If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have a sourdough starter that I like to bake with fairly often. Anytime I have a bread-type thing I want to make, I look to see if there’s a sourdough version. This is partly because every time I open my fridge it stares at me, wanting to be fed or used, and I feel bad letting it sit in there too long without doing something useful. (Even yeast cultures deserve to have a purpose in their lives.) But it is also because I despise using dry yeast for fear that whatever I’m making will not have risen by the time I look at it two hours later. Sourdough starter solves this problem – you know it will rise because you’ve been feeding it every week and know exactly how active it is.
And if you’re sitting there thinking, “yea, but how do I get my hands on some sourdough starter?” The answer is: drop me a comment on this post. If you’re in the Boston area, I’ll happily provide you with some of mine!I’ve actually made bagels before, but when I looked back through my blog, the post wasn’t there. I was shocked, because I have a distinct memory of boiling bagels and baking them, and unless I had made them myself, there was no way I was going to guess that’s how bagels worked. So I must have made them pre-SMiLes by Meg, which means the recipe probably was in dire need of an update anyways.
This recipe used things I already had in my pantry, but I’ll admit that was partially luck – my roommate (Hi, Madison!) just happened to have a jar of “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning from Trader Joe’s, solving my problem of deciding what to put on top of the bagels. I recommend that seasoning if you want to make everything bagels (objectively the best bagel variety), because otherwise you’ll have to buy like seven different types of seeds and seasonings.
The other great thing about this recipe, as far as sourdough recipes go, is that I didn’t have to start it the night before. I could wake up in the morning and decide I wanted bagels. Maybe not in time to have said bagels for breakfast the same day, but definitely in time for a late afternoon bagel snack.
First, in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix sourdough starter, water, oil, whole wheat flour, bread flour, and salt until comes together in a dough. Let that dough rest for 10 minutes in the bowl, covered, before moving on.
Then, turn the mixer on low speed, still with the dough hook attachment, and knead for about 4 minutes. Dough will look smooth and elastic. I still can’t shake the feeling that using a dough hook is cheating as far as kneading dough is concerned, but it works and leaves your hands/countertop a lot cleaner.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise for four hours. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a couple of times. Then, cut it into twelve equal sized pieces. For each piece, form a ball, flatten it, and then stick your thumb through the middle and stretch it a bit to form a hole. Place the dough rings on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (or covered in parchment paper – I still need to buy parchment paper for my new kitchen). Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for one hour. When it’s time to bake, fill a large skillet about half-full with water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Working with three bagels at a time, drop the bagels into the boiling water. Boil for one minute, flipping the bagels over after 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer boiled bagels back to baking sheet and continue with remaining bagels. Brush the tops of each bagel with egg wash and dip one side into a shallow dish full of desired seasoning. Place bake on baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for 14 minutes, until golden. Transfer the bagels to a wire rack to cool completely. I tend to keep my bagels in a bag in the freezer, but if you think you can eat 12 in a week, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. I just had one toasted with some pumpkin cream cheese and it was perfect.
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together sourdough starter, water, oil, whole wheat flour, bread flour, and salt until dough comes together. Allow dough to rest in bowl, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Turn mixer on low speed, still with dough hook attachment, and knead dough for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 4 hours.
- Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces. With each piece, form a ball, flatten, and push your thumb through the center to make a hole. Place dough rings on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Fill a 12-inch skillet half-full with water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Working with three bagels at a time, drop bagels into boiling water and boil for 1 minute, flipping bagels over after 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and place back on baking sheet and repeat with remaining bagels.
- Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon of water to form an egg wash. Pour seasoning onto a shallow dish.
- Brush the top of each bagel with egg wash. Dip each bagel in seasoning and place back on baking sheet.
- Bake bagels at 450°F for 14 minutes until golden. Remove from baking sheet and place on wire rack to cool completely.