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These Bagels Baffle Me! Help!

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RebelBakingCompany's picture
RebelBakingCompany

These Bagels Baffle Me! Help!

Using Hamelman's bagel recipe and technique...I'm coming up with something entirely NOT Hamelman's!

I can't understand how to post photos on this website...but I'll use my best description:

After resting in the fridge from 11pm until 12pm, they went right into the boiling malt water.

I did bite the $10 bullet and buy malt syrup instead of brown sugar.

They floated nicely and puffed.

I moved the oven racks up because they had been browning quickly on the bottom. Now I had one WAY at the top and one in the middle...but this was the only way the racks would go up higher. I decided this time, not to flip the bagels (initially).

At 500 degrees, after 8 minutes, the middle rack was DARK brown on the bottom and PALE on top. The top rack was PALE on top and only lightly brown on the bottom. Scared...I flipped them and rotated the racks.

They came out tasting very good with great texture and great shine. But still PALE as anything and the one rack having way-too-dark bottoms.

Is 500 degress just way too high for me?

I tired to use a stone (old borrowed one) but it smoked terribly and I had to take it out.

I also let a cast iron pre-heat with the oven, planning to toss in some ice cubes for steam. However, the only way to fit it AND the pans was to put the cast iron on the bottom of the stove VERY close to the heating element (electric stove) which scared me. I was also told that ice cubes in a hot caste irone would crack it. Advice?

The bagels lost their hole completely and looked more like big softballs. Very high dome with little to no color (except the bottom).

I had shaped them before refrigerating. At that long of an overnight ferment, you'd think they'd be more than rested, no?

Help! Why can't I get this right? (and how do I get the pictures up here?)

thanks!

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

After resting in the fridge from 11pm until 12pm, they went right into the boiling malt water.

Do you mean 11 pm to noon the next day, or from 11 pm to 12 pm, which is one hour?

BTW, you don't need to steam your oven for bagels.   I boil mine, then into the ice bath they go (per the directions in Hamelman's recipe), then immediately on to the parchment and into the oven.   They're wet when they go into the oven so steam is not necessary.   I use a stone on the middle rack and bake six at a time.  The other pan of bagels stays in the refrigerator till the first set are finished baking and are on the cooling rack.

Do you have an oven thermometer (or two) so you're sure your oven temp is at 500F throughout the oven and not higher (or lower) in one spot?    If your bagels are losing the center hole, that's related to shaping.  Here's the link to Ciril Hitz on shaping:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwl2Ix939D0    

Next time you make them, don't use two racks.    Bake half a dozen at a time on one rack.   I think you'll have better results once you find the sweet spot in  your oven.

RebelBakingCompany's picture
RebelBakingCompany

I did a bulk ferment for an hour...then into the fridge they went from 11pm on Friday to 12pm on Saturday.

So, SO glad to hear about the steam...yes, I see it may be redundant. The ice cubes and pans and...it was making me nervous.

I'm trying to learn how to really churn these out...and I think six at a time may really slow me down (however, its quality that matters). Still with that middle rack, the bottoms were DARK with PALE tops after just about 7 minutes, I was bummed....

I'll look into the oven thermometer and the shaping guide, thank you!!

RebelBakingCompany's picture
RebelBakingCompany

Just watched the video...

I do the thumb-press-through to make the hole...he rolls...and his bagel holes are FAR bigger than mine...I'll try that!

I'm always amazed at how different the suggested boil times are....he says 10 seconds...some say, two minutes....aye!

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

is the only way that I've found that leaves the hole open. True, they look really like there is way too much hole vs dough when you first shape them but once they go through the resting, hot water and the hot oven they remain nice and open and the right size 

(most of them anyway, always have one or two that get "out of round and a sort of triangle shaped hole" but even then they are not closed up)

Some advise to stick with one recipe until you are satisfied with the results and I've been happy with that if I like the early attempts and can build on the experience. If the first try or two aren't turning out the way I want though , I tend to abandon the process and try a different recipe or at least a different procedure.

Keep at it and before you know it you will not even remember the days of too brown or too pale bagels!

RebelBakingCompany's picture
RebelBakingCompany

I'm going to give it a shot with this recipe....

I have never liked the rolling idea. Largely because my dough is SO dense that the idea of rolling it seems almost unmanageable.

The dough in this video looked *very* light, as compared to the Hamelman bagel. But what the hay? We'll see if it works! I can tell you that my thumb holes are not NEARLY as large as the rolled holes....

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I'm always amazed at how different the suggested boil times are....he says 10 seconds...some say, two minutes....aye!

Chef Hitz was working with whole wheat, multi grain dough.  That could be the reason for the shorter boiling time.    Chef Hamelman's recipe uses high-gluten flour and suggests boiling for about 45 seconds.

I've found the log technique superior to the poke-a-hole-in-the-dough style.  But that's just my personal preference.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I bake mine on parchment paper atop my stone and I start mine at 500 but I turn the oven down to 450 after about 5 minutes and continue baking for another 5 - 6 minutes or until they've browned.  After the first five minutes I also turn the baking sheet,

I'd take that hunk of steel out of the oven on the next go-round and I agree that you might benefit from checking your oven temperature and how stable it is from top to bottom.

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE
RebelBakingCompany's picture
RebelBakingCompany

Sigh...it still won't let me post the pictures. Maybe they are too big? I also tried uploading them to Facebook so I could use the URL, that also didn't work.

Anyway, I'm going to try the 500 degrees to 450 approach....

It is NOT a big oven, so to see this dramatic of a bake between a few inches on two racks...is bothersome. I'll have to find one of those oven thermometers....

Today, to my shock, I actually found some Vital Wheat Gluten in the store. I think I recall a debate between using Bread flour OR Bread flour plus some Gluten to concoct Hamelman's bagel....how much of this VWG do I add for the 7.5 cups of bread flour?? Is there a standard ratio?

Oh, and what's the deal with this malt syrup? This was supposed to be the promise land for a shiny DARK exterior color. Nope...pale. Shiny, but pale.

 

 

Thanks!

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

On Monday when we were ready to make the ITJB bagels I realized I was out of high gluten flour. I found a Vital Wheat Gluten to flour recommended ratio online but whether it is correct I don't know. It worked for me anyway. They said for bread flour you add 1-1 1/2 teaspoons for each cup of flour and for AP you add 2 teaspoons.

Another thing that really made a difference for me was to shape the dough into a log, let it relax, then slice in half lengthwise and then into however many pieces, then each piece into a roll about ten inches long. No flour on the countertop, if the roll resists I just set it aside and work on another one. Why one piece of dough would have relaxed and the other wouldn't, I haven't the foggiest notion! I spritz a little water on a spot on the counter and slide the roll gently through that area before rolling and sometimes during rolling.

The Montreal bagels are boiled/dipped into a honey water rather than the malt syrup. I couldn't tell the difference from when I have used the barley malt syrup. I usually bake them on parchment paper on the baking stone but completely forgot about the stone until the oven was already preheated. But they baked up just fine on the parchment paper atop a cookie sheet. I did bake them one sheet at a time though, even with cookies I have problems with browning when I try to do two at once.

Hope this helps,

Barbra