Bagel Friday: Porcini is not just for pasta and risotto

Porcini is also for bagels. Crusty bagels with a dense, chewy texture that packs a punch of porcini or garlic in your mouth, depending on which part you bite into. The idea for making these bagels was born out of the need to use up bags of the dried stuff that my inlaws love to give as gifts. Do-it-yourself porcini powder is easy with a good spice grinder and can turn plain bagel dough into something that deserves more than a cream cheese schmear. Pairing the porcini dough with a garlic dough for a two-toned, two-flavored twist worked out better than I could have expected. I split one as soon as it was cool enough to handle and stuffed porchetta, mixed greens and a roasted red pepper in the middle. YUM. It was a fine medley of tastes, with the earthy boletus and the stinking rose intermingling in each bite.

Porcini and garlic bagels

The only part that didn’t really work out to my liking was obtaining a uniform two-toned effect. Two separate doughs were made, placed side-by-side, and cut into six pieces. Each piece was then rolled into a log with ends coming together to form a ring. What I ended up with was more of a marbled effect.

Porcini and garlic bagel recipe

For the porcini dough:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup porcini powder
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/2 packet (1¼ teaspoon) rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil

Prepare the porcini. Bring the 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add the porcini powder and remove from heat. Let it cool until warm enough to add the yeast.

Mix flour and salt together in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the cooled porcini liquid plus the remaining water. Add the yeast, sugar and olive oil. Mix to form a dough, adding a more water if necessary, and knead until smooth. Cover and set aside until doubled in bulk.

For the garlic dough:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 packet (1¼ teaspoon) rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare the garlic. Finely mince the garlic cloves and mix together with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside. This will be brushed onto the bagels before baking.

Mix flour, salt and garlic powder together in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil. Mix to form a dough and knead until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Cover and set aside until doubled in bulk.

After both doughs have risen, shape into logs and place side-by-side. Divide into 6 equal pieces and roll each to approximately 9 inches long. Bring ends together and roll to seal. Let rest, covered, for 20 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tbsp. salt.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Reduce the boiling water to a low simmer and flip bagels (top side going down first) into the water. Boil for about 30 seconds each side and remove to a parchment-lined baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Brush with garlic-infused olive oil (adding garlic bits) and bake for 25 minutes, turning baking sheet around half way through baking time.

Porcini and garlic bagels

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