High hydration bagels

Bagel dough is typically characterized by low hydration dough, with a hydration (weight of water/weight of flour) typically hovering around 60%. This results in a dense texture that many associate with bagels, but can make the dough hard to work with.

I made a batch my traditional bagels, but boosted the hydration to 75%. Instead of the stiff dough I was accustomed to, I was faced with a sticky mass that was challenging to shape into rings without becoming misshapen.

After an overnight rest and a boil, the inconsistencies in shape became less prominent.

After baking, the bagels were not as perfectly balanced as the traditional version, but the bagels were light and crispy, and a nice change from the usual jaw workout. The crust was the most noticeable difference, perhaps more so because of the contrast with the lighter interior.

They say making mistakes is the first step in learning. I must be learning a lot.

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