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Bagels


2 cups water
3 tablespoons barley malt syrup (Good Foods carries it too)
1 cup fresh leaven
6-8 cups integral spelt flour
2 teaspoons salt
____________
1 tablespoon baking soda
____________
1 tablespoon each baking soda & sugar (OR sucanat/barley malt powder)

In the bowl of a sturdy stand mixer fitted with dough hook, dissolve barley malt syrup in water. (It's very thick and sticky, so I had to stir with a rubber spatula by hand to get it into the water.) Add leaven (it needs to be floating) and stir to combine. Add 5 cups of flour and the salt, mix until well combined. Allow flour to receive water for about 5 minutes before continuing to add flour. The dough should be very stiff/firm, not sticky. Knead for about 6-8 minutes to build a very strong dough. Move to an oiled bowl with lid and ferment about 8-10 hours (around 68 ambient temp--shorter if you do not have a cool spot. You can put the bowl in an ice chest with a small ice pack to prevent over-fermentation if you are fermenting overnight and it is quite warm.)

After fermenting dough, sprinkle 1 T baking soda over dough and press in with fingers, kneading very well to combine well. Allow to rest about 5 minutes, then divide into 16 parts (4ths into 4ths). Form each part into a ball, allow to rest and prepare a sheet pan with parchment and a good layer of barley flour. Press thumb into ball, and use fingers in a circular motion to widen the hole in the center. Because this is a very tense dough, it won't want to stay. I set it back on the prep counter, moving through each segment in two steps. First shaping the balls, then a pre-shape with the hole, and finally go back and widen the hole and place onto prepared sheet. Proof about 45 minutes. 







During this time, start a large pot of water heating to boil. 

Preheat oven with two cast iron skillets and lids, to 425F. When the time to boil bagels is near, add 1 tablespoon each sugar (or sucanat) and baking soda to water.

Working in sets of two, lift bagels into water, boil about 30 seconds, flip, then replace onto sheet. Once you have a set of 8 boiled bagels, move them into the preheated skillets, cover, and bake for 16-17 minutes. 

When the first set have about 5 minutes left, begin boiling the second batch, to go into the skillets when you remove the first set.   

  



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