A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, before I had a blog, I tried to make bagels. I think it was with the recipe from Artisan Breads in 5 Minutes a Day. They were not a dismal failure, but neither was I inspired to ever make bagels again. So I didn’t.
Until last week. I ran across a recipe for homemade bagels in the Saveur cookbook I had borrowed from the library, and decided to make them. That recipe requires an overnight rest of the dough. I have not been good at remembering to put stuff out the night before lately. I haven’t baked
much anything with sourdough in months as a consequence.
I forgot to make the bagel dough the night before I wanted bagels.
So the next day I was trawling the internet for a similar recipe that didn’t require an overnight rest, and ran across Bruce Ezzell’s bagel recipe (which has a 4 to 12 hour rest). It also won points for suggesting the substitution of molasses (which I have plenty of) for barley malt syrup (which I did not have).
The bagels were good. Even without the barley malt syrup, which is supposed to give them the authentic bagel flavor, they were really good. The four hours of fermentation really did their job.
Boiling and then baking anything is a bit of a pain. It’s an extra step, and messy. My previous batch of bagels didn’t turn out well enough to merit the extra fuss. These, however, I plan to make again.
Besides the substitution of molasses for barley malt syrup, the only change I made was to make the bagels from 3 oz. balls of dough, not 4 oz. I don’t know how many the recipe made at that size, I didn’t count, but I’d guess around 17 or 18. They’re all gone now, however many there were.
I did have one problem. I removed the bagels from the boiling water and put them on half-sheet pans lined with parchment paper, as the recipe author recommended. They stuck to the paper, and I had a very hard time getting them off without leaving the bottom crust behind on the paper, or paper bits stuck to the bottom of the bagel. It might be because I used the parchment paper from Dollar Tree, I don’t know. Next time I will drain them on racks before baking, though, as the Saveur recipe recommends.
I also still intend to try the Saveur recipe, eventually, when I can actually remember to do the overnight part.