The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough "Bagel-Crust" Squares

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Sourdough "Bagel-Crust" Squares

My first bake of 2018. I'm glad I squeezed in a bake despite my busy schedule. I find it more therapeutic than ever! :) Last time, I baked bagels and I really loved them because they were so satisfying to eat. Due to the boiling process it gets before being baked, they really have a unique texture. I thought it will be similar to laugenbrot with a thick chewy crust but I was wrong. Its thin and crispy crust is also our favorite to date but my parents find the crumb too chewy for them so I thought of why not soften the crumb a little bit and maintain that unique crust.

I originally planned to use my bagel dough and just add a little butter and a little more water to soften the crumb a little but I made some more improvisations along the way. I had 2 leftover egg yolks from another recipe so I added that to the dough so I won't have to store it anymore. :) I added more sugar because our favorite yeasted sandwich loaf is a bit sweet and because the egg yolks are added fat and richness I halved the amount of butter I scooped for the dough.



A high sugar dough seems to be an uncharted territory for Zhou Clementine, my starter. She was a bit slow in raising the dough. Bulk fermentation took 4 hours but the dough only grew to 1.5 times instead of doubling. I folded the dough into a neat rectangle and put it into a sort of rectangular container then into the fridge after a further 2 hours at room temperature. The dough did not grew much in the fridge as shown in the picture.

German square brotchen have always fascinated me through the years, I find their shape simply adorable. :) I love square-shaped breads including donut plant's square jelly donut in NYC although I still haven't had the chance to try it. I have only done a square fried bread but never a square "baked" bread so that's what I did here. Since it is not shaped, proofing times might be different so I followed Karin's (Hanseata) schedule here for similar rolls.



The dough was simply tipped onto a cutting board; edges trimmed; and cut into 4 pieces. I braided the trimmed edges as to not waste anything and fashioned it into a roll. I proofed them for an hour because they came straight form the fridge.

Here they are after proofing. The photo does not show much of a difference but if you look closely you can see shallower and softer lines as opposed to deep defined hard line before proofing, they also have increased a bit in height.



I think they do not need any proofing at all. They are already so soft and stretchy and bit sticky by the end and I mangled them a bit during the boiling process. Next time I will boil them right away after cutting and they will have a much better shape and spring. They look a bit small but they doubled during boiling and doubled again during baking so they increased in size by a total of 4 times.



I think that pre-gelatinizing crust during the boiling process that is the key to the bagel crust that we really love so I also boiled these rolls 1 minute on each side to achieve the same results. The wetter enriched dough did not disintegrate in the water as opposed to common knowledge explaining why bagel dough is supposed to be dry. I think its drier dough is for the chewy texture. They look a bit sad and ugly after boiling but they were transformed by the dry heat of the clay pot.







They were baked over heated pebbles in the clay pot for 10 minutes then flipped and baked again for another 10 minutes; 20 minutes in total with live fire.



Only one got a bit burnt but I do not know why all look like they have burnt spots but they were just very boldly bake areas and do not look black in real life.









They were very fragrant coming out of the pot with a tangy smell and a touch of smoke and an extra buttery aroma. The crust was very crispy with a delicate feel to it and the crumb was soft with a very slight chew. The taste was complex; buttery, slightly sugary sweet with the barest hint of tang. Very good on its own or with fillings, so far we only had cheese in the house so that's what we used. Out of excitement we cut them while still hot so the crumb was still a bit wet and has not set-up completely. My parents really loved them because they don't have to fight them with their jaws but still has that lovely crisp crust like the last time.





Finally, I am loving the new way to upload pictures here on TFL. It's so much easier! Again, thanks Floyd!

Some more random photos of the rolls including the braided one. :) Now that I know that boiling is the secret for the crust that we like, I will now manipulate the crumb to make it lighter of heavier depending on our preference. I'm excited for future experiments for "boiled" rolls! I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you and Happy Baking!







Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

They sure look good and with a schmear of something and some smoke fish or lox.   Can't go wrong with these.  Well done and Happy baking Job

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I really want to schmear it with something but we did not have any but they were so good on their own I forgot about the cheese. We really love salmon but it's so expensive; 50 g of smoked salmon costs $6.00 How much more will lox cause if I will ever find it?!

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

but at work they once provided a big pile of Einstein bagels for us with an assortment of schmears.  One of them was cream cheese with lox whipped in - you couldn't see any fish in it, it was just an even pink color.  But it had a great flavor, and I have to imagine that's a cheaper alternative than buying whole fish.

*Disclaimer*  My wife is full-blooded Italian, and believes I am a Philistine when it comes to fine foods.  She made me get rid of the beloved "parmesan" in the green can from my youth, and to this day will only allow Parmigiano Reggiano in the house.  So if I have offended any lox purists out there, my apologies.  ;-)

     --Mike

alfanso's picture
alfanso

however you offend me by stating that you used that sawdust in the green can on anything comestible!  Sometimes you can find this "lox spread", as it is often called, with small bits to small chunks mixed in.  So not only does the spread itself carry the smoked salmon flavor but one benefits from actually getting the real thing too.  Of course, if it isn't your thing then you found yourself at the wrong groaning board.

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

My wife's insistence has made appreciate the refining of my palate, and I have progressed into finer cheeses.  She also pushed me out of the Folger's darkness into the light of Starbuck's (alas, I can't even stomach the swill they pass off as coffee at work any more).

I guess you could say I'm a foodie in progress, but I'm confident that this forum is eminently helpful in that endeavor.

     --Mike

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

but lox is really unheard in this area. :(

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

but with a twist! they look great.

Happy baking Job

Leslie

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Happy baking!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Your recipe sounds like something I would like! Well done! Oh and I love your sense of humour!

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I thin any lightly enriched bread will work. Just boil them before baking for that crust. :)

isand66's picture
isand66

Very inventive of you.  Now, you need to get some sesame seeds, or toasted onions or garlic to add to the top of these to put them over the top!  Thanks for posting as always.

Regards,
Ian

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

Oh yes! Sesame seeds for sure. I will try them next time or even an "everything" flavor.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

You always find a creative way of doing things, Pal.  The writeup is informative and the pictures of the raw squares are really nice.  And the crumb shots certainly seem like authentic bagel to me.  alan

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

That distinct crust with a more tender and less chewy crumb was very nice. Thanks!

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

pal - these look fantastic & perfect for sandwiches. a little burned spot is ok & can be scraped off. i'm definitely making these.

thanks, claudia

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

I'm glad you liked the idea.