For the yeast sponge (the first time)
- 125g wheat flour
- a little dried yeast powder
- lukewarm water
- a small bowl – big enough for the dough to expand without flooding the kitchen – with a lid or a small plate to cover.
For the main dough
- the yeast sponge
- 500g wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- lukewarm water
- a bowl – big enough that the dough can expand without flooding the kitchen – with a lid or a plate to cover.
- baking paper (that is something I did not find in the U.S.)
- a cooking pan with boiing water
- 1 teaspoon Soda (“Natron”)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- poppy, linseed and/or sesame seeds to sprinkle
Mix the ingredients. The first sponge is quite soft. Cover and let prove for about an hour, then put in the fridge for about 24 hours. The sponge should about double its volume.
Mix the ingredients in the bowl, for example with a wooden spoon. Then put on the work surface and knead thoroughly for at least 5 minutes without adding more flour. The dough should be quite soft and will stick to your hands. The kneading macerates the flour and reduces the stickyness. But there will be enough dough sticking to your hands.
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave for about 24 hours.
Put baking paper on baking sheet. Heat the oven to about 200-210 deg C
Boil water in a wide cooking pan, adding soda and sugar.
Sprinkle flour on the work surface, and spread the dough gently without kneading, abou an inch high. Shape into bagels – I use a 2 1/2″ cookie cutter, and a wooden spoon to make a hole in the center. Place the leftovers in a small bowl – that will be your new yeast sponge!
Boil bagels, 3 or 4 at a time, until they expand visibly. Put on baking sheet and sprinkle with seeds. When all are done, bake for about 30 minutes.
You can cut leftover bread into small pieces and soak in hot water – take your time! – and mix into the new main dough. No need to throw away old bread, and it adds taste.