So I finally got around to making bagels yesterday, using my Nancy Silverton starter.
I mixed the dough in my Kitchen Aid using the dough hook as instructed. The mixing goes on for 8 minutes. After mixing is complete, the dough is turned out onto a work surface (Not dusted with flour!). left to rest, then cut into 4 oz segments and left to rest again. Next I rolled each segment into a 6 inch rope then attempted to follow her directions to wrap the dough rope around the back of my hand so that the ends are overlapping on my palm. You are then to roll the dough back and forth to make it into the round shape and seal the ends. This part did not work that well, and the dough didn't come together into a seamless circle. I did the best I could and then put the bagels on a parchment lined baking sheet, covered with a cloth and left overnight in the fridge.
Next day, you put in baking stones and preheat the oven to 450 (I did 475 because my oven never gets up to the temp it says it is).
Remove bagels from fridge and heat a big pot of water to boiling point. Drop bagels into the boiling water for 20 seconds, 10 seconds holding them down with a spoon or spatula so that they're submerged. They are transferred to the prepped baking sheet (parchment paper and semolina sprinkles). I sprinkled them with sesame seeds. When all were ready, I slid them onto the baking tiles and baked them for 20 minutes.
They didn't get browned in my crappy oven, so I turned on the broiler to low for a short time to brown them.
I must say that these are extremely good. The texture is great and they have a good flavor due to the sourdough starter.
Last night we had them for dinner as a sub for pita bread in my well-tested Nigel Slater Chili Chicken Pita recipe from his fast food book. It's just chunks of chicken marinated in paprika, chilies, onion, and garlic whirred in the blender. Then they're fried in a heavy skillet until browned and served usually in a pita along with a yoghurt sauce. The bagels were a good sub. for the pita. The chicken recipe is a variation of Chicken Tikka, I think.
Then next test will be lox and bagels this weekend. I'm freezing some of them until then. If you have the starter prepped, this is not a difficult recipe. I'd say it'd be a lifesaver if one lived in a place where good bagels weren't available. That's pretty much true of the SF Bay Area. Being originally from L.A., I really miss good bagels.
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