Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New York Style Bagels, for the Home Baker

Greetings!  I thought that all you fine people might like to make some bagels.  These are a New York Style bagel, a recipe I adapted for home bakers, without exotic ingredients you can't find, or measurements in grams only (ugh), and without the assumption that you have a giant walk-in-cooler that can accommodate sheets full of perfectly formed bagels.  And, just to be nice, I have included Nutrition Information and Weight Watchers SmartPoints.  This recipe was tested using All-purpose Ultragrain Blend unbleached flour, for both the bagels and in the sourdough culture.

The taste is phenomenal. They are chewy, crusty and delicious right out of the oven, or can be toasted if any happen to last until the next day (they won't). The sourdough gives it wonderful flavor and a nice tang.

New York Sourdough Bagel

My suggestion is that you try this out first with a small batch (4 bakery size bagels).  There is a bit of a learning curve, and some trial and error may depend on the conditions of your kitchen, your flour, your sourdough starter, etc.  So there may be a few tweaks you need to make.  Then double this recipe if you want a batch of 8. If possible, I suggest that you weigh your ingredients, such as flour and water.  The volume measurements given here are approximate.  If your dough feels too dry, add a few drops of water.  If it's too wet, add a little flour. If you are not weighing the liquid, please don't use a regular measuring cup to measure liquid.  Use your Pyrex liquid measuring cup.  They are different.    

Here's what you need: 

10 1/2 oz. (300g) or approximately 2 1/8 cup High Protein Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Sugar (or malt powder)
5 oz., or 150 ml (150g) or approximately 2/3 cup Water
1 oz. (30 g) or approximately 1/8 cup active sourdough starter

Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the water to the sourdough starter, and work it into the flour.  Knead by hand for AT LEAST 5 minutes, preferably 10.  When the dough is smooth and elastic, form into a ball, and oil a bowl lightly.  Plop the dough in, and turn it over, oiled side up.  Cover with plastic wrap and set out to rise overnight. 

Next day,  carefully divide your dough into 4 equal pieces.  Note that the dough should have risen, but probably will not have doubled.  That is ok.  Form the bagels into their shape by rolling into a smooth rope, and pressing the ends together and rolling to seal.  Be sure to make the opening wider than you think it should be.  They will puff a lot, and your hole might close up, and then you will have a bagel with the hole removed.  Those cannot be eaten, I'm told.  

Oil a baking sheet and set the newly formed bagels on it, cover with plastic wrap and leave them there for 2-4 hours.  They should look puffy and risen.  The time will depend at this point on the conditions of your kitchen and temperature.  Do not allow the bagels to over-rise or under-rise.  The boiling water test to follow will help you determine the precise rise time on your next batch. 

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and set a large pot of water on the stove to boil.  Add 2 tablespoons of sugar (or malt powder) to the water.  Carefully, add the risen bagels to the boiling water, no more than two at a time.  The bagels should sink to the bottom, and float up to the surface in about a minute or two.  If they take longer to float up, or don't float at all, they didn't rise long enough.  If they float immediately or never sink, they rose too much.  In any case, once they float up, boil them one more minute, flip them, and boil another minute, and carefully remove them (I use the handle of the wooden spoon through the hole).  This is the time to add toppings, or brush with egg wash if you want to. 

Take some of the boiling water and put it in a smaller pot and place it on the lower rack in the hot oven.  Bake the bagels on a baking sheet on a rack above the boiling water.  Bake for 15-20 minutes. 


Nutritional Information: 

Calories: 257
Fat: 0
Sodium: 587mg
Potassium: 122g
Carbohydrate: 54g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 8g

Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 7

1 comment:

  1. Another tested variation is: rise the dough lump for 2 hours. Form into bagels, cover, and rest for 1 hour. Then refrigerate overnight. Take the bagels out 2 hours before baking, then proceed with boiling and baking routine. Many bakers insist that bagel dough be refrigerated. I have had success both ways.