The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA Challenge 2011: Week 3: Bagels!

cpanza's picture
cpanza

BBA Challenge 2011: Week 3: Bagels!

Although I was totally excited to try this recipe out, I'll admit that I didn't have high hopes for this third week of the BBA challenge. Three reasons jump out at me immediately. First, the bagel procedure involves a few atypical steps that I haven't done before. Since it takes at least a few trials to get the hang of new baking procedures, I didn't have high hopes for attempt number one. Second, I'm a New Yorker, and that means that I'm a horrible snob when it comes to bagel quality. As Reinhart himself says, New York City is the center of the bagel producing universe. It's true - I grew up with the freshest bagels baked every morning from a whole host of mom and pop bakery joints (there were three with a four block radius of my childhood home). There was no way I was going to match my own memories of fresh authentic bagels right off the bat. Third, and on a related note, I know that in New York City, the bagel making industry is (or at least used to be) ridiculously secretive. Apparently the bagel-making union in NYC used to only accept as new members the sons of the present members. The method of bagel making was closely guarded and protected -- kept literally "in the family". Some schlep stranded out in the Midwest ain't going to miraculously reproduce that kind of mystery in his kitchen oven. Sigh. In the end, surprising, it turned out good!


 


The rest of my discussion is here, at my blog where me and 10 others are doing the BBA Challenge: http://akuindeed.com/?p=3282


Stop by!

cpanza's picture
cpanza

I have a question for folks here. I made some of my bagels with Asiago cheese on them. They came out underbaked on the top, and had to be baked longer. I'm wondering if - when making bagels which bake for such a short period - you should actually bake the bagels first and THEN add the asiago cheese the last few minutes (with a fast egg wash, perhaps) instead of putting the cheese on first, which clearly seemed to affect baking time on the top.


Any ideas?


www.akuindeed.com


 

wally's picture
wally

For a better result try this: after boiling the bagels place them on a sheetpan lined with parchment paper.  Ideally, you want the bagel to have a small hole in the center.  Pile your grated asiago into the hole - don't bother trying to place it on the dough surface surrounding the hole.  Bake as normal.


Unless you're trying to get just a smattering of cheese on your bagel, it's much better to load it into the bagel hole  than to make it adhere to the top surface of the bagel.


Good luck,


Larry

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

I bake mine top side down the fist half on baking then flip, & put the cheese on top.  I usually make cheddar cheese ones with grated cheese.  I use the Jo Goldberg Parisian bagel recipe.


Margie

cpanza's picture
cpanza

Larry -


I already do the parchment paper. I'm not sure at this point why you put it in the hole only. Is it because it doesn't stop the dough from cooking properly?


Margie -


I was thinking that too. I used Reinhart's recipe, and he doesn't say to flip them. Just to turn the pan. But I noticed that the bottoms were really excellent, whereas the tops were just so-so. If I'd turned them and then added the cheese at the end, I wonder if that would do the trick.


www.akuindeed.com


 

wally's picture
wally

Simple answer: it's easier to get the cheese into.


Larry

cpanza's picture
cpanza

New question, everyone. Reinhart says in his formula to bake 5 min at 500, then 5 min at 450, 180 turn on the pan.


This wasn't even close in my oven. I baked them 7 and 7, and they weren't done. Then I put them back in for an additional 10 minutes and they were done, but could hae stayed in longer.


How in the world could my times be THAT off from his? My oven temp is right, I have a thermometer in the oven.


Any ideas?


Chris


www.akuindeed.com

spriolo's picture
spriolo

Chris,


How long was your boil?  I would think that a longer boil would have a shorter bake.

cpanza's picture
cpanza

spriolo:


I went 2 min total on one batch (1min each side) and then 4 min total on the other (2 min each side). Reinhart suggested 2 min total, I wanted to see what the difference would be in chewiness if I doubled it.


So that shouldn't be the problem, I wouldn't think.


Chris


www.akuindeed.com


 

spriolo's picture
spriolo

Chris,


I had the same problem!  I ended up baking mine for twice the time and they were still a little too light for my taste.


http://unlikelybaker.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/watched-pot-bagels/


Is it possible that two cookie sheets of bagels in a house hold oven is too much?

paulm's picture
paulm

Chris,


Here is my attempt with the Bagels.  I'm having trouble connecting to your Blog (it keeps timing out before connecting) but I'll post the photo there once I get connected.  I have a different bagel recipe I like that I use regularly but these turned out pretty good.  I mixed up my salt and sugar containers so the dough got 2 3/4 tsp of sugar in addition to 2 3/4 tsp salt (luckily I realized my mistake and added the salt).  This may have contributed to the browning they exhibited.  I boiled them for 90 seconds per side and baked them for an extra 5 minutes.  Unlike my other recipe, these did not call for flipping during baking but they still browned pretty evenly.  All in all, I would make these again (maybe trying the cinnamon raisin form much to the horror of the bagel police).


 


cpanza's picture
cpanza

Hi Paul -


My server company had a glitch for 30 min or so, it's fine now. When you get a chance, feel free to post this there for everyone to see!


I'm wondering too if the browning was caused by the sugar?


Did you go 5 min over the recipe on baking time? Many of us had to go WAY over the recipe time. I went a full 24 minutes before they were done. Not sure why this happened to some of us (but not all of us, strangely enough).


www.akuindeed.com

paulm's picture
paulm

Chris,


I'm going to try them again without the sugar this time to see how they brown.  I baked them for a total of 15 minutes (five minutes over the recommended time).  I used barley malt syrup in the dough rather than brown sugar or molasses.  I don't know if that contributed to the browning.

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

I used honey in mine, be interested in seeing how they look with other ingredients.  Oh, and I added brown sugar to my water when I was boiling them, as well as the baking soda.  Mine were not nearly as brown as yours, but I tend to like a lighter brown crust.  Wish I had left some plain, so I could really see the difference.  Maybe I will make a few more, just to see....


Joanne


From BBA Bagels