Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dougel's Doughnut Bagels

To those who think they know him Dougel is a man with few vices. His body is a temple, his mind a solemn sanctuary. Restrained, temperate, even monastic he seems an example of clean and virtuous living. But behind closed doors Dougel is very different indeed. He delights in the decadent and shamelessly indulges in the immoral. His Hyde side craves all things saccharine and his favourite by far are these obscenely delicious Doughnut Bagels, spread thick with one of the jams, butters or curds he keeps well hidden. He confessed all to me one late evening, three leaves to the wind on the finest artisan tea and now my friend, I share the recipe with you.

Prep time: 25 Mins (Plus 90 Mins proving time)
Baking time: 25 Mins (Plus poaching time)
15g Fresh Yeast
30g Caster Sugar
100ml Tepid Water
300g Very Strong White Bread Flour
100ml Warm Milk
1 Large Egg Yolk

For poaching liquid
A large pan of boiling water
2tbsp Caster Sugar

For sugar crust
75g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
125g Caster Sugar

To finish
25g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
1tbsp Caster Sugar

If you've never made a sweet dough before, this is a great fun one to try. Begin by crumbling the fresh yeast into a large bowl, along with the 30g of caster sugar. Add the tepid water and mix together with a mini whisk or fork. Add the flour, warm milk and egg yolk, then mix with a wooden spoon to a loose dough. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for 7 minutes, stretching the dough, folding it back on itself, rotating by a quarter and repeating. The dough will start off very sticky but will come together if you keep faith and keep kneading. You can add a little more flour if you feel you must, but try to avoid this unless absolutely necessary. When the dough has become smooth and elastic, transfer to a large clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for around 90 minutes, until risen.

Remove the risen dough from the bowl and place on a lightly greased surface. Press your fingers all over the dough to knock air from it, then divide into four. Fill a large saucepan (or ideally a deep sided large chefs pan) with water and the 2tbsp of caster sugar, then bring to the boil and simmer. At the same time preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. For each ball of dough shape into a round, then with the greased handle of a wooden spoon pierce a hole in each. Stretch the hole out so you are left with a round doughnut shape and place into the simmering water. You may have to do this in batches of two to avoid crowding the pan. Poach for around 1-2 minutes, until puffed up then carefully turn over in the water (mind your fingers!) and leave for a further 1-2 minutes.

While the bagels are poaching you can melt the 75g of butter. When it has melted place in wide shallow bowl and in a separate bowl, tip in the sugar. When the bagels have poached on both sides and puffed up, lift them out of the water with a fish slice, draining any excess water. Place in the melted butter and flip over, covering the bagel entirely in butter. Remove from the butter, do the same with the sugar, then place on a large flat baking sheet lined with baking paper. Repeat the process for the rest of the bagels.

Once all bagels have been poached, coated in both butter then sugar and placed on the baking paper you can bake them in the centre of the oven for around 25 minutes, until crisp on top and golden brown. When you are happy they are baked remove them from the oven, peel carefully from the paper and place on a wire rack. Using the final 25g of melted butter brush lightly over the top of each bagel, then sprinkle with the last 1tbsp of sugar. Naughty? Possibly. Delicious? Definitely!

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