Bagels version 0.3

Wow, a lot has changed since my last try at making bagels.  My version 0.2 post was more than a year ago!  (Also see the sad version 0.1)

What’s different this time around?

– I used a sourdough starter instead of conventional active-dry yeast.

– I now use a Kitchenaid stand mixer instead of kneading by hand.  Much easier, especially with a dry dough like bagel dough.  (Shout out to Angry Man Eats for making the stand mixer happen.  The blender and mixer still live together.)

– I did the recipe by weight and used a 55% hydration ratio.

– I left the bagels to proof for 24 hours in the fridge.  The 24 hours was mostly out of convenience – I couldn’t bake until then.  I don’t think I had them proof at all last time.

– I had poppy seeds and caraway seeds this time around


How’d they turn out?

– The crust was a bit crispier than last time.  I’m not sure the cause.. will have to do some research.  Baking Bread 101 says it’s because there wasn’t enough steam in the oven, but I did bake over a pan of water.  Then again, maybe it was crispy because I ate the bagel 5 minutes after I took it out of the oven.  The bagels were much less crispy and quite a bit chewier the next day.

– Also, the crust in the center of the bagel tore.  I am not sure what caused this either, other than the crust couldn’t expand as fast as the oven spring wanted it to.  Perhaps I could bake at a lower temperature to stop the crust from forming so soon.  Or maybe I boiled for too long?  Sobachatina’s answer on Stack Exchange has some good tips.  I can’t really slash the bagels though.

– The bagels were much smoother than last time.  I think this was due to the fact that I actually proofed them and probably did a better job kneading. . or at least the mixer did a better job.

– They tasted great and the torn (and crispy) crust doesn’t really bother me.


For anyone who is interested (and since I typed this up for Sean anyways), here is what I did:

– Refreshed starter for 2 cycles – I hadn’t baked in 3-4 weeks, I think, so it needed some love.  S
– Mixed ingredients, kneaded in kitchenaid stand mixer:

Ingredient Amount (grams) Baker's Percent Notes
Sourdough starter 113g 30% 100% hydration starter
Bread flour 282g 100% 57g of flour was in the starter so total flour = 339g
Water 129g 55% 57g of water was in the starter so total water = 186g
Salt 6.8g 2%

– I set the dough out to rise overnight (about 8h) at room temperature (about 65F).  In the morning, the dough hadn’t risen much – it spread out a bunch though and increased in volume by  maybe 75%.   I figured that this might happen since I used such a large quantity of starter.
– Formed dough into balls
– Proofed in fridge, covered, for about 12 hours
– Put holes in the balls, stretched them to get the bagel shape
– Boiled each bagel in a pan with ~1 inch of water and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for 1 minute on each side
– Added toppings
– Baked at 450F for 25 minutes, uncovered, with a pan of water underneath the bagel pan

This post:

the bread project: loaf 24

30% rye 10% spelt sourdough loaf, top view

As some of you know, I’ve been trying to bake a lot of bread.  I’m experimenting with the idea of creating a bread diary.  This is loaf #24, a 30% rye 10% spelt and the rest white King Arthur bread flour loaf with a sourdough starter.  hydration was about 68%.

30% rye 10% spelt sourdough loaf, top viewTop view – kinda funky ears.  slashing could be improved


30% rye 10% spelt sourdough loaf3/4 view of the loaf


30% rye 10% spelt sourdough loaf, side viewside view.  Didn’t rise as high as I’d like because I had this loaf retarding in the fridge for 4 days.  Better flavor though..


30% rye 10% spelt sourdough loaf, crumbsome big holes at the base.  gigantic ear on top.  Tasted great.


This post:

Finally, a bread experiment worth posting about (Loaf #19)

After baking a number of failures (that’s a separate, loooong blog post) this morning I’ve finally baked a sourdough loaf to show off:


20% rye, 10% spelt sourdough loaf.  top view.



from another angle


pretty good crumb.  I’m happy with it at least.

roughly, here was the recipe in terms of bakers percentages:

  • * 20% rye flour
  • * 10% spelt flour
  • * 70% bread flour
  • * 72% hydration
  • * 20% sourdough starter (just all-purpose flour.  the yeast was fairly active)
  • * 2.2% salt

and so I can remember, here was my technique:

  • * mix everything together with the kitchenaid at power setting 2 for ~12 minutes (maybe a bit long but whatever)
  • * put the dough straight in the fridge (I didn’t have time to bake that day!)
  • * take the dough out 2 days later (dough didn’t rise much in the fridge)
  • * let the dough warm to room temperature with the oven on low for 2-3 hours (the dough rose a bit during this time)
  • * fold and shape the loaf
  • * place in bannetton and back into the fridge overnight (~6 hours)
  • * score the loaf
  • * bake at 450F in the lodge dutch oven for 55 minutes straight from the fridge
  • * open the dutch oven and take pictures of the unexpected results


This post: