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Blueberry Bagels

April 25, 2011

Blueberry Bagels

Blueberry Bagels

Of all the bagels I have made lately blueberry are my favorite.  I have not tried onion bagels or grain bagels, which are on my to-do-list, but so far blueberry bagels are the best.  They are relatively simple to make but they are time consuming if you want the results.  I have to tell you they are worth every second.  For the last two weeks I have made them about 8 times.  That is a lot of bagels.  None of them go to waste, although depending on how you spell it perhaps they do go to waist 🙂  It has become a breakfast favorite here.

If you love bagels and you love making things from scratch you will certainly love this variation of blueberry bagels.  Try them, just once, you’ll see what I mean.

Ingredients and Directions for Blueberry Bagels

Ingredients and Directions for Blueberry Bagels

1.  Ingredients

For the Sponge:

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2 cups bread flour

1 1/4 cups warm water

For the Dough:

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2 1/4 cups bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 cup dried blueberries, rinsed

To Finish:

1 tablespoon baking soda

Cornmeal  for dusting

To Prepare Blueberry Bagels

To create the sponge

2. Stir the yeast into the flour in the bowl of your electric mixer.   Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter).  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the counter top.

To create the dough

3. In the same mixing bowl,  add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir using the dough hook. Then add the 2 1/4 cups of the flour, salt and honey.  Continue to stir on low speed using the dough hook  until the ingredients form a ball.  If the dough is too sticky add a tablespoon of flour at a time to the dough to stiffen it.  The dough should pull away from the bottom of the bowl not stick to it.

4. Continue to knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or 6 minutes with the electric mixer.

5.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

6.  Add the dried blueberries, continue kneading for the final two minutes.

7.  The dough should be firm but pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated.  If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not tacky.

8. Once the dough is ready immediately divide the dough into 4 ounce pieces.

9.  Form the pieces into rolls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for about 20 minutes.

Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

10.  To form the bagels push a hole through the center of the roll with your thumb and stretch the hole to 2 1/2 inches in diameter trying to ensure an even thickness all around.

 Place each of the shaped pieces about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.   Mist the bagels very lightly with the non-stick cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the bagels sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

 To see if the bagels are ready to be placed in the refrigerator use the “float test”.  Fill a small bowl with room-temperature water.  Place one bagel in the water and if it floats within 10 seconds they are ready to be placed in the fridge.  Immediately return the tester bagel to the baking sheet, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.  If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking to see if it floats every 10 to 20 minutes, until a tester floats.   The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.

 When you are ready to bake the bagels, preheat the oven to 500 F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven.   Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda.  Have a slotted spoon or a fork nearby.

Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently place them into the water, boiling only as many comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-line baking sheets with cornmeal.

 When all the bagels have been boiled, place the baking sheets on the 2 middle shelves in the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation.  After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450 F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Makes 9 bagels

(Source: Peter Reinart The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and the Brown Eyed Baker)

Blueberry Bagels

Blueberry Bagels

There is nothing better than fresh homemade bagels.  They are so delicious.  You have to try them, just once.

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

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