On Serious Eats, Stella Parks (aka “Bravetart”) has published a homemade bagel recipe that uses instant yeast. Like everyone else during the pandemic, I’ve been cultivating a sourdough starter, and bagels seemed like a fantastic first application for it. I dug through the comments and found a link to a starter-adapted recipe on the Wayback Machine. I’ve republished the recipe here.
Sourdough Bravetart Bagels
- 60g (~2 oz) mature 100% hydration starter
- 60g (~2 oz) room temp water
- 30 g(~1 oz) whole wheat flour
- 30 g (~1 oz) bread flour
Mix all the ingredients for the starter and let sit until it has reached peak activity, this can take anywhere from 8-12 hours depending on the activity of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen. If I am in a rush, sometimes I will place my starter in a warm place, or in the microwave with a mug of hot water. This can bring the time down to 5-6 hours. As with all things sourdough, patience is key.
- 100g bread flour
- 170g cold water
Mix the flour and water in a 10” skillet and mix over medium heat until enough moisture has evaporated so that it looks like mashed potatoes (roughly 2 minutes). Allow to cool for 30 minutes before making the dough.
- 295 g bread flour
- 15 g sugar
- 9 g salt
- 40g room temperature water
- 180g prepared starter
- 1 oz malt syrup, for boiling
- Mix bread flour and sugar together in a large bowl. Mix water and starter together, mix in with the flour-sugar mix and the yukone. Mix until the dough is mostly hydrated but still slightly shaggy. Sprinkle salt over the top and let rest for about 15 minutes.
- Mix dough in the bowl with a sturdy spatula until the dough loses some of its shaggy texture. Then turn out on a clean and un-floured surface to knead with your hands.
- Knead dough for 5 minutes, it will be pretty sticky at first. After about 2 minutes of kneading, wash your hands so that there are no dough remnants on them and you will find that the dough will begin to regain its structure.
- Divide dough into 6 pieces for larger bagels, or 8 pieces for smaller ones. If you want to relive your childhood, you can even follow these directions to make mini bagels for bagel bites.
- Shape pieces into tight balls by rolling them on the counter, you can look at the original recipe for a video tutorial. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Perform the final shaping on your bagels, either using the stretch-and-poke or roll-and-loop method. I would recommend roll-and-loop, but it is entirely up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
- Place shaped bagels on a well-greased, parchment-lined half sheet pan, cover loosely with plastic and leave in the fridge overnight for 8-12 hours. Allow the bagels to rise at room temp for 2-3 hours before boiling.
- Preheat the oven to 425F(218C) and make sure the rack is in the lower-middle position of the oven.
- Fill a large stainless steel pot with about 3 inches of water and add the malt syrup. Bring water to a boil and add the bagels into the pot, two or three at a time. Your bagels should float, if they do not give them a little nudge to make sure they haven’t stuck to the bottom of the pot and they should rise right up. Boil for 30 seconds on each side. Pat briefly with a paper towel, and pace on a parchment-lined half sheet pan.
- If you want to add toppings to your bagels (sesame seeds are my favorite), you can fill a bowl with your preferred topping and dip the top of the bagel in. The toppings should stick right to the bagel.
- Bake bagels until they are blistered and browned, 20-25 minutes, cool for 15 minutes before breaking into them. Top with your favorite condiments and store the leftovers in a paper bag for up to 48 hours.