Better strike while the iron is hot! Since my baking mood has been elusive lately, I decided to take advantage of its tail end to make the “virtuous bagels” mentioned towards the end of my last post. Which is to say, use Martin Philip‘s formula but replace 50% of the flour in the final mix by sprouted wheat flour.
I debated a bit about the process. Sprouted grain flour is wonderfully flavorful and nutritious on its own. It needs neither a pre-ferment nor a long fermentation. Martin Philip’s recipe calls for both. What to do? Switch to a straight dough process or follow the recipe to a T? Since I used white flour in the poolish, the actual total ratio of sprouted to white was 42%. It made sense to stick to the process and see what would happen.
Well, what happened is that it worked. The bagels don’t taste exactly like the New York bagels of my memory but they are very good and the texture and consistency are spot on. I liked them much better than the 100% sprouted whole wheat bagels I made last year and they make more sense nutrition-wise than white bagels. That being said, we don’t have to eat virtuously all the time. With lox, I think I’d still prefer the taste of the white bagels. But that’s very personal. You might feel differently.
Of course I had to use more water to obtain the same dough consistency. I know for sure that I added 60g to the amount indicated in the original formula (I did measure that) but I added even more afterwards and I don’t know exactly how much. What happened to make me forget all about measuring is that my Kitchen Aid gave up the ghost just as I started mixing. It began by dragging its foot (the dough hook) at exactly the same spot on each turn, first rumbling then screaming under its breath, then it went on a general strike. It had done that two or three years ago and the Man had ordered parts online then gone and fixed it. And now it was misbehaving again. Just when I had bagel dough to mix!
There was still a lot of dry flour to incorporate and I was so frazzled by this new development I just added water as needed without bothering with the scale and started kneading by hand. The minute every last bit of flour was hydrated, I transferred the dough to the counter and switched to folding and stretching. My right hand not being in the best of shapes, I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t be enough but hey, it worked! Bagels by hand! Who would have thought?
I am including the formula below but just remember, the hydration is a bit tentative since I don’t know for sure how much water I actually used. It doesn’t really matter though. Every batch of flour is different even when using the same brand. Go easy with the extra water is all I can say. You don’t want to end up with ciabatta buns but you still need to hydrate all that flour and sprouted flour is much thirstier than regular white.
Also I used bread flour (14% protein) in the poolish and all-purpose in the final dough.