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?)