Bagels

1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I made bagels fo the first time today. I was suprised at how easy they are. The boiling step had always sort of put me off. It seems there are 2 schools of thought on boiling; boil and don't boil. Boilling seems to give them the nice chewy texture I associate with good bagels. If don't boil them and just use steam in the oven, they are more cake like.

There are also several shaping methods; the rope method and the thumb through the middle of a ball method. I used the latter and it was very easy to get the desired shape.

Who has favorite methods, tricks and tweaks when it comes to bagel making?
 
386
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Joined May 11, 2001
I've only tried the rope method and that didn't work too well for me. It needs to much coordination or something.

Did you use high gluten flour? I haven't got around to buying some, so I just use KA bread flour with some vital gluten (for making seitan). I have read somewhere that there is no substitute for high gluten flour, but I this turned out quite well.

Did you use malt syrup? I've tried bagels using honey, brown sugar and malt syrup. The malt syrup definitely produced the most authentic Montreal-style bagel.
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
I love to make 'em as much as eaten 'em!

I use my food processor to make the dough,
malt syrup in the dough and water for boiling.
top them with herbs d' provance or rosemary and sea salt, sesame, poppy, onion.....you name it.

Because the bagels don't go far, ie. long proofing, i find bread flour and even ap or h&r flour is fine.

this week i added flax meal to the dough for better health! and onions. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

ALWAYS BOIL

i let the dough rest after processing then form a log, cut the size pieces of dough roll them into a ball, then press the thumb through the middle. makes the cutest bagel. i like to swing the dough around my finger like a hula hoop to stretch it, like tossing a pizza.........careful not too big, just enough to look like a bagel.

as far as resting and proofing, you don't seem to need much!
My first fav recipe was from bernard claytons book of small breads and other fav is from the bakers.

great fun and satisfaction to make and bake.

lllllllooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeee them.:bounce:
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I rested the finished dough for about 20 mins before I did the thumb thing. Then I rested them another 20 minutes and put them in the fridge overnight. What I love about this is that they go right from the fridge into the boiling water. You can have hot, fresh bagels the next morning in as little time as it takes your oven to heat and the water to boil. Speaking of boiling water, I read that adding malt syrup to the water gives the bagels a nice shine. Is this true? The recip[e in The Bread BAker's Apprentice called for baking soda in the water.
 
1,839
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Joined May 29, 1999
I put a teaspoon of barly malt syrup into the water and it gives a professional shine to the little darlings and faboo crust! great idea putting them in the frige over nite. mmmmmmmmmmmorning bagels.
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
All you knead is a timer that will turn you oven and stove on 1/2 hour before you get up!
 
2,550
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Aren't homemade bagels the greatest...water bagels, that is!

I seem to be more adept with the rope method than the fling around your finger method...

Malt syrup is a must in the water. :lips:
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
Must be a typo. Everyone knows there is only one place on earth to get real bagels :)
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
While in Montreal Kyle you have to stop at Fairmount Bagels.
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I look forward to being humbled :)

What about boiling time? I've heard everything from 20 seconds to 4 minutes.
 
2,550
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Izzy Cohen says 20 seconds. I wouldn't dare do more!

Boy you made me feel so hungry today...

And I look forward to humbling you, KyleW!! :D
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Careful, Kyle! No jingoism, please. Let's just say that both Montreal and NY bagels have their own particular virtues.

But to our Northern neighbors: have yours suffered the "inflation" that ours have? NY bagels used to be dense, chewy, shiny, smallish -- now even the best of them are kinda big and soft and puffy. NOT the bagels of my youth anymore. Has that happened to you, too? Sigh, I hope not.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
Montreal has some excellent Jewish delis, as I recall.

In my experience, if you over-boil the bagels (more than 30 sec.), they end up kinda soggy, even after baking. The crust just doesn't really support the insides very well.

I use the thumb in the middle method, and malt syrup in the water too.
 
2,550
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Yeah Suzane, the "puffy" version appeared here too but only in grocery stores and non-deli type shops. :eek:
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I have taken my second run at bagels in as many days. Izzy's from Breads from La Brea. They are very similar to Reinhart's. Rather than a sponge, they use refreshed starter. Izzy uses malt syrup in the water, while Reinhart uses baking soda. Izzy boils his bagels for 20 seconds, Reinhart for a minute. They are pretty close. Izzy may have a slight edge in flavor, but the are similarly chewy. Reinhart's may have a slight edge in the shine department. 2 questions: How can I get better shine and How can I get the toppings to stick better?
 
846
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
Not long ago, I got on a mission to make better bagels. I've used a recipe from Bernard Clayton's Book of Breads and one from Baking with Julia. The BWJ definitely wins, as the bagels came out looking the most like the bagels I remember from Brooklyn, NY.

* They were shiny
* They were sufficiently browned on the outside
* They were chewy

The huge wagon-wheel sized bagel is actually not the real New York bagel - but with the mentality that more for your money is better than less, like everything else related to portions, they grew over the years. Mine were made smaller so I wasn't consuming a million calories before actually putting any spreads on!

The boiling stage makes a real bagel. There are differing opinions as to how long they should be boiled. Some say as long as a few minutes, others, just a few-second dip.

My dad used to make bagel pizzas out of plain bagels he got from the bagel shop. He'd ask for the ones with no hole, actually considered a mistake in the bagel-baking world. A bagel store is the only place to get a real bagel - unless your local deli buys them from a bagel store and re-sells them. It's just too specialized a baking method to be done with regular ovens.
 
1,635
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I agree and disagree. I agree with you observations on size. We seems to thinlt that bigger is always better. I find that most VW Bug sized bagels have no flavor at all. The same is true scones. Yet the look good sitting in the display.

I disagree that great bagels can't be made at home. I think the secret lies in the contents of the boiling water and how long the bagels boil, rather than the oven. I came pretty close and it was my first shot. I also have an oven that barely qualifies as a home oven :)
 
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