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Bagels, Muffins: Sweet Delights of Sourdough

November 08, 1990|JOAN DRAKE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Question: I'm enjoying the sourdough starter I made from a recipe in the Los Angeles Times some time ago. We like the pancakes, bread and biscuits, but I've been unable to find a recipe for sourdough English muffins. Can you solve my problem? Also, is it possible to make a sourdough bagel?

Answer: We found recipes for both in "Sourdough Cookery" (HP Books: 1981) by Rita Davenport.

SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFINS

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup warm (105 degrees) water

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

2 3/4 cups flour, about

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sourdough starter

3/4 cup buttermilk

Shortening

Sprinkle yeast over water. Set aside to soften 5 minutes.

Cover large baking sheet with wax paper. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Set aside.

Stir together 2 3/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup cornmeal, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

Combine sourdough starter, buttermilk and softened yeast mixture in medium bowl. Stir into flour mixture until blended.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary.

Roll out dough 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut muffins with 3-inch biscuit cutter or top of 3-inch-wide drinking glass. Arrange muffins on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cornmeal.

Cover muffins with cloth and set aside in warm place free from drafts. Let rise 45 minutes or until doubled.

Place griddle over medium to medium-high heat until drop of water bounces over surface. Light grease griddle. Turning often, cook raised muffins on medium-hot griddle about 30 minutes.

Cool on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 to 14 muffins.

Variation: After cooking 15 to 20 minutes, split muffins and place cut side down on griddle. Turning often, cook 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned.

SOURDOUGH BAGELS

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup warm (105 degrees) water

2 eggs

1 cup sourdough starter

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons oil

3 to 4 cups flour

Shortening

4 quarts water

Sprinkle yeast over water. Set aside to soften 5 minutes.

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in sourdough starter, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, oil and softened yeast mixture. Stir in enough flour to make stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface.

Clean and lightly grease bowl. Set aside.

Knead dough 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover with cloth and set aside in warm place free from drafts. Let rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled.

Grease and flour large baking sheet. Set aside.

Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead again about 3 minutes. Divide into 12 equal pieces.

Flour hands. Shape each dough piece into ball. Use thumb to press hole in center of each ball. Gently enlarge hole by turning ball in hands and form dough into doughnut shape.

Arrange shaped dough on prepared baking sheet. Cover with cloth and set aside in warm place free from drafts. Let rise 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat broiler, if necessary. Bring water and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to gentle boil in 5-quart sauce pot. Meanwhile broil bagels 2 minutes on each side, turning with fork.

Carefully lower hot broiled bagels into gently boiling sugar-water. Boil 4 to 5 bagels at time for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels 5 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Arrange drained bagels on prepared baking sheet. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown with crisp crust.

Remove from baking sheet. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 12 bagels.

Variations:

Herb Bagels: Add 2 teaspoons dried leaf marjoram before adding flour.

Onion Bagels: Add 1 teaspoon dried minced onion before adding flour.

Raisin Bagels: Add 1/2 cup raisins before adding flour.

Whole-Wheat Bagels: Replace 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour. Stir into sourdough mixture. Stir in enough remaining all-purpose flour to make stiff dough.

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