bagel problems...

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by ojosverdes, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. ojosverdes

    ojosverdes

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    Hi there,

    I just tried to make bagels for the first time today. They came out tasting right but were very flat. Any suggestions??
    I have made bread and rolls more times than I can count and am familiar with the general process so, although I am far from a professional I wouldn't exactly say I am an amateur either. What could I have done wrong?

    Thanks to anyone who responds :p
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    It would help if you would post your recipe and method.
     
  3. ojosverdes

    ojosverdes

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    Here is the recipe I followed. I got it from allrecipes.com and it came highly recommended. Like I said before, I have made breads and rolls many, many time and am familiar with the process and what the general texture should be. I used packaged yeast which according to the date was still good. Could it have gone bad though?? Oh, I followed the recipe that did NOT use the bread machine, maybe that was the problem but then I don't know why they would put it was an option if it doesn't work. :D

    Thanks again.

    INGREDIENTS:
    •4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    •3 tablespoons white sugar
    •1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    •1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    •1 2/3 cups warm water
    •2 tablespoons margarine
    •1 tablespoon white sugar
    •2 teaspoons salt
    ________________________________________
    DIRECTIONS:
    1.Mix together the unsifted flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, yeast, water, and butter in the bread machine on the manual setting.
    2.OR, mix 1-1/2 cup flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and yeast. Heat water and butter to 120-130 degrees F. Add water to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on mixer. Add 1/2 cup flour, beat at high speed 2 minutes. Stir in more flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rise. Punch down. Cover; let rest 15 minutes.
    3.Remove from bread machine.
    4.Divide dough into 12 pieces; shape 3 pieces into smooth balls. Poke a 1 inch hole in each. Drop bagels into a large skillet with 1 inch water (simmering) with 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons salt in the water. Cook on medium low heat for 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes; turn again, cook 1 minute more. Drain on towels. Repeat for rest of dough. Place on greased cookie sheet.
    5.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes. Remove from sheets and cool. If desired, before baking, mix 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water, brush on bagels, and sprinkle with sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds.
     
  4. kylew

    kylew

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    Many suspects :)
    My first suspect is the flour. Bagels benefit from very high protein flour, 14% +. My second suspect is the absense of any amount of fermentation, during which the gluten will continue to develop. My third suspect is the absense of any proofing time. I proof my bagels overnight in the fridge. My fourth suspect is the boiling method. I use a deep pot of boiling water, so the bagels float freely, and boil for only 30 seconds per side.
     
  5. ojosverdes

    ojosverdes

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    Wonderful suggestions!! I can't wait to try the recipe again using your tips. Even though I live in Germany and they have wonderful bread over here, every once in a while I crave something that I used to eat back in the States. :lol:
     
  6. zukerig

    zukerig

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    During the past 12 or so years, I have most often used Beth Hensperger's Egg Bagels recipe [Baking Bread : Old & New Traditions (Chronicle Books, 1992); p. 132f.] in which potato water is used fo proof the yeast. Great environment in which fermenting yeast will thrive!

    Reading your own recipe, I would suggest using at least 1 tablespoon of active-dried yeast per 4-5 cups bread flour (yes, high-gluten percentage is needed!). Knead the dough well until it is very smooth & elastic. After the second rise, knead the dough a further 5 minutes. Roll out into rectangle about 30 x 25 x 2.5 cm, cut into strips (each 25 cm long). Shape each strip, then place the rings on baking sheets and cover with tea towel. Let stand 20 minutes in warm (32°C) area.

    As Kyle has indicated astutely, use a large, widemouthed pot for the boiling water. Next, I would suggest adding 30 ml liquid honey per 4 L of water! Lower to simmering and slide in bagels, without crowding. I cook them for 6-7 minutes, turning once, then remove them onto a stack of tea towels and allow them to cool a few minutes.

    Finally, brush the bagels with an egg wash, sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds (or coarse salt) before baking at your usual oven temp.

    Lawrence