Friday, May 22, 2009

Bagels are done!

And they are even better than I had hoped. Everything about them came out perfect. I ended up making 4 salt, 2 sesame seed, 3 plain, and 3 cinnamon sugar. So far I've had one salt and it was amazingly good and chewy.
I started the dough last night and so far for all of my breads for this challenge I have been using General Mills All Trumps flour. I bought a 50 pound bag a few weeks ago for $15 from our local bakery supply store and I am really happy with the results I am getting.
These are chewy and soft at the same time. The crumb is perfect. I will never buy a bagel locally again! There's no point when I can make them this good at home.
Unfortunately I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of the mixing and shaping process because to be honest I am really proud with my results from the shaping. I chose the rope method and they look easily as good as any bagel I've ever seen.
I mixed them on low speed until I achieved a windowpane and to be honest I was a little worried because my dough temp was almost 90 F. But I just went with it. Using the total weight of the ingredients I determined that there was a total of 56 ounces of dough, so I divided each portion into 4.75 ounces. I did a preshape, put my little one to bed, and came back and shaped them, let them sit for about 10 minutes, and they seemed like they had risen a little so I did my float test and they floated immediately. So I covered them up and threw them in the fridge for the night.
I woke up this morning and got straight to work. I got the oven going, got the pot of water on, and pulled the bagels out of the fridge. One of the things there was a little ambiguity about in the book is that he says use one tablespoon of baking soda, but there is no set amount of water. I have seen other recipes where there is a quarter cup for like six quarts, so I ended up just eyeballing a tablespoon or two into the water.
PR says if you want a chewier bagel, to boil them for 2 minutes per side, but I decided to split the difference and the first six boiled 1.5 minutes per side. The second batch, since they were going to the kids, I boiled for 1 minute on each side. I couldn't believe how much they swelled in the boiling water. This was also the only point where I almost lived up to my blog's name. For some reason, one of the bagels was sticking to the parchment and I thought I was going to lose it. I considered balling it up and throwing it against the wall to make sure the other 11 knew their place, but sensing its impending doom, I think it finally decided to cooperate.
I didn't have a lot of toppings, but I recently bought some pretzel salt, so I made four using that, then I topped 2 with sesame seeds, left three plain, and the final three were cinnamon sugar. My oldest daughter loves Panera's cinnamon sugar bagels, so I made a cinnamon sugar, then when the last batch came out of the oven I brushed them with butter, rolled them in the sugar, and returned them to the oven for two minutes. I may end up modifying this method because I do like the crunch Panera's get. I'm thinking I'll do this step at the rotation and it should make a nice cinnamon sugar crust.
Because I had two pans, I started one while I was boiling the other and just kept the oven at 500 F during baking. This method worked out great, and as you can see, with 10 minutes total baking time they came out perfect.
The crumb was amazing, the salt was a little heavy even for me, but overall these are the best bagels I have had in a long time. I can't wait to make them again.
So unfortunately I won't be able to bake for a few days becasue the family is going to Kansas City for a long weekend, but I get to eat a lot of BBQ, fried chicken (best in the country according to Jan and Michael Stern), and of course I'm taking a trip to Wheatfield's bakery in Lawrence, KS. So it won't be completely bread free weekend, just baking free. Maybe I can talk them into letting me help at the bakery.


  1. I just love reading your posts. Your bagels look great. I'm sure you will be making them again.
    On to #4 eh? Me too.
    Great job and I just paid $10 for 10 lbs. Gotta find a better place.

  2. Way to show those bagels who's boss Dave...LOL

    Great job!

  3. Yeah, to quote Ceasar Milan, be assertive and become the leader of the pack! That will teach those beagles, I mean bagels, their place.

  4. :) They turned out wonderfully!!

  5. Beautiful job! They look professional and oh so tasty. I loved this recipe, it turned out better than I thought.

    Happy bakin'!

  6. I worry some times when I think the bread or a bagel is better than the real deal but then I have to smile and think yes you really are that good.
    Great bagels Dave. Great write up too!

  7. I love how nice your rope bagels turned out. I have seen others that didn't turn out quite as fancy!

  8. Thank you all for all the compliments! I can't wait to bake these again.

  9. Nice job! The inside of the bagels looked perfectly soft and chewy. Congrats!