The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


varda's picture

The many nice bagel posts lately have spurred me on toward bagel making.    I was excited to see that In The Jewish Bakery has a recipe for Montreal bagels.   I grew up on New York Bagels which had made their way to St. Louis by the 1960s.    It was a revelation when I stopped for a snack in the Ottawa Airport one day to find a bagel that was completely different but quite delicious.   That was almost 20 years ago, and since I stopped working in Canada,  Montreal bagels have been few and far between.   That is set to change.

Ok.   My shaping needs work, but that doesn't interfere with breakfast for lunch. 

These are quick bagels - from mix to plate in around 2 hours, and so not as much flavor as their overnight retarded New York cousins.   But delicious all the same, a tasty treat. 

loydb's picture

Today was the final stretch before heading to the in-laws for Christmas. I spent pretty much the whole day in the kitchen, minus a trip to the grocery store. The takeaway:

First, this was week 3 of the Inside the Jewish Bakery challenge. I haven't actually gotten to taste the results, so my comments are limited. I did a four-high braid, and had a little trouble getting the ends to stick together. I ended up wetting my fingers and kind of blending it, which seemed to work. There are some shots of the initial braiding and the final rise at the bottom. On top of the two challah loaves, I also did a pullman pan full of PR's pannetone recipe. I used dried strawberriers, dried orange-infused cranberries, and dried sour cherries that I soaked for a day in apple brandy (plus the vanilla and orange extract). For the nuts, I used 5 oz of macadamias and 2 oz of almonds. Finally, another pan of Mohn bars from week one of the ITJB.



loydb's picture

These were tasty, I enjoyed the chewy butterscotch and chocolate. I have to agree that I liked them just as much without any chocolate at all. I think if I were to do it again, I'd get some orange-infused bittersweet chocolate for them - my 66% bittersweet/33% milk choc. was too sweet IMO -- I liked the Mohn bars better.

Baking Notes:

  • Panning these up required every flat cooking surface I owned. Fortunately, it was really cold and windy outside, so I could put an (empty) fresh-out-of-the-oven sheet pan on the back porch, and it was cold within 3-4 minutes.
  • I ended up adding an extra half cup of flour to get the batter out of the 'runny' stage
  • Don't put them in a sealed container for the wife to take to school, or they end up adhering to one another...


Elagins's picture

Great review of ITJB and a plug for TFL

December 14, 2011 - 2:28pm -- Elagins

Thought you folks might be interested in this review of ITJB from The Jewish Week.

Not only does it talk about the book, but also about TFL and the role it played in bringing Norm and me together, the role of TFLers in the testing .... even the Challenge that's going on now.

As I've said so many times before, without TFL, none of it would have been possible! Thanks so much.


Urchina's picture

The Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge -- Semester One (December, 2011 - March 2012)

December 9, 2011 - 11:35am -- Urchina

Note: In another display of his amazing awesomeness, FloydM graciously created a "Challenges" forum for the community here at The Fresh Loaf. I've decided to migrate the Inside the Jewish Bakery challenge to this forum, and to make a separate forum thread for each of the "assignments" in the challenge. This should let people 1. Find what they want more quickly and 2. Jump in and out of the challenge more easily. 

loydb's picture

It's kickoff week for the Inside the Jewish Bakery Challenge - Semester 1. We're starting off with Mohn bars.

The bars are made up of three sub-recipes: 1-2-3 dough, a poppyseed filling, and streusel on the top. I used KA bread flour instead of home milled this time.

Baking notes:

  • The food processor did nothing for my poppy seeds -- I ended up using my blender, which did a great job.
  • I ended up adding almost a half cup extra of water while boiling the poppyseed mix.
  • Also, through bad reading, I boiled the honey rather than adding it at the end.
  • I cooked the shortbread an extra 10 minutes to get some color into it (and it's still pretty pale)
  • I cooked the final bars an extra 15 minutes, with the broiler on for the last 2 mins, to get the streusel browned

These bars are illustrative of why I'm in the challenge -- they have a (wonderful) flavor that I've never encountered, and would have never thought to try. I'm hoping there's still half a pan left for my wife to take to the office tomorrow, I really don't need to eat all of these :)











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