19 Jan 2013

adventures in bread-making: sourdough blueberry bagels

blueberry bagels are one of my very favourite treats, especially toasted (and a little cold) with a spread of smooth ricotta and a drizzle of honey or a handful of fresh berries a top.

actually for my 21st birthday I made a stack of blueberry bagels in lieu of a birthday cake and my own fresh ricotta (because it was a breakfast affair, ya know). But something I have always wanted to experiment with is making sourdough blueberry bagels - yesterday I attempted it - and I am pretty pleased with the result. They aren't as high as regular yeast-infused ones, but they are lovely and chewy and malty and delicious.

1 cup of warm milk
3/4 cup 50/50 hydration sourdough starter
1/4 cup warm water
1 heaped tablespoon malt (or molasses)
1/2 teaspooon sea salt
4-5 cups strong flour (I used unbleached wheat, but a mixture of plain/wholemeal or plain/rye would work well)
3/4 cup blueberries (I used frozen ones, thawed to room temp)

Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl and combine using your hands - work into a dough that is smooth, hard and not sticky (you may need to use extra flour, just add a little at a time). Knead on a floured countertop for 10 minutes. Let rest, covered in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and shape dough into about 8 balls (you can make them whatever size you like, but this should make average sized bagels) and let rest for a moment. Shape each ball into a tube by rolling them with your hands and using a little water went the ends so that as you form the classic bagel round they stick together nicely. Lay bagels out on a tray covered with baking paper and let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes. Cover tray with plastic wrap (or a plastic bag works really well) and refridgerate for 4 hours - because its a nice 2'c outside I just put them outside the door!

Preheat your oven to 240'c. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boiling point and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and one heaped tablespoon of malt or molasses. Two at a time, boil your bagels in the boiling water for about 40 seconds - 1 minute - they will float to the surface when ready - transfer them one by one using a slotted spoon to drain off excess water onto a baking tray generously dusted with semolina flour. Once all the bagels are boiled, bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden...

p.s.  If you like sugary-topped bagels sprinkle raw sugar over the top before baking... 


  1. your baking/cooking adventures are so inspiring! I've been much more absent in the kitchen since Ben was born, and this makes me want to get back in there!

  2. These look wonderful. Over the years I've seen much of your cooking and I think you are a fabulous cook.

  3. They look lovely! :)


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