Monday, May 16, 2005

Sesame Bagels

Sesame Bagels (Adapted from LA Times)

3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
3 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon barley malt syrup
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
sesame seeds

In a large bowl, stir together flour, 2 teaspoons salt, yeast, syrup and water until the mixture forms a stiff ball of dough. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more water. Set aside and rest for 5 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it smooths out and feels slightly tacky to the touch - it should be stiff, but supple - if the dough feels too wet or soft, add sprinkles of flour as needed.

Place dough into a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning it to cover the top. Cover the bowl and place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but leave it for 4 to 6 hours if you can.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and equally divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a round ball. Using a lightly floured finger, poke a hole into the center of the dough and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape until the hole is about 1 1/2 to 2" wide. Place bagels onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and also sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining balls of dough. Lightly coat bagels with cooking spray and cover with saran wrap - place into the refrigerator and let sit overnight.

Remove bagels from the refrigerator and set aside for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, fill a large stockpot with at least 3 quarts of water. Cover and place pot on the stove and bring to a boil - add remaining 1 teaspoon salt and baking soda. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the lid back on.

About 45 minutes before you are ready to bake the bagels, preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

To check and see if the bagels are ready, place one into a bowl of cold water. If the bagel floats, they are ready to go - if it sinks, return it back to the baking sheet and wait 15 minutes before testing again. When one bagel floats, the batch is good to go.

With a light hand, carefully lift each bagel off the sheet and place it into the simmering water - only do as many that will easily fit into the pot. After 1 minute, flip each bagel over and continue to poach for 30 seconds. Remove each bagel with a slotted spoon and place back onto the baking sheet - generously sprinkle each bagel with sesame seeds. Continue this process until all bagels have been poached and coated.

Place bagels into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the sheet and continue to bake until the bagels are golden brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer bagels to a wire rack - allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 bagels.

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  1. Wow! I can't wait to make these - I've been craving bagels, but have never really looked for recipe. Thanks so much, Joe!

  2. Elisabeth - I hope you get a chance to try them... we really enjoyed these!