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Bagels-Still Seeking Perfection

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YEASTHEAD's picture
YEASTHEAD

Bagels-Still Seeking Perfection

I tried this recipe, after many failed attempts with other recipes, and produced bagels that had the great chewey texture one looks for, but which flattened out after the boiling process. Can anyone give me helpful advice on preventing this problem?

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nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

could you post the formula?

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

Norm, I don't know what you mean about flipping from the picture in your earlier post, but here's the formula:

Sponge:

1lb of first clear flour
16oz of water
1/4 cup of sourdough starter

Let the sponge ferment until it doubles in bulk -- about 8-12 hours.

Add:

18oz of first clear flour
0.10oz of active dry yeast (hydrated in 1oz water)
1/2oz malt syrup
0.65oz salt

Mix using the paddle attachment until well hydrated, then switch to dough hook and knead at low speed for about 10minutes, until the dough is well-blended and the gluten has formed.

Turn the dough out onto a board (no additional flour!) and let it rest, covered, for about 20 min to relax the gluten.

Cut the dough into thick strips, about 2x2x 10" long and use your hand to start rolling at one end to create a long roll about the diameter of your thumb.

Wrap the snake around the knuckles of your hand, breaking the dough at about 1" of overlap and then roll to seal. This should produce about a 3oz bagel.

Arrange the bagels on parchment, cover with food-grade plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450. When it reaches heat, boil 3-4qt of water in a shallow flat pan (I use a large sauteuse) and add either 1T food-grade lye solution or 1T baking soda.

Poach the bagels for less than a minute in the boiling water. The goal here is to (a) gelatinize the starch on the surface, and (b) wake up the yeast. Overboiling does more harm than good.

Drain briefly on a rack and sprinkle on your preferred toppings; bake for 8 min and then turn them, allowing them to bake for another 8-10 minutes until they color up.

Enjoy!

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

flipping--turn them over so the bottom is now on the top  so i am guessing that by turning thats what you did.  new york slang i guess

from what i see whole falling problem is the clear flour

it is great for rye bread but for a bagel it just does not hold up

go to a hi gluten flour or add some gluten to the clear but the hi gluten flour would be the best way to go.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

Actually I didn't. Those are the tops as I baked them. As for falling, I didn't have that problem. Those are some of my better products, in fact.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

I suspect the dough was too slack. Bagels can't be more than 52% or so water to first-clear flour, with about 2% salt, 1% active dry yeast (hydrated), and about 3% malt syrup. The trick is to knead the dough well, then let it rest for 15-20 minutes before you shape the bagels. Next, chill them overnight (I put them on parchment and cover them with plastic, then put them inside my wine cooler, which is about 10 degrees warmer than my fridge). Next day, don't let them warm up, but boil them immediately in water to which you've added either a little baking soda or a very small amount of food-grade lye (available at some Asian grocery stores).  Bake them at 450 for 15 minutes or so, until they color up nicely, then let them cool.

The minute you let the dough get too damp, you're no better than a limp bagel :).

Here are some of mine. Enjoy. First Clear Flour BagelsFirst Clear Flour Bagels

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

now is some one would please post a pictue of some cream cheese and lox so the meal would be complete.  im starving

may i ask did you flip thouse from the picture it looks like you did?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Stan. 

You use first clear flour for bagels? Most recipes recommend "high-gluten" flour. Do you find first clear makes chewy bagels, or are they "bready?" 

They sure look delicious!

David

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

Hi David, and thank you. When I bake Jewish-style, I use first clear whenever I can get it. The extra gluten seems to make the dough very elastic and easier to shape than bread flour, even when it's so stiff. I use it because I believe it's what the bakers of my childhood used, and I've never been disappointed with the results, although I have to say things often taste different in memory than they do in reality. Nonetheless, my friends tell me that these bagels are closer to what they remember than anything the Lenders, Einsteins and their colleagues have on the market.

Probably Norm would be a better person to ask regarding the actual 'tradition,' although I get the impression that he's as big a fan of first-clear in Jewish baking as I am.  Btw, I'm making his onion roll recipe today, and will post the results.

Stan

cheesecake man's picture
cheesecake man

Your bagels look fantastic!  Could someone tell me what is meant by "First Clear"?   Also, what brand and name of flour should I look for in order to get a good quality "first clear" flour?  What is the difference between bread flour and first clear?  I use quite of bit of bread flour. Really want to try some bagels?  Thanks.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

As far as I know, first clear is the first sifting of the flour (patent flour) after the bran is milled off, so it's the starch layer closest to the bran. Chemically, it has much higher gluten than bread flour, say, 14-plus percent vs. 13 to 13.5 in bread flour, and also higher ash content. I've been using King Arthur, since they're the only ones who package it in bags smaller than 50lb.  Good luck with your bagels.

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

actualy it is about the same hi gluten is 14.2 and first clear is betweeen 13.6 and 14.0

the main diference is in the big word quality

with first clear the quality of the gluten is not even close to the quality of the gluten in a hi gluten patent flour.  this could cause all kinds of diferent problems with bagels such as an open grain and falling after boiling.  even if the amount of gluten will be the same it just does not have the extensabilty to hold its self up the way hi-bluten does.  thats why hi gluten is the flour that is used by most bagel bakers.

now saying all that first ckear and hi gluten is not your top shelf item in your local fine fair or ralph's

t read that you use first clear when you can get it it would seem that the first clear is easer to get then hi gluten where you are. so i am wonder where you are getting your flour?

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

see this for an answer on your question about first clear flour

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6194/first-clear-flour

mhjoseph's picture
mhjoseph

Do you have any tricks for making the seeds stick? I've tried everything that I've read about (water spray, eggs, etc.) and nothing is working.

holds99's picture
holds99

Reinhart has a great bagel recipe in BBA.  As I recall the seeds go on immediately after the bagels come out of the boiling water, while they're still tacky from boiling. I think I remember that he suggests a salt/seed mixture but you can do your own thing with seeds, just get them on immediately after their bath.  Anyway, they're great bagels and I would let them boil for 2 minutes per side for a chewier bagel.  I've made them a number of times and they're really terrific...I've tasted N.Y. bagels and these are close, very close.

Howard

StephenJ's picture
StephenJ

Raised on Bronx bagels and those certainly look like the real thing. I have been using KA Bread Flour, 6 cups or so or 12 bagels. Depending on the method I use for shaping they look OK and taste great. I have lots of first clear in the freezer I have been saving for Jewish Corn Rye or Rye but will try it for the bagels. Should I just substitute the bread flour for the first clear on a cup for cup basis?

Thanks

Let us know how the onion rolls turn out. It has been 35 years since I had one.

Stephen

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Elagins@sbcglobal.net

Hi Stephen,

If you're going to substitute, better to do it ounce for ounce than cup for cup, since it's proportions by weight that matter -- not volume. Just keep the dough stiff and the gluten will take care of itself. I'm in the middle of making Norm's onion rolls right now -- they're proofing and will probably go into the oven in 45 min or so. The dough was very very stiff -- no more than 50-55% liquid, including the egg, oil and malt syrup. Yet, after the rise, the dough was gorgeous, silky smooth, extensible and a joy to work with.

So -- long winded answer, but work by weight, not volume.

Stan

StephenJ's picture
StephenJ

I need to preview before I send. In the last post I meant to say do I substitute the first clear for the bread flour cup for cup?

Thanks,

Stephen

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

You might like to check this blog out for pointers re: bagels

http://professorsalt.com/category/bagels/

Interesting final product which apparently involves two different preferments...no final recipe though which is a shame.

 

pebbles's picture
pebbles

After more than a year of experimenting, I got the closest I think that I could get to the NY bagels of my youth. I sent in a pic in the gallery about a year ago with the recipe. (I added slightly more flour)

 It was made with sourdough and All trumps HG Flour. I have since left AK and am now in NC but haven't been able to find All Trumps flour- emails to GM didn't help either. Still searching for a source

 BTW, the bagels were so good, that I used 50 lbs of flour for the bagels in about 7 months- since I live alone and eat only 1/2 a bagel most days- the rest went to friends that just had to have more of them.

 I did use wet burlap on wood slats for the initial bake- plunged the wet bagel in the seeds and put it face down on the slats. Flipped, baked on a stone at 500 for 15 minutes, then 475 till brown.

Nice hard crust, chewy and dense on the inside, tasty plain- just as I remember in the 1960's. I really need to find the fllour-my dried sourdough has been sitting in the freezer for 4 months now!

YEASTHEAD's picture
YEASTHEAD

Thanks to ALL who posted helpful comments! I will take your advice, and let you know how things turn out.

sanalvoice's picture
sanalvoice

Is high gluten flour the same as first clear?
Thanks
Sanal