The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bagel success, finally

tikidoc's picture
tikidoc

Bagel success, finally

I have been messing around with making bagels for a while, and although I have made bagels with good flavor, the texture has not been right (both the inside and the crust) and they have been ugly and wrinkly. Certainly edible but not the traditional bagel I was looking for. I finally tried Ceril Hitz's recipe from "Baking Artisan Bread:  10 Expert Formulas for Baking Better Bread at Home", with two minor midifications.  He uses half high-gluten and half regular bread flour, the only bread flour I have in the house is high gluten (KASL) so I used just that.  He boils his bagels in a honey solution - I use the traditional weak lye solution (2 tsp lye in 2 quarts of water).  I just topped with a little sprinkle of Kosher salt.  

I recently picked up a Bosch Compact mixer (my KA "Professional" - NOT - died, I have an Electrolux DLX on backorder, and I wanted a small mixer for small batches) and it handled the stiff dough without even getting warm, in a batch with just over 800 gm of flour.  This little machine is highly recommended.

Finally, tasty and PRETTY bagels!!!

yy's picture
yy

Those are beautiful! What shaping technique did you use?

tikidoc's picture
tikidoc

I made a log with fat ends, wrapped it around my hand, pinched the ends together and rolled it a bit.  Again, per Ceril Hitz's instructions.  His video explains it better than I do... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwl2Ix939D0

The texture is perfect, chewy with a little crunch on the outside, dense yet soft inside.  By far the best bagels I have made.  Next time, I think I will substitute maybe 1/4 of the flour with white whole wheat and see how it goes.

So far, I really like his books.  I also got his breakfast bread book (both can be downloaded from Amazon for the Kindle app).  I have yet to make his biscuits, but a friend of mine who owns a wood fired oven bakery uses a recipe very close to his for her biscuits, and they are absolutely amazing.   Really fattening but worth the occasional splurge.