The Fresh Loaf

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My first Bagels

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

My first Bagels

I've had bagels on my mind for quite some time now, and since i never tasted one before, i decided to create  some at home. I've searched TFL for other members' posts on the subject, and many were extremely useful and pointed me in the right direction. I've decided to try Hamelman's version, but without the malt extract, which i substituted with a Tbl. of brown sugar and a Tbl of Baking soda. I know that this wasn't authentic, but i had lye, nor malt extract. The stiff dough was kneaded in my mixer, and was retarded in bulk for 9 hours, as opposed to Hamelman's retarded shaped bagels. I also realized the importance of Mise en place for making bagels, and decided to prepare baking trays, toppings, and boiling water. Oh, and chilled water to cool things down as suggested by Hamelman.

Poached, chilled ,and garnished bagels waiting to be baked

My first impression when i sliced a still warm bagel, and had the first bite: wow those are crunchy! the unique aroma of the baked bagels were slowly permeating the house.They had an unmistakable fragrance hard to describe, but i think that the toasted sesame seeds played some part in the overall aroma.

As they cooled the aroma was more pronounced, and was very sweet. As expected, the bagels quickly became chewy two hours from the oven. I had my first slices with butter and another with feta cheese infused with olive oil, and i enjoyed them both while crunchy. I've toasted a slice, and it retained its crunchiness almost immediately.  I have frozen the remaining bagels, and have yet to thaw some for later assessment. My intial assessment is: really aromatic white bread with a lovely chew.

Aside from cream cheese and smoked fish, what do you guys think is the best way to enjoy bagels?

Thanks in advance!

-Khalid

 

Comments

mini_maggie's picture
mini_maggie

Very nice!  There's no wrong way to enjoy a good bagel :-)

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, mini maggie! 

-Khalid

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

some who toast, butter and jam the halves and then pile on a nice omelet.  Turkey bacon or turkey sausage before the omelet is nice for those that don't eat pork.   A great brunch sandwich!

Sounds like you got the essence of bagels on the first shot well done.  Don't forget the whole grain ones - my favorites :-)

Haqppy baking Khalid  

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I tried the omlet, on a toasted slice and it was delicious. Thanks for the  turkey sausage suggestion.

Edit/ yeah, i'm eyeing peter reinhart's whole wheat bagels. Thanks 

-Khalid

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I make the 100% sourdough bagels from Wild Yeast blog. I recently added lye to my kitchen and it makes a big difference in the finished bagels. You made lovely ones on your first go round !!  we toast them and then butter and douse throughly with local honey...a yummy sticky mess :) c

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Oh i would only imagine how decadent they must be! SD toasted with butter and honey!! i have potassium hydroxide, I'll try to use that nest time. 

Thanks, Caroline

-Khalid

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Those look great, Khalid.  Nicely done!

Cream cheese is definitely topping #1.  I also really enjoy sesame bagels w/ hummus and cucumber slices.  Or just sliced and toasted with butter.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Oh so many suggestions! Thanks, Floyd. Hummous is widely available here, i'll try that too.

-Khalid

golgi70's picture
golgi70

That you get to experience a bagel for the first time.  I envy you.  For me a bagels number one counterpart is butter.  Back home (New York) they like em with a ridiculous amount of cream cheese.  I don't much care for cream cheese and have always been looked like I have 3 eyes because of this.  Open faced with really good tuna salad.  Or toasted open faced with nut butter and jam.  If you bake again i highly suggest retarding them in form which is the classic way we make them in New York and I think adds to the crust.  Also try making what we call "everything bagels".  This is just a mixture of sesame, poppy, onion, garlic, and kosher salt as the seed mixture.  And don't forget to give bialys a try.  The long lost cousin of the bagel.  

Nice baking 

Josh

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great suggestions, Josh! Tuna salad is an interesting idea. 

Yeah, i'll retard them shaped next time.

Many thanks!

-Khalid

isand66's picture
isand66

Those look great Khalid.  For never having made or eaten a bagel you did a great job.  I have eaten bagels as sandwiches for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I just made some English muffins today and now I wish I had made bagels!

Enjoy them.

Regards,
Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

A bagel sandwish is something i have not tried yet. English muffins are a new territory for me too. 

-Khalid

proth5's picture
proth5

Nice

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you, Pat!

-Khalid

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Khalid,

For your first bake with this type of bread I am very impressed.  They look great!

As many have said the favorite in our home is a hot toasted bagel with melted butter.  When my children were little they ate cinnamon raisin bagels every morning - heated up and dipped into melted butter.  

Thanks for the post.

Take Care,

Janet

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you Janet! i was organised thats all, and the dough was fun to work with.

Cinnamon raisin Wholegrain bagels, or white ones? Either way, this sounds really mouthwatering. 

-Khalid

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Whole grain :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you were disadvantaged by never having tasted one, it doesn't show. And, from your description, it sounds like you hit the mark.

This is like blindfolded archery, and you hit the bullseye. 

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, David!

i consider myself fortunate to have such a guiding site members, and a some great books. Like i said, it takes some organising; something i learned from pastry classes i think. 

 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Nice job there Khalid that's something i have yet to try, but i think it will be sooner rather than later as one of the chefs is keen to try them and i have been getting the info together for him, so perhaps we will collaborate.  

regards Derek

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Go for them, Derek, and don't forget to share the results with us.

-Khalid

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Sure they are. The key to bagels is the boiling in plain and/or sweet and/or alkaline water. Substitutions have ever been the way. Bagels were developed in northern Europe, so the abundant barley malt was the preferred sweetener. Being a Texian, I tend to prefer molasses, which is what you used. (Brown sugar is cane sugar plus molasses.)

I confess if I could have either malt/molasses or lye, I'd pick lye for its effect on the crust. Instead of the 3-4% solution in which you'd dip pretzels for a few seconds, bagels are boiled for much longer, a 0.5% lye solution works for me. Of course, I'd rather have both, and am learning to appreciate the nuances of barley malt.

I am impressed with your first time shaping skills. Those are very attractive bagels.

//edit: How to eat a bagel? Take a bite out of a warm bagel and chew slowly, savoring the complex flavors. Now spread a thick slab of cold unsalted butter (not that god-forsaken margarine stuff) on an exposed end. Bite, chew, re-butter and repeat. For a cold bagel, either do the same as with a warm bagel or wrap in foil and heat in the oven until warm, then repeat bite, chew, butter until gone.

I am  not a fan of covering up either the bagel or its flavor. The bagel should accompany complementary foods, thus scrambled eggs and lox (or bacon; an advantage to being neither an observant Jew nor Muslim) with a bagel and cold butter.

cheers,

gary

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Gary!

for a wholegrain, sourdough lover, i was struck at furst be the lack of complexity in those yeasted bagels, but as i munched on, i came to appreciate the nuances of a bagel's flavor.  cold butter is definitely something i have yet to try.

Great suggestions, thanks!

-Khalid

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

They look very delicious, especially with all suggestions what to eat them with.  I think I will have to start my first bagel bake too.

Thanks for sharing your bake.

Cheers,

Annie

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you, Annie! 

-Khalid

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

Great looking bagels, Khalid!  I'd love a poppy seed one right about now :)

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, flourchild! Poppy seed bagels must taste lovely.

-Khalid

varda's picture
varda

Bravo Khalid.   You could always try an egg and cheese toasted sandwich.   Simple and delicious.   -Varda

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Yep, egg and cheese for a sandwish. Thanks a lot Varda!

-Khalid

lumos's picture
lumos

Welcome to the world of bagel-lovers! :D  Yours look great, especially so if it's the first attempt.  The only thing I'd say, if I may, is crumb of bagel is usually dense and not very airy which gives it quite unique chewy texture, different from other types of bread. You may want to reduce the time to proof next time, as boiling before baking would naturally stimulate the yeast activity. You'd need to take that into account.

Other choices for toppings.... For regular weekday breakfast, I usually just toast it and spread it with butter and some jams.  Soft scrambled egg is really nice, too, with or without smoked salmon.  Also, it makes wonderful sandwiches. My favourite fillings are; cold chicken/salami/smoked salmon (of course!) with cucumber and lettuce.

Look forward to witnessing you getting sucked  into the lair of infinite bagel obsession! :p

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Sorry if i've missed your comment, Lumos. 

Well, my wife loved them, and i liked them. It takes some effort to re-acquaint  oneself with non sourdough white breads, but this bread can be addictive and i can totally understand that now. I'm on a discovery and learning journey these days, and i don't often obsess over any type of bread. Is it a curse? Mm maybe, but i'm enjoying it :)

Thanks for the nice comment, Lumos!

-Khalid

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Khalid,
This is a late reply to your post but I wanted to tell you how beautiful these bagels are!
It would seem you've been making these for years - congratulations on a stellar first attempt!
:^) breadsong

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Breadsong! It may have been a fluke, but i learned alot from it.

-Khalid

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Khalid,
Your have excellent baking skills, as demonstrated by your wonderful breads, and the really beautiful sweets you've been sharing from your pastry and dessert training.
I don't think your bagels were a fluke, at all.
:^) breadsong