Regardless of what anyone says, bagels are the ultimate bunch food, that I’m sure would be many peoples number one choice. However, it’s not only the New Yorkers that get their bagels right, as they actually originated from Poland (that’s right, my home country) in the 17th century, and were made by Jewish communities. If that isn’t a drop the mic moment, then I don’t know what is.
Nevertheless, their origin is not important, what is key is how delicious they are, and how unaware people are of how easy it is to make them! These wholegrain round beauties are chewy on the outside, with a delicately browned skin, and a generous amount of seeds running through them, which adds to the flavour and texture!
If you have a sourdough starter at home, then this recipe is one you have to try. If however, you don’t have a starter yet, then make one yourself (I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe), or visit your local bakery, where I’m sure you will be able to either buy some or be gifted with a jar!
The sourdough flavour and texture is priceless in these bagels, and it is a component that cannot be missed! The bagels not only have a richer flavour, but also have a beautiful rise with plenty of air pockets, and thanks to the sourdough they are also more easily digested than ordinary yeasted bagels; it is a win for everyone.
So, whether you enjoy your bagels in your lunch instead of bread, toasted for breakfast, dipped in soup, or maybe with sweet toppings, these will compliment every choice you make, and I promise you, you won’t go back to the shop-bought kind!
For the dough:
350g of active sourdough starter*
1/2 teaspoon dried fast action yeast
120g lukewarm water
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
340g wholegrain flour of choice (I used a malted flour mix)
30g seeds of choice
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the pan:
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
*I fed my starter 2 days in a row before using it. I’d recommend doing at least two feeds before use; your starter should be bubbly and active.
In a bowl, combine the yeast, water and coconut sugar, and allow to dissolve.
Next, add the flour and seeds to a large mixing bowl, pour in the dissolved yeast mix and the active sourdough starter, and mix until everything roughly comes together, then leave covered with a tea towel for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes, sprinkle over the sea salt and knead the dough for a further 10 minutes, until it is less sticky, smooth and holds its shape. Lift the dough out carefully, lightly grease your bowl, and return the dough to it. Leave the dough covered with a damp tea towel to proof in a warm place for 4 hours.
After the first proof, punch down your dough and split it into 8 even-sized pieces.
Shaping: create a claw out of your hand and place it on top of the piece of dough, then roll each piece in circular motions using your palm until a smooth ball forms. Next, poke a hole in the centre, and delicately stretch the dough until the hole is roughly 1.5cm wide. Place each shaped bagel on an oiled baking tray and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel, and leave to slowly proof in the fridge for at least 8-12 hours (I usually do this overnight). Make sure to leave some space between each bagel as they will rise and expand.
Preheat your oven to 200℃. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and add the bicarbonate of soda and sugar.
Gently drop in a bagel (it is normal if they sink at first, but they will float to the top) and boil it for around 2 minutes on each side; you can do more than one at a time if your pan is big enough. Then, remove it from the water using a slotted spoon and place back on the baking tray. At this point, you can brush over some plant milk (if you want them glossy) or just sprinkle over some sesame seeds.
Bake the bagels in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, and let them cool for at least 15 before serving.
You can store these in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or alternatively cut them in half and freeze them so that you have beagles ready to be toasted and enjoyed at any time!
For more recipes and lifestyle tips visit my Instagram @wikis.vital.way and like this post if you would like to see more sourdough recipes!