Midnite Sourdough Bagel

This recipe generously shared with us by our friends at Midnite Bagel delivers everything we love about bagels: glossy, caramelized crust sprinkled with all of your favorite toppings and delicious, chewy crumb. Made with a sourdough starter and the blend of our Trailblazer and Gazelle flours, the crumb is particularly fragrant and hearty. Just slather with butter or cream cheese and enjoy!

Colin Kull, Midnite Bagel

Prep Time

11 hours 15 minutes

Bake Time

17 minutes

Total Time

20 hours 30 minutes

Yield

6 bagels

Ingredients:

For the levain:

  • 1 generous tablespoon (23g) sourdough starter
  • 1/3 cup (61g) water, at 90°F* (see Baker's Notes)
  • 1/3 cup (51g) Trailblazer bread flour

For the final dough:

  • 2 2/3 cups (430g) Trailblazer bread flour
  • 1/3 cup (60g) Gazelle rye flour
  • 2 1/3 cups (271g) water, at 80-95°F* (see Baker's Notes)
  • 2/3 cup (169g) levain
  • 1 tablespoon (19g) barley malt syrup** (see Baker's Notes)
  • 1½ tablespoons (29g) honey
  • 2 teaspoons (13g) salt
  • Toppings of choice, optional

For the boiling liquid:

  • 4 quarts (3785g) water
  • 5½ tablespoons (100g) salt
  • 3½ tablespoons (50g) baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons (100g) honey
  • 5 tablespoons (100g) barley malt syrup

Baker's Notes:

* Use warmer water (90°F-95°F) if your room temp is cooler (65°F-75°F) and cooler water temps (80°F-85°F) for water room temperatures (75°F-85°F). The yeasts in the levain will die at temps greater than 105°F.

** Barley malt syrup can be found at most natural/organic grocery stores such as Whole Foods. The Eden brand is probably the most readily available. Otherwise, check out your local brewing supply shop.

*** To check the levain for readiness, perform a float test: gently pinch off a tablespoon of the levain and place in a bowl of room-temperature water. The levain should float on the surface of the water. If it doesn't float, just put the levain back in a warm place and let it ferment for another 30 minutes, or until the levain floats.

**** Dividing/Pre-shaping technique:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8j-ZUp7KD0, at the 2:40 min mark

***** The final shaping technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8j-ZUp7KD0, at 4:15 min mark

Instructions:

To build the levain:

  1. Stir the starter into the warm water until dissolved.
  2. Gently stir the flour into the wet ingredients until smooth.
  3. Cover and set aside in a warm place (76-80°F) to mature for 3-5 hours until ready to use*** (see Baker's Notes).

To mix the final dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and stir until the honey and barley malt syrup are dissolved/not clumped at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine both flours and salt and gently stir the salt into the flour until evenly distributed.
  3. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and gently mix/squeeze by hand until fully incorporated, with no dry bits of flour left. If there are dry bits that won't incorporate, drizzle a little bit more water until the dry bits are moistened and well-combined with the rest of the dough.
  4. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes have passed, fold the corners of the dough in towards the middle to create tension/develop strength in the dough.
  6. At room temperature, the dough should take about 3-4 hours to properly bulk-ferment. Throughout the first 2 hours, fold the dough onto itself 1-3 times depending on the strength of the dough from the initial mix.
  7. At the 3 hour mark, perform another float test*** (see Baker's Notes) to determine if the dough has fully fermented. To achieve a properly risen bagel, it is generally better to err on the side of "over" fermented then "under" fermented.
  8. Once the dough passes the float test and reaches the desired fermentation, turn the dough out onto your lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 portions of 165g each**** (see Baker's Notes).
  9. Sprinkle flour on top of the individual pieces, dust your fingers with flour, and roll the dough pieces into smooth balls.
  10. Dust the tops of the pre-shaped dough balls with flour and cover with a tea towel. Let rest for 30-40 minutes to allow the dough to relax.
  11. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and dusting with white rice flour for the final shaped bagels. Set aside.
  12. Once the dough has relaxed, after 30-40 minutes, use your bench scraper to lift each dough ball off the work surface, adding flour underneath as needed to prevent the dough balls from sticking.
  13. To shape the bagels, flour your hands and dip your thumb or pointer finger into the center of the dough ball and all the way through to the work surface. With your thumb/pointer finger in the "bagel hole," pick up the dough ball and position your other thumb/pointer finger into the bagel hole as well. Then, stretch and wiggle the dough back and forth to create your desired shape. The "bagel hole" should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter. If the dough is too stiff/elastic to stretch, allow the dough balls to rest another 15-20 minutes***** (see Baker's Notes).
  14. Once you have your desired shape, place the bagels onto the parchment-lined/dusted baking sheet from Step 11 above. Cover with a large plastic bag or place another, inverted baking sheet on top and rest in the fridge overnight.

To boil and bake:

  1. 30 minutes before boiling, bring the bagels out from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 465°F (440°F, if convection) with the racks placed on the bottom and top 3rds of the oven.
  3. In a large, preferably wide-mouthed pot, add the salt and baking soda to the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in honey and malt syrup.
  4. Set a wire cooling rack onto a baking sheet and place to the side of your boiling station. Prepare another baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  5. Place your desired toppings in separate bowls large enough to hold a bagel and set aside.
  6. When ready to boil, gently lift the bagels off the parchment using your hands or plastic bench scraper as needed.
  7. Gently drop the bagels into the boiling liquid 1 or 2 at a time, top side down, and lightly dunk down using a wide slotted spoon or spider.
  8. Boil the bagels for 20-30 seconds only, or until you see the dough change color from pale white to a light tan.
  9. Remove the bagels from the boiling liquid with the slotted spoon/spider and place onto the rack placed on your baking sheet.
  10. Allow the bagels to rest 20-30 seconds for some of the water to evaporate off and then place your bagels either onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or into your toppings bowl and coat as desired.
  11. Once the bagels have been coated with toppings, place them onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow a little bit of space between each bagel and make sure the bagels don't touch the metal sides of the baking sheet, otherwise the dough will stick to the sheet during baking.
  12. Repeat the process with the remaining bagels, making sure the boiling solution comes back to a rolling boil each time.
  13. Place the baking sheets on the oven rack. Bake for 17 minutes, rotating the sheet back to front and top to bottom halfway through the baking process.
  14. Once the bagels have fully expanded and the crust has begun to set, "vent" the oven by placing a wooden spoon in between the oven and the door, to keep the door slightly ajar. If you're using the Convection mode, you may need to switch to Regular at this point, if your convection oven doesn't heat when the door is open.
  15. Bake until the desired degree of browning, but be careful not to burn your toppings.

Baker's Notes:

* Use warmer water (90°F-95°F) if your room temp is cooler (65°F-75°F) and cooler water temps (80°F-85°F) for water room temperatures (75°F-85°F). The yeasts in the levain will die at temps greater than 105°F.

** Barley malt syrup can be found at most natural/organic grocery stores such as Whole Foods. The Eden brand is probably the most readily available. Otherwise, check out your local brewing supply shop.

*** To check the levain for readiness, perform a float test: gently pinch off a tablespoon of the levain and place in a bowl of room-temperature water. The levain should float on the surface of the water. If it doesn't float, just put the levain back in a warm place and let it ferment for another 30 minutes, or until the levain floats.

**** Dividing/Pre-shaping technique:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8j-ZUp7KD0, at the 2:40 min mark

***** The final shaping technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8j-ZUp7KD0, at 4:15 min mark


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