The Fresh Loaf

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RWC SD Bagels (1st attempt)

rgreenberg2000's picture

RWC SD Bagels (1st attempt)

I already has bagels on the mind for this weekend when Lazy Loafer (Wendy) posted up her lovely batch yesterday.  So, I dove into the deep end, and took my first go at making sourdough bagels.  I did some searching, and decided to go with THIS RECIPE (posted by Quantum.)  I modified the levain build slightly (favoring a 1:5:5 build up), and also did the bulk proof in the fridge overnight.  I'll cut to the chase on the results......they ARE bagels, but they are a bit denser than even a typical NY bagel might be.  I think that's because I got into shaping, boiling and baking too soon after I took the dough out of the fridge.  On the next go around, I'll probably leave the dough to sit on the counter for a couple hours after they come out of the fridge.  Here are the details......


Levain Build:

31g mature starter from fridge

155g Flour (used freshly milled hard red spring)

155g Water

Let levain ferment for 10-12 hours


753g Flour (used Gold Medal AP)

377g Water

339g Levain

19g Salt

"Dissolve" levain and salt in the water, then add to flour in a mixing bowl.  Bring everything together into a cohesive dough mass (it's a bit dry, but it will happen!), then knead for 10-15 minutes (I did this by hand, so if you have a mixer, make adjustments here.)  Once the dough has become smooth in texture, place into an oiled container, and proof at room temp for 1-2 hours.  Then put dough into fridge overnight.  Remove dough from fridge in the morning (this is where I will let it sit for a couple of hours next time), and get your boiling/simmering water ready to go.  I used hot tap water, and some dry malt extract (eyeballed it).  Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 500 degrees (I baked these on a stone.)

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (about 122g each), pre-shape into balls, then let rest for a few minutes.  Take each ball and roll it out into a cylinder about 8" long, wrap the cylinder around your hand (seam on the palm side), then roll the seam to seal.  Once all of the bagels are formed, simmer them in your water for about 1 minute per side (do this in batches sized according to the vessel you are using.)  Remove from the water, press into whatever toppings you might be using, and place on parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Slide the parchment onto the stone in your oven, bake for 20 minutes.  If they aren't dark enough for your tastes, bake a bit longer.

Remove from oven, cool, then slice, toast and enjoy!

I'm looking forward to eating these, and then giving this recipe another go with some tweaks.



Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Those look great, Rich! Glad you dove in and made a batch. I do make sourdough 'miller's bagels' sometimes too (that's a blend of unbleached bread flour, whole wheat and whole rye - traditionally the sweepings from the mill flour after a day of milling, hence the name). I bulk ferment these overnight in the fridge too, but as you say the timing for sourdough is always a bit different from yeasted doughs. I find that I add just a touch more water to my bagel dough so the resulting bagels are not quite as stiff as they can be sometimes.

rgreenberg2000's picture

Thanks, Wendy!  I may up the hydration a bit next time, though I didn't really find the dough to be to stiff once I got everything incorporated.  I need to play with the timing a bit, especially after the overnight in the fridge.  These turned out super crusty, too, so have them in a plastic bag to soften up the crust a touch.  Crumb is tight, which I think I can alleviate with a bit of time out of the fridge before shaping, and a bit more rest after shaping and before boiling/simmering.

The flavor is good, so just some minor tweaks to improve crust and crumb! :)


not.a.crumb.left's picture

those look amazing...Tempted to get the cream cheese and smoked salmon out! Kat

rgreenberg2000's picture

Thanks, Kat!  My cream cheese isn't quite done yet..... :)

Floydm's picture

Yeah, these look wonderful!

rgreenberg2000's picture

Thanks, Floyd.  Room for improvement, but that's not keeping them from being gobbled up! :)