate overnight. The next day, take out the dough, and divide it into 16 balls. Let the dough rest on the counter covered for 15 minutes then shape into rings. Place the rings onto two baking sheets dusted with cornmeal and place a pizza stone or a couple of upside down baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 475F (have your oven preheating for around 2 hours). Let the rings proof while you prepare your toppings and the lye bath. It took my bagels 1.5hrs to proof.
For the lye bath: Wear goggles and gloves and weigh out the water in a pot and then add in the lye. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Prepare your toppings. I did Flax & Fennel, Everything, Sesame, and Poppy, and spread them out among some plates (one plate per topping) Once the water is boiling/simmering, drop in your bagels (my pot fit 5 at a time) and boil for 1 minute on each side before placing on a sheet of parchment paper. Then take each bagel and dip it into its topping and place it TOPPING SIDE DOWN, back onto the parchment. When all of your bagels have been topped, using a pizza peel or baking sheet, slide the sheets of parchment onto your hot pizza stone/upsidedown baking sheet. Bake for two minutes, then flip over the bagels, placing the topping side up. Bake for another 18 minutes.
Take out of the oven when golden brown, and enjoy.