THIS LYE AND BAGEL RECIPE IS INTENDED FOR USE WITH REAL LYE MADE FROM
WATER AND NATURAL WOOD ASHES ONLY, NOT WITH CRYSTAL DRAIN CLEANER OR
ANY OTHER OF KIND OF SYNTHETIC "LYE" THAT INVOLVES ADDING A DRY POWDER
most home-made bagels are made by putting them in a liquid that has
either had baking powder added to it or by boiling the bagels in plain
water with nothing at all added to it. To get a proper bagel, however,
you need to use a lye bath before baking the bagels. A good bagel needs
a moderately strong lye, so in this recipe you may want to cook down
your kitchen lye to half its volume to make it strongerIf
you are an experienced sourdough maker with a batch of starter on the
counter, by all means substitute that for the instant dry yeast in the
recipe. Use a baked enamel (porcelain-enameled steel) pot for simmering
the lye. (The lye bath will help clean it if there are any stains on
it). Stainless steel is also acceptable but absolutely do NOT use
lye by mixing a cup of ashes with a quart of water. Stir thoroughly
until it is as dissolved as you can get it. Let the ashes settle to the
bottom, then pour the liquid off the top, letting it drain through a
cotton towel or pillowcase.
1 tablespoon of dry yeast
1/4 + 1 tablespoon cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of brown sugar or sucanat
2 cups of flour
coarse sea salt
yeast, water and sugar together and set in a warm place until there is
at least 1/4" of froth at the top. When the yeast mixture is frothy on
top, add it to the flour in a mixing bowl and mix in. Work it with your
hands to get it all mixed with the liquid. Cover the bowl of dough with
a wet cotton cloth or towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled
When it has doubled in bulk, take the dough out and knead
for 5 minutes, then put it back under the wet cotton cover. Let it sit
and rise until it again doubles in bulk and then shape it into a log 10" long and 2" in diameter.
into five rounds and then pinch the center with thumb and forefinger to
form the hole. Cover with a wet towel that does not touch the bagels
and let rise again.
the dough has expanded about half again in size or to standard bagel
size, put each bagel in hot or simmering lye for one minute in total,
half a minute on each side.
the lye-parboiled bagel from the lye and set on a greased baking
greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt. Bake at
450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until evenly browned all over,
turning around as necessary in the oven.
Makes five yummy, deliicious,
chewy bagels. Once you get the basic technique down, start
experimenting with other ingredients like finely chopped onions or
sesame seeds to make your flavored bagels.