Trying to improve the flavor and guilt-free feeling of noshing a bagel, I decided to do a straight formula splitting the white wheat with some sprouted wheat flour. Sprouted grain is said to be easier to digest, creates Vitamin C, increases enzyme activity, all to say it's good for you!
Been on a "go-back-and-try-it-again" trip lately. Ah, well, bread is a constant progression, and trials and tests. Besides, sometimes you just got to eat a bagel. Keep reading if you agree.
Last weekend, I made three kinds of bagels, pre-ferment, yeasted, and sourdough, with all purpose and bread flour. Odd textural differences; chewyness and retarding in sourdough, whereas a more custardy and lighter crumb in a pre-ferment. The straight dough to processing can make for a different bagel, yeasty, sweet, but a shorter shelf life.
It's said that a bagel should have a high gluten flour, but I like a mix of bread and all purpose, less work on my jaw. And the New York and Montreal styles are still a squabble of terroir of public opinion on their own. My jury is still out. I like them both, but really, where do you get bagels in New York anymore?
Having some amazing smoked salmon from a place called Samaki, I got ambitious and decided to make some bagels. Thinking of my baking buddy Mick Hartley, who would wince if I used commercial yeast, I made a straight dough with just a poolish and a twist, a bagel minus wheat, but using whole white spelt, rye and a tad of leftover kamut, a bastard bagel for sure.
The poolish was a quick four hour rise.Final dough got about an hour to bulk, shape and onto a sheet pan, covered and retarded for a slow cold rise in the fridge. When my cat woke me up in the morning 5:00 am, I filled a pot with water, popped in a tablespoon of baking soda, and boiled the bagels. Then I baked them at around 400 F for about 10 minutes till they golden brown.
Overall, these bagels didn't puff as much as regular ones with just wheat. I suppose not adding more yeast in the final dough might have given these spelt and rye bagels more air rather then a healthfood store kind of pallid look, but still had great flavor and less jaw breaking chew.