Bagels! Yes, I’m blogging about bagels again, for the third (or is it fourth?) time.
Previously, I made and blogged bagels for the BBA Challenge from Reinhart’s book and a couple of other times based on Mike Avery’s recipes for Sourdough Bagels. While the Reinhart version was good, the Avery Sourdough were decidedly better. But now it’s time for a new contender.
Stepping up to the plate for the battle to Bagel Supremacy are the bagels from the Hamelman book Bread which just happen to also be part of the Mellow Bakers challenge for April 2010. Convenient, no?
A quick look at the recipe and, bypassing things listed as required like bagel boards, I note that the steps here are pretty much the same as the other bagel recipes. Mix the stiff dough, knead for a short while, proof, shape, proof again, boil and bake. That is the SHORT version of course, but the steps are not much different from the others. Basically this tells me I’m in familiar territory so no surprises are expected. Good. Let the fun begin!
I’ve made a couple of changes to the recipe for Sourdough Bagels, primarily I’ve added an ingredient list for making an even dozen as well as rephrasing a few of the comments to make some of the steps a little more clear. Hop over to the recipe here if you haven’t seen it yet.
They’re still awesome bagels. If anyone has given them a try or has questions, please don’t hesitate to comment (on that page).
Just so you know, I haven’t been ignoring the blog. I have been baking bread but because I’m really repeating a couple of the recipes I’ve found successful, I haven’t updated the blog in the last while. As well, several of the loaves I’ve made are tester recipes from Peter Reinhart’s upcoming book and of course, I can’t talk about or show pictures of them. The book is expected to come out later this year. No, I’m not claiming special status, there are some 500 people putting the recipes through their paces to make them as clear and logical as possible, so I’m just one of VERY many. But that is one reason I have not been updating as often as I’d like.
Now that I’ve made Mike Avery’s Sourdough Bagels a few times over, (below is my slightly modified version of that recipe) I’m very happy with the results. These sourdough bagels are coming out nice and golden with a dense and slightly chewy crumb, a good crust and terrific flavour.
I’ve done one round of the Bagel recipe from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice as well and although they came out looking great and tasting very nice indeed, I found I was missing the interesting flavour tones that the sourdough gave when using the Mike Avery recipe. It was also good to give a try to a recipe that many people have used and to make a definite comparison.
The hands down winner is (are?) the Sourdough Bagels.
So here then is the (slightly modified) recipe for Mike Avery’s Sourdough Bagels. I’ve modified the amounts since his recipe, as he states on his web page, was designed for a class and therefore makes only four bagels… hardly enough to make a run at home when that would only last maybe a day, if you are lucky! So I bumped it up in increments to a more useful 12 bagel size. This would then be enough to bake on two normal sized home baking sheet (6 per sheet with a fair bit of elbow room) in a home oven and last you and a friend more than just a day or so. (We normally freeze six, they still taste just fine after thawing.) I also included the Baker’s percentages so those who use these can modify the recipe easily to make any size batch. This also tells us that the formula is 50% hydration so it is indeed a very stiff dough.