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1 1/2 c Slightly warm water
1 1/2 ts Instant yeast
1 tb Oil
1 tb Sugar
2 ts Malt powder or syrup
2 ts Kosher salt
4 1/2 1/2 cups bread flour; preferably unbleached , (up to 5)
6 qt Water
2 tb Malt syrup
1 ts Kosher salt
Cornmeal for sprinkling; (optional)
Whisk together water, yeast, oil, sugar and malt. Stir in one cup of flour, then salt, then most of remaining flour. Knead 10-12 minutes to make a very stiff dough. Cover and let dough rest on a board about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, line two large baking sheets with baking parchment and sprinkle generously with corn meal. Fill a large soup pot or Dutch oven three quarters full with water. Add the malt syrup and salt. Bring water to a boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Divide dough in 10 to 12 sections and form into 10 inch long strips. Roll the ends together to seal and make a ring. Place on a very lightly floured surface near your stove. Let bagels rest 15 to 20 minutes. Bagels should have a 'half proof' - they should rise halfway or appear puffy.
Prepare two more baking sheets. Line one with a kitchen towel, the other with parchment paper which has been sprinkled with cornmeal (optional). Reduce water to simmer and add bagels a few at a time. Allow to come to surface and simmer thirty seconds. Turn over and cook other side about 45 seconds (total 1 1/2 minutes). Place on prepared, towel-lined baking sheet. Leave plain or sprinkle on topping of choice.
Place in oven, reduce heat to 425 F. and bake until done, about 17-22 minutes, turning bagels once, when almost baked. If you have a baking stone, finish bagels on the stone directly. Yield: 10 to 12 bagels.
Topping variations: (Sprinkle on after bagels have been boiled and are on baking sheet)
Sesame seeds Poppy seeds Dry or rehydrated garlic granules Dry or rehydrated onion flakes Minced fresh garlic Minced fresh onions Caraway seeds Coarse salt
The 'everything' bagel: Sprinkle on to taste a variety of toppings including: minced onion flakes, poppy seeds, granulated garlic, and coarse salt.
Adjuncts to dough: Frozen chopped or dried cranberries (1 cup) Frozen or dried blueberries (3/4 cup) Dried cherries (3/4 cup) Granola (1/4 cup) Extracts (such as maple) (l tsp.) Nuts and seeds (1/4 cup) Citrus zest (1-2 tsp.) Miniature chocolate chips (1/4 cup) Shredded cheddar cheese (about l cup) Fresh herbs (1-3 tsp.) Replace some of the flour for oat bran, wheat bran, cornmeal, kamut, spelt, etc.
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