Words from Forager Megan – @flintandfern
Drying Wild Garlic is a brilliant way to extend the uses of this incredibly seasonal wild ingredient. The season for picking this is typically from February to June depending on where you are in the country and at what altitude – starting early on the south coast and lasting longer further north and at a higher altitude. These bagels are EPIC and this isn’t only a great recipe for using wild garlic is brilliant for making the base of bagels which you can top and fill with a multitude of wild ingredients. Think spruce cured salmon, pickled dandelion bud capers and wild garlic cream cheese stuffed bagels 🙂 Forward from James
- 450g Strong white bread flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 packet instant yeast (about 7g)
- 300ml warm water
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1 beaten egg
- Toppings: mashed onion, dried wild garlic leaves, sesame seeds, foraged poppy seeds (if you have them), sea salt.
1. Measure out the warm water and add in the sugar and yeast. Stir and leave it to come alive – about 5 minutes. In a large bowl weigh out the flour and add the salt. Stir to mix and pour in the yeast water and combine.
2. On a floured surface kneed the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough back into the bowl, coat in a little olive oil, cover with a damp tea towel and leave it to rest for 1 hour. It should double in size.
3. After 1 hour punch down the dough and let it rest another 30 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll them into smooth balls with the palms of your hands. Push a finger through the centre of each ball and and stretch the dough into bagel shaped rings. Place them on a tray covered with baking paper and cover with a wet tea towel. Let them rest another 15 minutes.
5. Preheat the over to 200C and bring a large pot of hot water to a rolling boil. Drop the bagels into the water (you may have to do this in stages so they don’t overlap too much). Wait till they rise to the surface then boil for 2 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place back onto your paper-lined tray.
6. Beat the egg and coat the dough. At this stage add your toppings. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Tips or extra notes:
For the wild garlic salt March-April is the best time to pick fresh wild garlic leaves and flowers. To sustainably forage just snip a little here and there from different plants – do not uproot any of the garlic or take all leaves from 1 plant. Be mindful of Lily of the Valley which is not edible, has similar leaves, and grows in similar locations to wild garlic. Check an ID book before you head out to ensure you know the difference. Obviously wild garlic will smell strongly of garlic. Once home, wash and draft your leaves. Tie the leaves and flower stems together and hang upside down somewhere to air dry for about 2 weeks or until crisp to the touch. Keep them out of direct sunlight. Once fully dried chop leaves and flowers and mix in a blender with sea salt for a fine mixture. If you like it more flakey then mix by hand so the garlic pieces are less fine. Store in a sterilised airtight jar.