Common knowledge for all who know me: I’m a baker. It’s what I do. I spent 4 months (and ten thousand dollars) at the Oregon Culinary Institute to get a silly little piece of paper stating this fact. Thanks to this ruddy economy, it took me over 6 months to find a job using my skills, but find it I did. However, this post is not about my job. It’s about the lovely bagels I made this morning. One of my favorite baking blogs is over at Wildyeastblog.com.  Susan re-posted her bagel recipe recently, and I was overcome with the need for bagels. My local grocery store only carries the doughnut bread she mentioned, so off I was to put my sourdough starter into submission.

I’m not going to cut and paste her recipe, just go to her blog and check it out. Some notes regarding mine:

I’m rather sure my starter isn’t actually 100% hydration. I’d say it’s more like, 75% probably tops. I never really adjust anything in recipes for this, I just take it as it goes and see if it causes it any problems. Generally, I can’t tell any difference.

I have cement countertops. I love them, but what I don’t love about them is the little holes of imperfection. Crud gets jammed in there and it’s just about impossible to clean properly. While making the recommended turns by hand, I found a way to clean those holes. Bagel dough! It was actually really gross what my dough pulled up when I wasn’t paying attention. After removing the crud from my dough, I did the remainder of my turns and shaping on my wood cutting b0ard.

Perhaps my oven runs hot, as my bagels were done in 15 minutes. Any more, and they would be less golden and more cajun. I also think that they probably could’ve used a bit more time proofing, they cracked a bit in baking.

Working from 11:20pm-12:20pm and 11:00am-12:00pm is totally worth it for these bagels. They are delicious and just the right amount of chewy. They go great with my raspberry cream cheese. Yum, yum!

(Yes, that right. I made salt and pepper bagels. Jealous?)

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