The handsome and talented husband embarked on a sourdough bagel-making quest a while back. A man’s got to find something else to do on weekends aside from coding apps/VR and whisky tasting. Berlin winters, you know: the 2017 Formula 1 season hadn’t started yet and his sourdough starters were exploding out of the jars in the shelves of our fridge, despite regular giveaways to friends.
That, and we got bored of eating sourdough boules, waffles and pizzas. Time to expand his repertoire! He vetoed my suggestions of homemade butter croissants (“We’ve got Sebastien’s around the corner”) and Kouign-amann (“We’ll get really fat”), so bagels it was!
First attempt when Alex and his boys came over on a Saturday for a bagel-making session.
Third time lucky! The successful third attempt was done when I was away in Indonesia in March and April. He had done some serious 36-hour proofing. Later he confessed he’d taken everything out of the fridge to accommodate “the baking trays full of sweet dough babies”…
Yay, perfected and repeatable! For all of his bagel experiments, the handsome and talented husband used this New-York-style wild sourdough bagel recipe by Peter Reinhart on HonestCooking.com.
The handsome and talented husband’s notes on the above recipe:
- Do not use the sausage stitching method, it’s messy and you want to avoid having stitch marks on your bagels. Instead use the ‘poke-a-hole’ approach, making dough balls instead and using your index and thumb to gradually and evenly poke a hole while rotating the dough ball through your other hand.
- Similar to my bread-making approach, I use the Dutch oven/Le Creuset with lid to bake the bagels. The reason for using the Le Creuset is the temperature regulation and retention, as a generic IKEA/Whirlpool oven like ours does not achieve the constant high temperatures you get when using the Le Creuset.
- Start by preheating the oven with the Le Creuset in it at 250C for 45 mins, baking at 220C with the lid for 15 minutes, and without the lid for another 5 at the end at 250C again. The only limitation is the amount of bagels you can bake at once, with a limit of 5-6.
- Depending on the amount you prepared for baking, you’ll need to do easy-peasy 2nd grade math before doing a batch: take 5-6 out of the fridge after proofing, boil them as per the instructions, and move them into the Le Creuset right away after sprinkling them with your seeds of choice.
Enjoy! We typically eat ours with smoked salmon, horseradish cream/mustard, cream cheese and dill, but anything goes really.