Sunday, December 26, 2021

When Bagels Need Help

If you've been following my posts, you've seen tons of bagel photos. I learned how to make sourdough  bagels last year & make them nearly every week for my spouse.

Something I realized today was that it's even more important to know *why* & *how* something is supposed to work so you can troubleshoot & correct when it doesn't. 

I didn't have the lovely fresh milled flour I've been using both to feed the starter and to bake with, so I had to use the commercial bread flour. 

Well,  the starter was sluggish,  so I gave it an extra feeding and delayed baking a day.

Then the dough was slow to rise,  even though I had added a bit of yeast to goose it along. 

So I wrapped the bowl and put it under a warming light.

It still didn't rise as much I prefer,  but I also didn't want it to over proof, so I decided to shape the individual rounds with some extra kneading and give them more time to rest before making the holes & finishing the process. 

And voila, another dozen bagels.  

This process isn't just for baking,  though.  Having instructions is a good first step for any activity, but understanding the why/how is the only way to make the bagels work.

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