Bagels cooling.

Bagels in Words and Pictures

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Discussion

Bagels! These little round rolls may just be everyone's favorite breakfast bread.

You may be surprised that I marked this recipe for making bagels as easy, since there seems to be endless discussion about the "perfect" bagel and the "proper" way to make them. Well, this recipe, and the one that I am developing, are truly very easy to make. The only difficult or dangerous part is the boiling, other than that, they would be an excellent bread for beginners and children to make. The boiling isn't difficult, but you will have to be careful that no one gets scalded or burned; boiling water is dangerous!

I just made a double batch of bagels using Peter Reinhart's recipe from "Bread Bakers Apprentice," a very good traditional recipe and a great book. However, I didn't like the way the first half of the bagels turned out, so I modified the handling and baking of the second half to use Julia Child's recipe. This hybrid worked very well. These are the pictures with a little bit of commentary. I'll post the full posting later. In fairness to Peter Reinhart, you'll notice that the changes I made to his recipe are fairly minor; just making something that is already very good a little better.

Our local bagel shop uses General Mills All Trumps, a very high protein, high-gluten flour. I've used All Trumps flour and it is truly a great flour if you need a raise-the-roof powerful flour, but the smallest package is 50 pounds. I don't have storage for 50 pounds of flour, especially in the summertime, so I used King Arthur Bread Flour instead. Surprise! King Arthur Bread Flour and this recipe make a splendid bagel! There are other bread flours and high-gluten flours in the stores; give them a try and see how they work for you.

Ingredients

Sponge

Ingred Ounces Grams
Bread Flour 18 510
Water 20 570
Dry Yeast 1 tsp 5 ml

Dough

Ingred Ounces Grams
Bread Flour 17 485
Malt 2 tsp 10 ml Or honey or brown sugar, 1 Tblsp, 15 ml
See malt discussion here.
Dry Yeast 1/2 tsp 2 1/2 ml
Salt 2 3/4 tsp 14 ml

One tabelspoon or 15 ml of baking soda for the boiling water.

Discussion

Peter Reinhart 's directions are

My observations and adjustments to Peter Reinhart's recipe.

These are some changes I either made or intend to make. They are taken from Julia Child's bagel recipe.

The Pictures of Making Bagels

The sponge. The sponge all mixed. It develops for two hours. I looked at this and immediately changed containers. It's a good thing I did, too. If I hadn't, I would have had glop all over the counter and floor.
The sponge finished. The sponge all fermented. This is twice the size of the original bowl.
Adding malt and yeast. Adding the malt and the rest of the yeast to the sponge. I sprinkled them on top of the sponge.
Starting the fountain method. Since this is a double batch, I decided to use the fountain method. Here's the main portion of the flour with part of the sponge added. For a single batch, you can use a mixer.
After mixing a bit. After mixing for a minute.
Just added a second portion of sponge. I've just added another portion of sponge.
The second portion mixed a bit. I've just mixed the second portion into the flour. You can still see streaks of malt.
Added the last of the sponge. I've just added the final portion of the sponge..
Adding the salt. Adding the salt to the mix.
Mixing and folding the dough. Now the work begins. Folding and mixing the dough.
Still mixing. Still mixing and folding.
Add mixed and cut in half. The dough is pretty well mixed, now to knead it. First, cut the dough in half.
One half in mixer. Knead one half for 2 minutes.
Knead the other half. Switch halves and knead the other half.
The two halves. The two halves after 2 minutes kneading each.
The two halves stacked. Stack the two halves one on top of the other, not side by each.
Cut the stack half in two. We cut the stack half in two. Each half contains some of each of the original halves. Neat, eh.
The two halves kneaded and stacked. The two halves have been kneaded for 2 minutes each and are now stacked.
The stack cut half in two. The stack cut half in two, ready to knead some more.
The finished dough. Here's the finished dough. It has been kneaded in the mixer for a total of 6 minutes for each part. I then rolled it around a bit to see if it was kneaded. It was.
Divided. I divided the dough into 25 pieces of about 4 1/4 ounces each.
One piece rolled out.. One piece rolled out.
Wrap a piece around your hand. A piece wrapped around my hand. The ends are inside and being squeezed even as we speak.
Inside view. An inside view of the process.
One pan of shaped bagels. Here's one pan of finished bagels. Not bad, eh.
All shaped. All the bagels shaped and on the parchment paper.
Under cover. Under cover and resting for a few minutes.
The float test. The float test. Sort of like dunking a witch, but backwards. If the bagel floats, it's done. Come to think of it, if a witch floated, she was done, too.
What a mess..... The instructions said to pat it dry. Obviously, they didn't mean use paper towels..
Next day, boiling. So I skipped a few steps. Did you really want to see bagels rising in the refrigerator. Here they are after I've boiled a few. That's my trusty wok..
First batch done. Here's the first batch done. The small pot has boiling water. I refill the wok with boiling water from time to time..
Filling the wok. See, I told you. Using boiling water not only fills up the wok, but it cuts the heating time between batches.
Done. Done. I lost 6 to the yoga studio. The light ones are from the first batch, the original Reinhart recipe.
Still done. The bagels. The darker ones are from the modified recipe, the addition being Julia Child's method.
Close up.. A close up of the darker ones.
The crumb. The crumb of a bagel. This is a little too soft for my taste, but they tasted great.
The crumb, another shot. Same bagel, different light.
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