Homemade Sourdough Bagels – Success!

I decided to try my hand at bagels and for a first time, decided to go sourdough. I have my own sourdough starter, so I like to try it in many different kinds of recipes. I figured why make an exception for bagels? 🙂

Using Mike’s excellent recipe on his own sourdough site here I made a few changes here and there.

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I also made the bagels a little smaller, in order to reduce serving size. They were perfect for breakfast in pairs. I was full enough, but not stuffed after eating two.

Here’s the recipe after my changes. It worked for me, but next time I’ll try it with the malt powder, as well as adding chedder & jalapeno. I’m not going to lay this out in 100% recipe format, because I really want you to check out mike’s excellent blog. When I have done these a few times and really lock down my own recipe and times, I’ll write my own and publish it then. (check out Mike’s Sourdough Home HERE)

100 grams of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Flour (to raise the protein level of my recipe)
200 grams Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour (I usually use King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, but saw the GM and decided to try it.
8 grams salt
10 grams honey (I have some malt powder on the way, but couldn’t wait to try making bagels)
160 grams water (I varied this to match how wet my sourdough starter was looking. Depending on feeding it can be pretty wet or a bit thick)
5 grams Light Olive oil
40 grams sourdough starter(I use the same sourdough starter as for my bread)

I used a kitchen scale, hit the Tare setting to zero out with a plastic bowl on it, then went ahead and measured my ingredients.

Other than that, we followed Mike’s recipe, mixing in my KitchenAid mixer with dough hook for about 5 minutes, then resting for 5, then kneading at setting 2-4 until it was ready.

We set the timer for 2 hours and then watched TV until the timer went off. We tried both methods of forming the bagels, pinching out a hole in a ball as well as the traditional method of forming a roll and joining the ends. I found that if I overlapped the ends, and then also pinched one end over the other, as if I was forming a skin on a loaf, it worked very well.

Following the recipe, I rested the bagels, refrigerated overnight, then boiled and baked them the next day. Baking them as dark as I did, it left the outside (at least before it cooled) very crispy so it was as if we had toasted our bagels, but left the center nice and soft. They were really delicious and my wife & daughter enjoyed them with me 🙂

We saved two for the following morning and their texture was exactly what we’d expect for a bagel.

I’m looking forward to trying again soon!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

I lost count of how much bread I’ve made this week, for each of the extended family dinners, for presents, and just plain eating 🙂 It’s been a joy, though, to make each and every loaf and bun and muffin. I’m a true believer in the notion that food can be an expression of love. With that in mind, much love to everyone this Christmas. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then Happy Holidays to you and yours, and to all: May this season be filled with goodness and cheer!

What’s cooking in our kitchen, Christmas 2011!

December has been an absolutely fantastic month for baking. Using techniques I learned in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I’ve made many, many loaves of bread. Bread for home, bread for gifts, bread for parties… I’m sure you get the idea 🙂
Basket of bread baked by Ken
In most of the bread I baked, I modified the recipe to use my sourdough starter. Since my starter is not always the same hydration (yep shame on me!) I pretty much eyeball it to get the right consistency, once I got the hang of what the dough should look like, it’s been working out fine. I’ve also tried out their brioche recipe and it’s been great. I’ve made brioche with chocolate ganache as shown here:
Brioche with Chocolate Ganache by Ken
We’re having fun, eating a lot of wonderful bread, and I’m learning a lot while doing it. I highly recommend the book. It’s not expensive and you can get it here:

I just made some whole wheat bread.

I saw this whole wheat bread mix at the store today and couldn’t resist, Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat. I popped it into the Zojirushi bread maker, and it came out great.

I haven’t made too many loaves from mixes. This is my third loaf I’m pretty sure, but I really like the way the loaf came out. Lots of flavor, nice texture, great to eat.

Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Bread baked in my Zojirushi BB-CEC20

Learned something new about sourdough starter.

Mine was flat and lifeless. I took an internet recommendation to feed it more. I also picked up a scale and have been feeding it more precisely. I fed it three times  at 8 hour intervals to get it going more. It’s more than doubling now and the difference is night and day. It’s got so much life now. I think if I use it the bread will jump up out of the pan and run away! 😀

So, from now on, twice a day!

A very good day for bread making.

Today I had a little break, and caught up from work took a little time to relax, and get inspired watching King of Baking Kim Tak Goo a Korean drama which takes place in the world of bread baking 🙂

I was trying a King Arthur recipe (love their products) and it really looked much nicer today. No flat loaves! Inspired by the show I wanted to do it all by hand and feel the dough in my fingers and get a better feel for how wet or dry my dough was. It turned out that it really helped and as I had suspected my other loaves needed a bit more flour.

I was happy as I was rewarded with a much better rise, a much fluffier dough, and ultimately three loaves of very tasty bread.

Three loaves. Onion & Sea Salt, Garlic & Salt, and Pesto. Each brushed on the top with egg yolk wash.

The recipe, for me, made great texture, but because it utilized 2 teaspoons of commercial yeast, it wasn’t very sour. I am considering experimenting with it and forgoing the commercial yeast and opting for an overnight rise instead (if that works).

Follow up to unintentionally flat bread

I had four loaves.

One, I added some flour and baked it last night for dinner. It came out ok. I’d say only moderate in flavor and the texture was so-so. The crust was the best part: crunchy and flavorful.

Then today, after letting it rise as much as it could overnight, it was like a risen flatworm, thicker, full of gluten strands, but still too flat. I took one of the loaves and rolled it into a decent shaped loaf and baked it. That came out a bit flat with fairly chewy dough, but great flavor. It was tasty, even with the flaws.

The last two loaves

The last two loaves, I decided to use them, but redo them. I proofed some commercial yeast, added a bit of flour and dropped the two sticky, flat loaves into the mixer. Using low (setting 1) speed I mixed the yeast mixture into the dough and slowly added flour until I got a thicker consistency. I let it rest for 30 minutes, then separated it into two loaves. I used two bake pans and let them rise in an oven with just a light on inside. After two hours I had a decent rise, about double and put it in the oven.

loaves looking good

In the oven, the loaves had a nice oven spring and at this point I was about triple the original volume of the loaves. They came out with a nice finish on them and the sourdough flavor was still there, and it’s not too bad. The crumb is a bit fine and I’d like to get much bigger holes in it, but I think it was ok for a “save” job.

The crumb

Next try, hopefully I’ll get better loaf consistency and not have to try to rescue flat loaves 😀

Baked a loaf of Jalapeno Asiago Sourdough Bread today.

I am still working on improving my bread skills and my week works out to baking, spending a few days eating the bread, then a couple days to ‘rest” (I don’t want to burn out the family on bread, as we’re not huge bread eaters), and then I experiment with another loaf.

Today, I made a loaf of Jalapeno Asiago Sourdough using the sourdough starter that I’ve been working on and my Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker.

What I did was take my homemade sourdough starter out of the refrigerator last night and bring it to room temperature. Then I fed it, making sure it was active. Continue reading

Sourdough, yay!

I just finished baking my first couple loafs of sourdough!

I was really worried, as the dough seemed SO dry compared to my baguettes from last week, but I figured I wouldn’t try to fix it and just trust it and see how it would go. I was rewarded with what you see in the photos. Not the best shape, but the crust is great and the flavor is good.

About the flavor, I think I need to age my sourdough starter more, as I don’t think it’s quite sour enough, but the bread itself came out as a very mild sourdough and the flavor as far as *bread* was concerned was good. I had some leftover cinnamon butter that my daughter made and it seems the perfect partner for this late afternoon snack I’m having.

My attitude towards bread right now is to experiment and don’t be afraid to fail. So far it’s working out great!

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