This is another helpful recipe for anyone making their own sourdough, because although we could all eat bread until the kale comes home, it’s great to have something to make use of the first feed, that you might otherwise dispose of, when you’re building your biga up to making a loaf. I almost think of these bagels as the foolproof version of sourdough; no, it’s not a loaf, but it’s definitely bread-like and can be slotted in just about anywhere you would enjoy a slice of bread. Bagels are great to make on a Saturday morning, so you can split the process over 2 days and wake up to freshly baked bagels for Sunday brunch. These are traditional in every sense – boiled and baked – but for my ‘poke-a-hole’ method of shaping them; see the Youtube episode for that sorry state of affairs! All that matters is bagels. Homemade and still warm. Let’s stay with that.
Feed your mother to make a biga the night before you start mixing the bagels.
Makes 8 bagels
150g filtered water
550g spelt flour
40g extra virgin olive oil
25g rapadura sugar (+ extra for the boiling water)
15g Himalayan salt
sesame seeds, poppyseeds, or rapadura sugar to coat
Making sure to use scales to weigh everything as you go, pour the water into a medium sized bowl. Then add the biga, oil, sugar and salt. Stir well before adding the flour. Stir to completely combine, making sure there are no dry pockets of flour.
Knead on the bench for 3-4 minutes until the dough becomes nice and springy, then put back into the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 3-4 hours until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch through the centre of the dough ball, and then using both index fingers, create the centre of the bagel by rolling your fingers around each other. You might need to refer to the Youtube for this the first time, it’s kind of tricky to explain, but I find this method of shaping way easier than the traditional rolling and joining back together technique.
Place each bagel on a non-stick baking tray and when you have all the bagels shaped, pour a little olive oil into your hands and gently rub across the top of each bagel. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, pre heat your oven to 200C and take the bagels out of the fridge.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a small handful of rapadura sugar thrown in, and depending on the size of your pan, gently drop 2-3 bagels into the boiling water. Let the bagels boil on one side for about 30-60 seconds before flipping them over with a slotted spoon, to boil on the other side for 30 seconds.
Remove from the water and place on a cooling rack set over a baking tray – this will catch the drips of water as the bagels drain.
While you pop the next lot of bagels in to the boiling water, coat the just-boiled bagels in your choice of seeds, or for a sweeter option, use rapadura sugar. I do this by spreading the seeds evenly across the base of a plate and then, one at a time, upending each bagel onto the seeds before flipping it back up to have the seeds sit on the top.
Once you have boiled and coated each bagel with seeds, place back onto the cooling rack set over the baking tray, and into the oven for 20 minutes.
Hot bagels are yours.