Bagels are a family favorite of ours. My recipe has evolved over the years. Almost all of my breads these days, have some sourdough starter, even if they also contain commercial yeast.
Once or twice a week, I feed my sourdough starter, and, at that time, I always make some sort of bread. I dislike throwing food away, so I take my starter, remove 1/2 cup to a small bowl, and the remainder, usually more than 1/2 cup, to a large bowl. To each bowl, I add about 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of distilled water. The smaller bowl gets mixed and put back into a quart jar. The larger bowl gets mixed and covered. Both are left to rise for a couple hours, just to make sure everything is good and active.
The jar gets refrigerated, until it needs to be fed again.
For bagels to the large bowl, I add:
- 1 cup whey
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2-3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. instant yeast
I always start with the smaller amount of flour. It is much easier when baking, to add more flour than more liquid.
Stir them together with a wooden spoon until combined.
Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed.
Place in an oiled bowl, turning to cover the whole dough ball with oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, divide dough into 4 ounce portions. I use a scale for this.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with 1 Tbsp. honey and 1 tsp. salt. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll each portion into a ball. Poke a hole in the middle, and work it into the correct shape. Some people like to make a rope, and then, attach the ends to make a circle. That doesn’t work as well for me.
I lay them on a half baking sheet lined with a silicone mat (love these). Drop the bagels, 4 at a time, into the boiling water, cook for 1 minute on each side. Drain, and transfer back to baking sheet.
When they are all done, brush with an egg wash. I use 1 egg yolk with 1 tsp. oil and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle with desired toppings, I usually do half poppy seed, half sesame seed.
Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Using a sourdough starter, whey, honey and salt, all extend the shelf life, as well as providing flavor.