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Old 10-03-2005, 02:26 PM   #11
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I made bagels this weekend

I have the book, "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and it has an interesting bagel recipe that I am currently trying out. My fiancee loves pretzels and I figured a pretzel is like a bagel so why not give it a shot. It was actually one of the easiest breads to make, IMHO. I haven't finished making them yet, they are retarding in the fridge, but I'll post an update tomorrow. Here's the basics
  • make a wet sponge with high-gluten flour, water, and yeast
  • allow to double in bulk @ RT
  • add in more flour, some malt syrup (I substituted honey), salt, and some more yeast
  • knead until satiny smooth
  • shape into 4oz balls
  • form bagel shape
  • allow to rest until a bagel will float in water (20 min or so)
  • retard in fridge overnight
  • boil in alkaline water for a couple minutes
  • top with whatever you want
  • bake until done
The key is high-gluten flour and a very stiff dough that will survive the boiling process. It was an absolute pleasure to work with this dough. I'm used to highly hydrated doughs like those for rustic ciabattas. This one was tacky and very elastic. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Drew
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:43 PM   #12
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Drew:

I've been getting ready to post a progress report on my attempts. Your post woke me up.

I've made about 5-6 batches of bagels so far. I used a combination of AP and bread flours. They all tasted great and had a good crust and chewy texture. I made onion bagels, using toasted onion flakes and onion powder, as they are my favorite.

The first three batches were less than perfect as they suffered from being very flat and/or not having a smooth outer surface.

While browsing around the Costco book department, I saw the King Arthur Baking book (not sure of the correct name). I looked up their bagel recipe and got a couple of tips that served to improve my product quite a bit.

I've made two batches since then and they came out quite good. No longer flat and with a nice surface texture.

I'll refine the process further with each batch.

Keep us posted on your attempt.
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Old 10-04-2005, 12:59 PM   #13
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Ding ding ding! Winner! My bagels turned out awesome! I just brought some into work for some of my co-workers and they were floored that I made them at home. They said they looked professional and tasted even better! Yeeehaw. That's why I love cooking. I love it when it works. I outlined the process in my first post and it turned out great. The only thing I would do differently is when the bagels were shaped and retarded in the fridge overnight, I covered them with plastic wrap. This led to a somewhat sticky surface going into the boil. Next time, I think I will leave them covered but not touching the wrap. It will make a drier crust. My bagels didn't have a very shiny appearance which I think was due to the plastic touching them. But this is very minor. In flavor and texture they were dead on.

Keys: high-gluten flour, minimally hydrated to make a stiff dough and malt syrup. The honey was good but malt syrup would be even better.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Drew
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:03 PM   #14
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That's great!

Try brushing the bagels with egg wash prior to baking for that shiny finish.
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:06 PM   #15
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I think that would help. Also, the surface of the bagel seemed a bit bumpy. I think that was due to what I said before. I think the wash and the drying would do the trick. Thanks!

d
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:10 PM   #16
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I had the same problem with the bumpy surface a couple of times.

I find when the dough is well-kneaded and the gluten is allowed to develop fully it's better. Also, forming the individual bagel balls with a continuous skin before poking a hole in the middle and shaping, helps.
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