Last year i published a plain bagel recipe.
Since then i have started using diastatic malt powder rather than malt syrup in the mix – actually because it is easier.
And i do a second prooving in a retarder for between 14 and 18 hours.
This is not a traditional thing but it does develop the flavour and the gluten, in my view and is a legitimate development of the basic bagel recipe. (Use of steam ovens is not however)
So here is another bagel recipe.
518g high gluten organic flour
5g instant yeast
260g water at room temperature (50g boiled and hot, 210g cold)
Up to 50g of ‘room temp reserve water’
17g malt syrup (optional)
If you want to add flavour – onion for example – use about 5% of the flour weight of dried ingredient. Be careful if using ground black pepper where 1.5 to 2 % is probably ok!
Boil some water and measure out 50g (50ml) into a container. Add the malt syrup to the boiled water. When stired in, add this to the rest of the cold water (210g). (This helps with mixing the syrup which can be a real pain to get off the spoon). Set the container aside
Mix the dry ingredients well and then add the prepared water and stir in with wooden spoon.
Now use hands to combine the water and the dry mix. More of the dry ingredients will bind than you think. It is a dry mix but do not make it too dry.
Add reserve water a few drips at a time . How much you need depends on the heat and humidity of the room and the properties of the flour.
Kneed well (about 10mins by hand) You want to really develop the gluten. When the dough holds together and springs back when pushed in with a finger it is ready
Place in a covered container; set aside to prove for an hour in a warm space. I use a home made prooving cupboard set at 76 degrees F.
Measure the dough into equal amounts. 125g is about right but you can do a bit more or a bit less. Now shape your bagels : roll the ready measured amounts into sausages about 21cm long, then wrap around the four fingers of your hand with join on the palm side. Roll the joint so the ends stick together.
Place each one on a tray lined with baking parchment and sprinkled with semolina (this stops the shaped bagel sticking)
Now cover and set aside to proove once again. Now place in fridge for up to 18 hours.
Prepare a large pan of water and add some malt extract (about a tablespoon per 4 litres). Bring to the boil and drop the bagels into the pan for about 45 seconds. They should float straight away.
Place on a baking tray and insert in a hot oven (450 degrees F) for about 15 minutes or until well baked. Leave to cool on a rack and then halve and schmear liberally (!) with favourite spread.