The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bagels

yy's picture
yy

I had a bunch of fresh blueberries in the fridge and a bag of KA Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour that had been sitting in the pantry for too long, so naturally, I decided to try making blueberry bagels. There were a few considerations beforehand:

-would the blueberry flavor be concentrated enough from just fresh blueberries?

-would I be able to knead whole berries into the dough, or would I have to find some other method of incorporation?

-how should I adapt my usual go-to bagel formula?

On the first point, I decided I would go ahead with the experiment and find out by tasting the product. Regarding the second point, in all my online research, I'd never seen a blueberry bagel with fresh whole berries kneaded in (they would probably explode and leave a mess), which led me to the decision that I would cook the berries down into a sauce, puree the sauce, and strain it to yield a smooth liquid, which I would use to replace part of the liquid in the formula. Below on the left is the blueberry sauce after cooking. On the right is the strained blueberry puree diluted with water (how much water? see below).

Finally, to my third initial question: how to adapt the formula to account for solid matter in the blueberry puree? First, I decided to use SAF Gold label osmotolerant yeast instead of regular instant yeast in case the amount of sugar in the puree was too high.

I use Peter Reinhart's bagel formula in the bread baker's apprentice, which is about 57% hydration. Not knowing what percentage of the blueberry puree was water, I wasn't sure how to adjust the amount of liquid, so I played it by ear. I just estimated that there would have to be 2 extra ounces of water than the formula calls for to compensate for the blueberry. I planned to adjust the flour later, if necessary, depending on how the dough felt.

All the liquid in the BBA formula is incorporated in the sponge step, which yielded a lovely, lumpy, purple batter:

The sponge was allowed to ferment until doubled in bulk, which took about 4 hours.

Once the other ingredients were incorporated, it seemed like the dough wasn't stiff enough, so I ended up adding another 2 ounces of high gluten flour. In my bagel experiences in the past, too slack a dough caused the bagels to become floppy in the boiling step. This brought the calculated hydration level to about 59%, but given how the dough felt, it was probably slightly lower. Here is what the dough looked like:

This brought the calculated hydration level to about 59%, but given how the dough felt, it was probably slightly lower. The final recipe was as follows (adapted from p.119 of Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice)

Sponge:

1 tsp instant yeast

18 oz unbleached high gluten flour

22 oz total of blueberry puree and water (use all the puree and add enough water to bring it up to the total)

Dough:

1/2 tsp osmotolerant yeast

19 oz unbleached high gluten flour

0.7 oz salt

1 Tbsp barley malt syrup

Immediately after kneading to the windowpane stage, as Mr. Reinhart instructs, I divided the dough into 4 oz pieces and shaped them into rounds. The rounds were allowed to rest for 10 minutes. Afterward, I rolled each one out into a flat somewhat rectangular sheet and rolled them up tightly into logs. 

After another ten minutes of resting under damp paper towels (the dough dried up on the surface very quickly without them), I extended the logs into long snakes, looped them around my fingers, and rolled the overlapping ends to seal the bagel into the "O" shape. I found that for the best result, the overlapping area should span at least the width of your four fingers. I had to supplement this rolling method with some pinching to seal the ends securely.

Then came an overnight retardation in the fridge. In the morning, the bagels had puffed up slightly, but not dramatically:

I preheated the oven to 450 instead of 500 as instructed in the book to account for the extra sugar content in the dough. Next I prepared a boiling solution consisting of:

8 cups of water

2 Tbsp baking soda

1 Tbsp barley malt syrup

Once the solution came up to a gentle boil (more than a simmer but less than a rolling, witches' brew boil) I popped the bagels in for 2 minutes per side. I should have expected this, but I was surprised to find that some chemical reaction between the baking soda solution and the blueberries caused the purple bagels to turn almost black! Below you can see the contrast between the boiled bagels and the unboiled ones. I was hoping that the baking soda was indeed the reason behind the color change, and that the inside would stay pleasantly purple.

After baking for about 15 minutes, with a couple rotations of the sheet pans for evenness of browning, they came out dark greyish purplish brownish black (maybe there's a name for this shade in the Sherwin-Williams catalogue?). When I sliced them open, I was relieved to find that the lovely purple color had not disappeared entirely. The crusts actually provided a nice contrast to the interior color.

Back to the first initial question: was there enough blueberry flavor? I wouldn't say the flavor was overtly of blueberry. The dough had a gentle sweetness and a definite blueberry fragrance, but the sensation of the fruit was mostly olfactory. After savoring a bite for a little bit, the blueberry begins to come through. The floral nature of the fruit complements the malt flavor of the bagel nicely. They're delicious with some fruity cream cheese. The crust color was at first discouraging, but now I kind of like the idea of slicing one open to find a bright surprise on the inside.

bencheng's picture

Blisters on bagels

March 4, 2011 - 7:36pm -- bencheng

I've been making bages using form Ciril Hitz's book formula. After I shaped the bagels I kept them in the refriggerator for about 15 - 20 hours depends on the day.

For some reason all the bagels have tiny blisters on the crust. I've done some research and people said that's because of extended fermentation, but I think the texture and density were about right and I don't believe they were kept in the fridge for too long.

Some said that this is common for hand rolled bagels, but if you have any ideas that I can make smooth crust bagels I'd love to know.

Thanks

strick's picture

My First Shot at Bagels

January 26, 2011 - 9:25am -- strick
Forums: 

This is my first post on Fresh Loaf, but I have been reading posts for months now. This is my first try at Bagels and I consider it about 50% success. They look better than they taste. Not to say they taste bad, just not "bagelly".They actually taste a whole lot like my soft pretzels...sorta. They are 100% bread flour which I was not too happy to do, but I usually follow recipes very closely the first time around and then modify. I like whole wheat bagels the best so that is coming next.

em120392's picture
em120392

Hey guys! I just wanted to thank you again for your encouraging comments on my bread-baking-project for school. I appreciate your thoughts very much! =]

I made bagels the other day, and wanted to share my post with you guys.

Here it is!

(my brother and i share a blog: http://bakingacrosscountry.wordpress.com/ )Originating in Poland in the 1600s, Bagels came along with Jewish immigrants to Ellis Island. Since many people of Jewish descent settled in New York, bagels have since been a tradition in the City.

The word bagel is derived from the German word for "to bend," symbolizing the round shape of the bread. Bagels were thought to bring good luck to the receiver of the bread. Usually, women who just gave birth received them for good luck as well as a symbol representing the cycle of life due to their circular shape.

The bagel gains its distinct chewiness from being first boiled, and then baked at a rather high temperature. A prolonged, cool second rise contributes to the bagels developed flavor, as well as the "fish eyes" on the crust. "Fish eyes" are raised bumps on the surface of the bread.

The first time I made bagels a few years ago, I was foolish and used whole wheat, no-knead dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Although this dough made fine boules, the bagels dissolved in the boiling water, leaving broken lumps of chewy dough. Nevertheless, I was determined to find the perfect bagel recipe.

My brother, Evan, has been baking his own bagels weekly for about a year now. Out in California, each bagel costs over a buck, and they're spongy rolls. Out here in New Jersey, we sometimes get good bagels-but mostly, they're doughy and the size of your face.

Reinhart begins his recipe with a sponge, combining water, yeast, and flour into a thick-pancake like batter. After about two hours, I added more yeast, flour, salt and honey. I tried to mix the ingredients together, but flour flew out everywhere, making a giant mess. I tried to knead the dough in the Kitchen Aid, but the dough was so stiff, I could smell the motor straining.

That's why we have hands, I guess. For about ten minutes, I kneaded the stiff dough until my arms hurt, and the dough passed the window pane test. I measured out the dough into twelve even pieces (thank goodness for a scale). However, 4.5 ounce bagels were a bit too large for breakfast, and I think making about 16 would be a better portion.

After letting the dough rest for a little bit, I shaped them into bagels. I tried both ways, by sticking my finger through the dough and stretching the hole out, and also by forming them from a coil. I found that by poking my finger through, the shape of the bagel was more consistent, but I'm sure with more practice, I could get better at the coil-method.

I let the bagels rest again for about twenty minutes. Reinhart suggests a test for readiness: I placed one piece of shaped bagel dough in a bowl of water and saw it immediately floated.

After the test, I placed them on baking sheets, covered them with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge for two nights.

On the second night, I brought a pot of water to a boil with an added tablespoon of baking soda. I didn't want to crowd my pot, so I only boiled four bagels at a time, for about a minute per each side. Immediately after boiling, I put them on a cooling-rack to drain, and sprinkled over a combination of sesame and poppy seeds, as well as some sea salt.

After boiling all 12 bagels, I baked them in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes, rotated the pans, and baked them about 7 minutes more at 450, or until they were deep golden brown.

The next morning, I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. Wow. They beat any one of the partially-cooked ones I get from the bakeries in my town. Since there are only three of us living in my house right now, we froze half of the bagels for future use. I also gave my mentor, Mr. Esteban a handful of bagels to share with his family. I hope he enjoyed them!

Besides my finicky mixer, this recipe was super simple and didn't require all that much effort (but more utensils than normal to clean). Rather than spending 12 bucks for 12 bagels on Sunday, I can bake these (better) bagels for a fraction of the cost. Next time, I'll try to find malt barley to make more authentic bagels, but for now, these are awesome!

Olver, Lynne. "Breads." Food Timeline (2011): n. pag. Web. 14 Jan 2011. <http://www.foodtimeline.org>.

 

 

breadman_nz's picture

Artisan Bread Every Day - Errata for Bagel Recipe

January 15, 2011 - 12:53pm -- breadman_nz
Forums: 

I have just bought Peter Reinhart's ABED and made the bagel recipe (which turned out fantastically well, by the way).

However there is an error in the recipe (pages 75 & 77, first edition). The correct volume of water for the poaching liquid is 1814-2721g, which is the equivalent of 64-96oz. The book says 181g-272g, being out by a factor of 10!

I couldn't find this errata notified after searching here and elsewhere, so trust it's not a duplication.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture

Bagels in my Zojirushi

November 12, 2010 - 4:32am -- Kitchen Barbarian

I have the Zojirushi BBCC x20

I would like to make bagel dough in it, but I'm worried that with such a stiff dough I might damage my machine.

I've seen several postings where people talk about making bagel dough in their machines but sadly no actual recipes or bagel-specific info.

Would anyone be willing to share their experiences with making bagels in their bread machines?

I have these recipe links that have bread machine instructions:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - bagels