That is quite a mouthful – Dutch Crunch Sourdough Bagels. I’m combining two great bready traditions of San Francisco, right here in Glasgow, Scotland. Why? I’m not really sure, except that all the components of this bread – dutch crunch (or tiger bread), sourdough and bagels – have caught my imagination and I wanted to experiment with them. This is one of the great things about Daring Bakers, it introduces you to new things that you might never have done on your own, but are so glad that you did. Without the Daring Bakers I never would have made Louie, or heard of Dutch Crunch bread. This post has been made possible by my participation in DB, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The other enabler for this post is Susan at Wild Yeast. You’ll be familiar with Susan from me mentioning YeastSpotting, where I will be submitting these bagels – her blog is full of great bread recipes and stunning photos of loaves she’s baked. A huge source of inspiration and admiration, and the source of this 100% sourdough bagel recipe. I read over hers and then made a few adjustments of my own, mainly using a mix of white and seeded flours, plus some extra rye flour as required to get the dough to the right texture. I also made them into tiger bagels by adding the same topping from the Dutch Crunch link above.
I won’t copy out the recipe for the bagels, mainly because I can’t remember the exact adjustments I made, but I will share a couple of the tips from it. One is that to make your bagels the correct amount of chewy )(ie, enormously chewy), you have to really work the dough until it’s really firm, though still pliable and smooth on the surface. Another thing I learned from the post was a new technique for shaping bagels, one that I prefer. The first time I tried them, I spun the dough round a spoon handle to make the hole in the middle, but this time I followed Susan’s instruction and rolled a long strip of dough round my hand, then rolled against the counter to stick the ends together. Allow me to illustrate:
They start off looking like they’re too wide, and a bit rangey. I patted them into shape a little, but not too much because I knew they were going to puff up as they rose. After rising they looked like this:
At which point I put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, they looked like this:
…and I got on with rest of the recipe. I started by making the tiger bread topping and letting it rise for fifteen minutes and heating the oven. Then I boiled a kettle of water and set it in a big pot over a high heat. In fact I had to do two kettles to fill the pot, this is the kind of fascinating insight that I know you all come to Rock Salt for… I boiled the bagels for 30 seconds each, making sure to turn them over in the water half way through. The colour and texture changed a lot when I boiled them, as you can see here.
I then applied the tiger topping to them, straight from the jug – I just poured it round in a circle, then tried to scoop out the middle to preserve the classic bagel shape. They looked like iced doughnuts, and oh man, that would have been a HUGE disappointment for an unsuspecting doughnut seeker. I baked them for just a liiiiiiittle too long, they are darker than I’d have liked, but look how cool the crackling went this time! Really tiny crackles, with great variation in colour from the sides to the top.
I’m not sure if this is because the dough was hot from the water, or because of the residual water itself, but the effect is pretty cool, it’s just a shame about it getting a little too much love from the oven.
I sliced one open almost straight away and had a tuna melt. Tuna sandwich is my default sandwich position. I put some lettuce and tomato under the tuna and flashed under a hot grill so that the cheese would be melty but there would still be some texture from the salad – it worked!