Sun-dried Tomato, Rosemary, Basil, and Parmesan Bagels

 

The second part of the GBBO bagel challenge involved making a dozen savory bagels. So to think of something to go along with my Cranberry, Orange, and Cinnamon Bagels, I had to do a bit of thinking.

I decided to do a bagel involving some fresh herbs that I’ve been growing in my balcony garden: rosemary and basil. These bagels really turned out well, and I think that they were my favorite of the two (they were certainly Ben’s favorite!).

Again, thanks to Annie’s Eats for the base recipe.

Ingredients

For the starter sponge:

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
For the dough:
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
For boiling:
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • cornmeal or semolina for dusting
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

1. First make the starter by mixing the yeast and flour in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the water, stirring until it forms a smooth, sticky batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours until the mixture starts to form bubbles and get foamy. It should be about double in size.

2. Next make the dough by adding the additional yeast to the bowl with your starter. Then add in 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and honey. Mix using your dough hook until the mixture forms a ball. As it starts to come together, slowly add the last 3/4 cup flour until the dough starts to stiffen. Then add in the sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.

3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on the countertop. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated.  If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading.  If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required.  The kneaded dough should feels satiny and pliable but not be tacky.

4. Weigh the ball of dough, then divide the weight by 12. Then use that number to divide the dough into twelve rolls of equal weight. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes.

5. Line a few baking sheets with baking paper and spray with a small amount of oil. Form the dough rolls into bagel shapes either by rolling into snakes and then making into a loop, or just by poking a hole through the middle. Be sure to make the hole double the size than what you want the final hole to be, as they will close up a bit when rising and baking. Spray the tops of the bagels with a bit more oil, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes.

6. Your bagels will be ready for the next step when they pass the “float test”. Fill a large bowl with water and drop one of the bagels in – if it starts to float within 10 seconds, they’re ready. If not, return to the pan, re-cover with the plastic wrap, and allow them to rest longer, checking every 15 minutes to see if they float. Once they float, place the bagels in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight, to retard.

 

7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Bring a large, wide pot of water to boil, then add the baking soda. Line a few more baking sheets with baking paper, mist with oil, then lightly dust with the cornflour or semolina.

8. Remove the bagels from the fridge and gently drop as many that will comfortably fit into the water. They should float quite easily within 10 seconds. Boil for 1 minute, then flip and boil for another minute. Remove the bagels from the oven with a skimmer or slotted spoon, place onto the prepped baking pans then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

9. After all of the bagels have been boiled, place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then rotate the two pans, lower the oven to 450°F (230°C), then continue to bake for another 5 minutes until they turn golden brown.

 

10. Remove the bagels from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If you’re storing the bagels, they’ll keep for 2-3 days in a paper bag.

 

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