What is it that makes some breads chewy like a bagel? I have added gluten to no avail. Any help would be appreciated.
Besides high protein flour, another factor is the hydration. For bagel recipe it is 45-50%
the longer you boil a bagel, the chewier it will be. also, baking at lower temp, 425 vs 450, produces less oven spring and a denser, chewier bagel.
Try a bread flour made from hard spring wheat. One example would be King Arthur's "Bread Flour". There are others out there -- I think Gold Medal's bread flour now might be hard spring wheat.
If that's not chewy enough for you, you could add vital wheat gluten (make sure it is from North America or Australia) at anywhere from 2% on up. Last resort would be high gluten flour, which you might be able to find bleached at a GFS market, or unbleached by mail order.
If you are in the southeast, try White Lilly Bread flour also. Makes very chewy bagels, baguettes, etc.
Another thing; chewy bagels, baguettes, etc., usually are lean doughs. No fat(oil, butter, etc.). Fats make doughs more tender.
As said above, bagels are lean and low hydration, but a good part of the chewiness comes from boiling them before baking.
It just occured to me that I'm not clear about whether you want loaves of bread that are "chewy like a bagel" or you're simply making bagels. There are entire threads here at TFL that feature loads of discussion about bagels. If that's the information you need, just use the search box.
Thanks for the question, Dan. As I read the responses and did some other reading at this site I found two improvements I could make and tried them both. First, my inquiry was regarding bread not bagels. Second, I should have mentioned that I use a bread machine.
The two important things I've learned is that the texture of bread from bread machines will probably never be superior to the same recipe baked in an oven. And that the fat content is also responsible for chewiness in bread. Last night I baked bialy bread, which is traditionally fat free, in the oven and the texture I have been looking for was there! My wife even liked it.
Many thanks for the help to everyone!