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Sourdough Blueberry Bagels - with thanks to lumos, and Susan from WildYeast!

breadsong's picture

Sourdough Blueberry Bagels - with thanks to lumos, and Susan from WildYeast!

lumos made the most beautiful sourdough wholemeal bagels, and then I saw Susan's amazing-looking bagels, with the addition of dried blueberries; Eric wrote recently about his bagel journey, and the bagels he made looked really great too; the combination of flours he was using sounded interesting and I liked how he hand-mixed his bagel dough.

I decided to give sourdough bagels a try, using Susan's quantity of sourdough levain and no commercial yeast, whole wheat and some other ingredients like lumos used, the addition of some rye flour and mixing as both lumos and Eric suggested, and baking according to Mr. Reinhart's instruction in BBA. 
Thanks to all for their formulas, ideas and instruction, so helpful to me for this bake!

My bagel-shaping needs work but I am happy to practice so more yummy-tasting bagels like these continue to emerge from the oven! I wanted to try the shaping method lumos referred to in her post but it wasn't working out so well with dried blueberries in the dough.
I've never tasted a sourdough bagel before this morning; I just love how these taste; it was so nice to pull these out of the fridge, and with a quick boil and bake, have fresh bagels for breakfast :^)


sourdough bagels are really good! :^)

Mix first levain; when mature, mix second levain; when this has matured, mix dough.

1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Mix levain and water in a separate bowl and stir until levain is dissolved into the water.               

3. Pour the levain mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a dough whisk until dry ingredients are hydrated. Rest the dough, covered, for 15 minutes or so to let the flour absorb water.

4. Stretch and fold in the bowl (20 folds); let dough rest 1o minutes; knead on counter for 7 minutes.
Add dried blueberries and fold/knead to incorporate into dough.
Let dough sit in bowl on counter, covered, for one hour, with stretch and fold after 20, then 40 minutes.
The dough got to an 'improved' stage of development.              

5. Divide the dough into 12 pieces of about 100 g each.

6. For shaping the bagels, I tried flattening each dough piece into a small rectangle, then rolling into a cylinder, then extending a bit.  After this was done for all 12 pieces, starting with the first piece, I rolled each piece again to lengthen, overlapped the ends and rolled on the counter to seal and shape the bagel.
The dough had just enough tackiness so the ends stuck together easily, but not so much that the dough was sticking to my hands or the counter. I didn't have to use any additional flour when shaping these.

7. Place shaped bagels on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Cover the bagels, so the surface of the  dough will not dry out during proofing and retarding.
Proof at room temperature until the bagels look like they've puffed up a bit.
My kitchen was cool, and after 1.5 hours at room temperature it didn't look like the bagels had proofed at all, so I moved them to a proof box at 78F, and proofed for another two hours.

8. Retard bagels in fridge overnight.

9. Preheat oven to 500F (no baking stone).
Prepare baking sheet(s) for baking by lining with new parchment paper, spraying lightly with oil, and sprinkling with semolina.
Add water to large, wide saucepan, add 1 Tablespoon barley malt syrup, and bring water to boil.
Add 1 Tablespoon baking soda to boiling water (contents in the pan may foam up).
Remove bagels from the fridge. With slotted spoon, place bagels top side down in boiling water. Place as many as will fit in one layer.
Boil 1 minute, turn top side up, boil 1 more minute.
With slotted spoon, lift from water, let excess water drip off, and place top side up on prepared baking sheet.

10. Bake bagels at 500F for 5 minutes. Rotate pan(s). Reduce oven temperature to 450F, and bake for 5 minutes, or possibly a bit longer until the bagels are browned to your liking.
Remove to cooling rack to cool.

Happy baking everyone,
:^) from breadsong

Sending, with gratitude, to Susan @ YeastSpotting


lumos's picture

Don't tell me these are the first bagels you've ever made. They look really great!  They must've tasted great, too.:)


breadsong's picture

Hi lumos,
Thank you so much for posting about your sourdough wholemeal bagels. Your formula, adding some whole wheat, sweetness from cane sugar, and the milk for some extra flavor and potentially softness in the crumb? looked so appealing to me.
After seeing Susan's sourdough blueberry bagels, I wanted to try making bagels as she did, an all-sourdough version; this is the first time I've tried to do that; but have made yeast bagels a few times before.
I really wanted to try shaping as was demonstrated in the video you linked to in your post, but those dried blueberries were getting in the way of flattening out the end.
The flavor of these is amazing; my husband suggested I give up bread-making and just make these from now on.
Thanks so much for your comment, and once again for your wonderful bagel post.
:^) from breadsong

lumos's picture

Glad your husband liked it too. 

When I want to add fillings in, I use a different method of shaping, actually.  I don't mix in the fillings when kneading, but scatter them on the flattened dough during shaping.  (I flatten it much more than what's shown on the video) Then roll the dough up to make a rope.  That way the fillings never get in the way and they're distributed through the dough evenly.  It may sounds tedious, but you can guarantee you get evenly distributed filling and nice neat shape that way.  And once you get a hang of it (which doesn't take long at all), it's not that tedious. Honest!! :p

Other fillings I like with bagel are (the list is long!)  sultanas,  cranberries,  walnuts, hazelnuts, chopped chocolate (both dark and white work well).  Also, this may sound a bit unusual, but very finely chopped fresh basil (in this case, you really mix it in when kneading) makes lovely bagels.

breadsong's picture

Hi lumos,
Thanks so much for this very useful tip and suggestions for other tasty add-in ingredients for bagel dough.
Love the idea of a basil-bagel!
:^) breadsong (plotting my next bagel-bake)

varda's picture

Hi Breadsong,   Nice to see your post.   Since I grew up with bagels back in the stone age it's hard for me to accept all these newfangled innovations like sourdough, and whole wheat and god forbid blueberries.   But what can you do.   You've got to move with the times :->  And of course in the hands of a terrific baker like you...  -Varda

breadsong's picture

Hello Varda,
Thanks so much for your praise :^)
The flavor is there, but I will keep working on shaping; I managed to get a square hole in what is supposed to be a round bagel (see bagel on the left in the crumb shot picture!).
I forgot to go look at the video by Ciril Hitz on bagel shaping that Eric posted about; I've had a look now and look forward to trying that technique next time.
:^) from breadsong

Farine's picture

I love the way you shaped them. In my opinion, that's what bagels should look like. Nowadays they are often so plump that the hole is barely visible. Sourdough + blueberries, two of my favorite things! I have never made bagels (didn't need to when we lived in the New York area). Now that I live far far away from any and all artisan bagel stores, I think I will try and follow in your footsteps. It won't be easy but I know whom to turn to for help! Thank you for being such an inspiration, breadsong!

breadsong's picture

Hi MC,
Thank you so much and you will love having fresh bagels come out of your oven, I'm sure of it :^)
I wanted to pass along to you the link to the video on bagels, by Ciril Hitz, that Eric referenced in his post -
it's a nice video:
I hope you have fun making bagels for the first time.
Thanks again for your kind words about the shaping; I'm glad you liked the look of these;
I so appreciate your comments!
:^) from breadsong

susanfnp's picture

These are really wonderful -- I love the addition of the whole grain flour which I think would compliment the sweetness of the blueberries nicely. And they look perfectly shaped to me!

breadsong's picture

Thank you so much, Susan!
:^) from breadsong