The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Nothin’ to See Here—Just More Baguettes and Bagelles

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Nothin’ to See Here—Just More Baguettes and Bagelles

Ho hum.  More bread.  My N-teenth batch of Proth5’s “Bear-guettes” and another try at bagels using a variation on the Krakowski formula in the upcoming Inside the Jewish Bakery.

The baguettes are the best I’ve ever made in terms of both flavor and texture.  I followed Pat’s formula to the tee, using Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Malted flour and a super-steamy oven.  I handled the dough and the baguettes more gently than usual, and they were more airy than usual.  I now have a stock of baguettes in the freezer for an upcoming party.

The bagels were very good, but not as pleasing as my first attempt last week—a bit too chewy, with a tougher crust.  There are a few possible reasons for the differences in result, but I think the main one is that this time I used all high gluten flour (80% KAF Sir Lancelot and 20% KAF First Clear); last time I used 20% Bread Flour and 80% Sir Lancelot.  I wonder if the use of malt syrup this time instead of honey in the boiling water made a difference in the crust.  I notice the crust is not as shiny this time.  Finally, in my San Francisco oven this week, it took about 16-17 minutes for the crust to get golden brown, and last week in my North Coast oven it took about 14-15. 

No serious complaints, just a shade off the mark I set the prior week.  On the other had, they made a truly wonderful vehicle for smoked Nova Salmon.

I also have a question about seed adhesion.  Seems like no matter what kind of bread I make with seeds on the crust, they fall off at the slightest provocation.  Any tips for keeping seeds where they’re put?  Should I dredge the bagels in seeds immediately after they come out of the water instead of waiting a few minutes for them to cool?  Pound them in with a mallet?  Is there some secret adhesive that savvy bakers use?  Thanks for any advice.

Glenn

Comments

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

about the seeds...there is no way to keep seeds on any bread or roll unless you use a basting of some sort...I use an egg wash...you can use milk/cream or you can use a wash of cornstarch/water...but if you want the seeds to stick they have to have a sticky medium...otherwise your floor and mine get all the seeds...and whatever pet vacuum you have :) 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I can't see using a wash on baguettes, but I might try a thin coating of cornstarch-water on bagels some time.

Of course, with bagels, one can just pick up the seeds with the cream cheese side.

Glenn

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Per Hamelman, after the boil, put into ice water for 3-4 minutes, move to a tray with seeds, then to the bagel board, seed side down.I was asking the same question, JH to the rescue.

cheers,

gary

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

But who's got a bagel board?  I wonder if the cold bath would improve seed adhesion.

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Glenn.

You can decrease chewiness by decreasing the hi-gluten flour. You can also decrease the time in boiling water. The longer the boiling, the chewier. You might want to try a 30 second per side boil. Maybe do an experiment with a batch of dough using varying boiling times. A third variable is fermentation. Usually chewy bagels have a short fermentation and proofing. More "complete" fermentation gives a lighter bagel, but the crumb will also be more open.

The malt impacts color and flavor but not chewiness, as far as I know.

As with most things in baking, there are many variables with which one can fiddle.

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

David,

I knew about the gluten, but not about the boiling time or the fermentation effect on chewiness.  I boiled them for the same duration this time, about 45 second per side.  And the bulk ferment time was about the same, too.  Stan's recipe doesn't have a proofing step.  

I'll go back to 20-25% bread flour, I think.

Thanks for the counsel.

Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Glenn,
Those twisty bagels are shaped beautifully, and your baguettes are as beautiful inside, as out.
Thanks to the other posters on this thread, for the tips!
:^) from breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

My wife will be please at the compliment.  She is the bagel twister.  She's much handier than I at making things beautiful.  The only times she's helped me bake bread were for Krakowski bagel twisting and rolling the strands for Challah.  She is, of course, the Number One Bread Tester in the house.  And we do bake sweets together, as she has the magic touch with pie crust.

Thanks for the nice comment on the baguettes, too.  They were perfect for barbecued turkey sandwiches tonight.

Glenn

Syd's picture
Syd

Nice baking Glenn.  I agree with breadsong: those twisted bagels make very pretty shapes.  You definitely have a winner with Proth's bearguettes.

Best,

Syd

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I appreciate the comments.  As for the Bear-guettes, I've tried several times to make higher hydration poolish baguettes, and they never come out as good as these.

Glenn

proth5's picture
proth5

has sternly instructed me to take the hydration in my baguettes higher - at my "dew point" - so when the beastly heat subsides on the high prairie I'll be doing just that.  We'll see.

My teacher also mocks mightily on the mixed pre ferment, but verily I say my teacher adds fresh yeast to sourdough.  We'll see about the mixed pre ferment next Coupe (well, not my formula, but the formula that inspired it.)

Bagel boards are easily fabricated by cutting up some moisure resistent 1x4's and using you staple gun to staple on couche (or other coarse) linen.  The work of about 10 minutes and you will love the results...

Nice bread.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Ohhh.  So "bagel boards" is not a battery of tests one needs to pass in order to become a certified bagel baker?

I have couche fabric and a staple gun.  I just need to find some "moisture resistant 1x4".

Thanks, Pat.

Glenn

proth5's picture
proth5

All kidding aside, you soak the boards in water before putting them in the oven, so you want wood that will generally stand up to exterior use and will not warp or twist too much when soaked in water.  Cedar, cyprus, teak - you know, stuff like that...

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I've been following this discussion about bagels, flour selection and boards. I read somewhere that redwood works well for the mentioned bagel boards when covered on the top side with linen. Redwood is a light wood and stands up to the weather so it should be good for this use. And I happen to have some left over from the last garden bench I made.

I discovered that on my Italian breads, if I apply the sesame seeds early in the proofing, they would adhere to the surface of the dough. They just seem to dig in and get stuck. Otherwise the seeds are only briefly attached to the surface. 

Glenn, are your crusts crisp using honey or malt?

Eric

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Bagels don't really have a proofing stage, according to Stan's recipe.  They come out of the fridge, get boiled, seeded and baked toot sweet (sorry for the rusty French).  And, in my experience with seeded baguettes, even if the seeds are applied right after shaping and before proofing, many of the seeds fly off when the baguette is sliced.

As to the crispiness of the bagels, mine were a bit crispier when boiled with honey, but that was also a different flour mix (80% high gluten and 20% bread flour).  So I can't be certain the crispiness is attributable to the water treatment.

Thanks for the comment.  

Glenn

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Glenn,

Here in the mighty Midwest, it is damn near impossible to find KA Sir Lancelot flour except maybe at Whole foods which is a drive for me. I have an interest in making Bagels part of my regular routine, which they are not at the moment. We all like this round bread, especially the everything and sesame types.  I desire a slightly crusty crust and a chewy but not tough crumb. It sounds like from your discussion you would suggest an 80/20 ratio of hi gluten and bread flour to arrive at this result. I'm almost ready to call CM and have a 50# bag of something shipped, never mind the shipping cost for the 20% side of the formula. I'm thinking their malted bread flour would be a good selection.  They have so many offerings, it's hard to decide.

Eric

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Eric--

I liked the texture with 80% high gluten and 20% bread flour.  Chewy and crust, but not too.

NY Bakers has Sir Lancelot and another high gluten flour.  I'd check with Stan to see what he recommends as a bread flour.  His prices are better than KAF's.

I'm not sure what CM flour would have the equivalent formulation to "bread flour", but Nicky would tell you if you can get hold of him (good luck).

Glenn