Sourdough Bagels on Steroids

Regrettably, we do not have good bagels where we live; not part of the culture. So if you want a good bagel, you make your own ! There is nothing to it and it is quite satisfying to make them. This recipe is a very easy one as it incorporates some sourdough starter mostly for taste. The addition of active dry yeast gives you the assurance of a good rise. Unlike most bagels which tend to be blend, the addition of sourdough gives it a nice hint of sourness. This recipe will produce tender bagels with a crispy skin, my idea of a perfect breakfast.

500 Gr. Strong bread flour – If not, all purpose flour
150 Gr. Sourdough starter
200 Gr. Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
10 Gr. Sea salt
20 Gr. Honey
7 Gr. Active dry yeast – If you use Fresh yeast with wonderful results, 15 Gr.
Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Onion Seeds, Black Sesame Seeds, Fried Onions or Fried Garlic

In a bowl of a stand mixer, stir in the sourdough with the warm water, honey and mix well to dissolve the sourdough. Add the flour, olive oil and salt. Mix at low speed for a minute and then at medium speed for 8 minutes.
The dough will feel quite heavy and elastic.
Cover the bowl and let it rest for an hour. I place it in the oven with a small bowl of boiling water to create a little steam and keep the inside warm.
After an hour, the dough should have doubled in size. Cut the dough in 8 equal pieces and form them into small balls. Let them rest for 10 minutes, so the dough has a chance to relax.
Using a large banking tray covered with parchment paper, sprinkle some semolina flour to prevent the bagels from sticking. Create a hole in the middle of each ball and stretch them to give them the shape of a large donut.
Place them back on the tray and let them rest, covered with a cloth, for 45 minutes.
In a large saucepan, boil some water with a tablespoon of honey. When at a soft boil, cook the bagels for 15 seconds on one side and flip them over and cook for another 15-20 seconds.
Place them back on the baking tray and sprinkle them with sesame seeds or whatever condiment you prefer.

Heat your oven at 220 Celsius with the fan on – When ready, bake the bagels for about 20 minutes. They will puff up int he oven and the honey in the boiling water will also help them to brown.

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes and splurge !

We like to cut them in half and freeze them, for delicious breakfast.
When you put them in the oven, I use a water spray bottle and spritz the oven 7-8 times to create a little steam in the oven. It helps the rise of the baked goods whilst giving them some colour.

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