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Bagel Recipes & Tips


mamster
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I'm still baking my way through The Bread Baker's Apprentice and thought I would get in touch with my roots and make bagels. It was easy and fun, and the results were pretty good: nice-looking bagels with a hole (I hate it when you get commercial bagels where the hole has swelled shut), and the texture is perfect. It was refreshing to work with a stiff dough after doing a bunch of rustic breads made from dough soup.

The only problem with these bagels is the flavor: I didn't get enough. I can think of a couple of ideas:

1. Retard longer. These went nine hours in the fridge. Reinhard says they can ferment up to three days, I think, so I could let them sit another day. I have no idea whether this would make a difference.

2. Am I using the right kind of malt powder? I went down to a homebrewing shop and got a bag of maltodextrin. The guy there assured me that this is the same as diastatic barley malt powder. Is this true? Would malt syrup taste better?

3. Bake longer for deeper browning. It seems like much of the flavor of a bagel comes from the crumb, though, and my crumb has no flavor.

4. Add cinnamon and raisins. This is cheating.

Any tips would be appreciated. My bagels are already better than the steamed bagels from Noah's, but I'd like to press onward toward a bagel that I could carry to a meeting and slyly drop that I made them, and make everyone say, "Wow, that guy is a geek, but a talented geek."

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Mamster -- I am an expert on eating, not baking bagels. Or at least I like to think so. It's one of those things I'll get around to. Have you checked out the Baking Circle from King Arthur Flour (I figure I mention egullet there so I can mention them here)? There have been long discussions there in the past about diastatic malt vs. non-diastatic vs. syrup and lots of other stuff.

Here's the link. You will probably have to register but you can do a search and get lots of information.

Hope that helps.

Jody

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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To make plain bagels more flavorful, I'd use sourdough starter or retard them longer, but what I usually do is (if I'm just recycling bread dough I already have) use a topping. If making them from scratch, I use whole grain flour for flavor. I make a mean pumpernickel bagel using rye flour, dark buckwheat flour, and gluten flour (lots of seeds, sourdough if I have it). It's as dark as my cat, and a lot easier to get along with.

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wow, bring me back to my roots, this is how I got on the road to being a pastry chef.

First off-post the recipe

How much salt to flour?

I use some sea salt in the bagels I bake now, it gives them a more complex flavor

Remember bagels by nature are kind of bland (its the toppings and fillings that stand out) it was originally a vessel for other foods.

In the "poaching liquid" I have always used malt syrup , it seems to work fine.

Bagels are very versatile so play with the dough- mash some blueberries and make bluberry bagels, I use real egg yolks in my egg bagels.....

I can talk on this topic forever

My favorite is a Bialy

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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The bagels I made were plain, so it's possible I have a romanticized conception of what consitutes a flavorful bagel and mine were fine.

I didn't put any flavoring in the poaching water, just baking soda. I assume this is an area of much controversy. Sesame is my favorite bagel, so I'll put some seeds on next time, but I'm also quite fond of a good sourdough bagel like they sell at H&H on a good day, and this gives me a good excuse to play around with wild yeast.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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The waters role really is that much for flavor as it is for color. If there is baking soda in the water you are actually making a pretzel, not a bagel

Here is my recipe that I have used for years, try it:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Bagels

Recipe By :

Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories : Breads

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

6 1/2 pounds Hi-gluten Flour

3 pounds water

3 1/4 ounces sugar

2 ounces salt

1/2 ounce malt

1/2 ounce yeast

Mix for 12 mins. on medium speed, cover and proof for 1 1/2-2 hrs.

"malt float"- 2 gals. water + 5.5 oz. Malt

Bake @ 425 f - hollow sound.

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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  • 4 weeks later...

Now that I have a working sourdough starter thanks to jackal10, I'd like to make sourdough bagels. Any tips on what percentage starter to use? I intend to use commercial yeast as well; I just want the flavor of the starter. I'm using a 100% hydrated starter. Obviously I'll play around with it, but I have no idea where to start, even.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Now that I have a working sourdough starter thanks to jackal10, I'd like to make sourdough bagels.  Any tips on what percentage starter to use?  I intend to use commercial yeast as well;  I just want the flavor of the starter.  I'm using a 100% hydrated starter.  Obviously I'll play around with it, but I have no idea where to start, even.

I've been making bagels from the same recipe your using (bread bakers apprentice) but using a sourdough starter. There is a grace note on page 115 that says to use 35oz of starter in place of the sponge. I usualy need a little more flour in the final dough since my starter is kind of soupy but the bagels come out really well that way. Using the starter also means the bagels take one day to make instead of two.

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Excellent, melkor, thanks. I winged it last night using less starter than that (because I didn't have enough on hand) and they came out okay but not sour enough. I'll give it another whirl this week.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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  • 2 weeks later...
I didn't put any flavoring in the poaching water, just baking soda.  I assume this is an area of much controversy.

I have to interject here since bagels are another inspiring topic. I have to agree, If you are using baking soda, your following a method for giving pretzels their shine and particular taste. I won't go so far to say it's wrong but typically the poaching liquid for bagels is with an invert sugar such as malt syrup/ powder, honey, even plain white sugar. I have a conflict of my own, I have yet to make a really good bagel at home. It's come down to the texture, which is usually too bready. Bagels are the only breadstuff I know of where dense, chewy almost to the point that you could wad the interior up like soft clay, a similiarity of the"Wonderbread" family. There are like 3 recipes at king Arthur for bagels, they all use A-P flour but I believe you really need a hi-gluten flour to give acheive the chewiness? Any good recipes? :unsure:

Edited by jeffG (log)
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The one I'm using from Bread Baker's Apprentice calls for high-gluten flour (I've been using bread flour, but an acquaintance who works at a bagel shop said she's going to track down some Hi-G for me). Here's the formula; you sponge two hours, mix, and retard overnight.

Sponge:

Instant 0.31

Hi-G 51.4

H2O 57.1

Dough:

Instant 0.16

Hi-G 48.6

Salt 2

Malt powder 0.94

Form 4.5 oz bagels.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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  • 1 year later...

Well, slowly I'm making some progress with my sourdough bread. Now I'd like to try my hand at bagels. I guess they're broiled, boiled and baked (whew!). Anyone have a favorite recipe and tips on what to do and NOT do?

Thanks,

Sidecar Ron

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I have long been unhappy with any bagels that are sold locally. They're sort of the balloon bread version, too big, too soft, and not chewy outside.

I recently made my first batch using the recipe given in Cook's Illustrated Magazine of October 1997.

Not having any high gluten flour available, I added a couple of tablespoons of wheat gluten to the mix to strengthen it. It worked because the texture turned out pretty good.

Since I love onion bagels, that is what I made. Next time I will add a little of the dried onion to the dough itself rather than just the outside.

Would probably add a bit more water to the dough. Even though I like them chewy these could have been a bit less so.

The resting time given after removing from the fridge should be a bit longer, in my opinion. The last ones were better then the first ones that I boiled.

I hope to make another batch next week so will see what happens.

Hope this is some help to you.

Edited for spelling.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
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Like lancastermike, I've had good success with the Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice recipe, as well as the recipe in Baking Illustrated (from the Cook's Illustrated people). Boiling really is the key - longer boil = chewier bagel. Per Reinhart's suggestion, last time I made them (see here for pics), I added baking soda to the water

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I couldn't remember why I rejected the BWJ recipe so I checked my book.

To quote from the book: "These are chubby bagels---boiled, then baked,--- with an open cakey sponge: they are not heavy, stretchy, or chewy."

I didn't want a cakey bagel but a chewy bagel like I used to get before every commercial baker jumped on the bagel wagon, hence the Cook's Illustrated version was the one that I chose to make since it seemed to be the one to achieve what I want in a bagel.

Guess the choice of recipe depends on which type of bagel you want.

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Barbara, I'm with you! Our preference is a good chewy bagel - not those soft "bread-company" ones. Does your post suggest that boiling leads to those soft imitation ones?

Sidecar Ron

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The BWJ recipe calls for sugar and fat which I think makes for the lighter texture. I think the boiling is essential to get the right texture and the shininess of the crust..

Will be starting a new batch soon and will keep you posted as I go along.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
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