Great bagels from ITJB
Just this week made a dozen bagels from ITJB (pp. 98-100). I used malt powder in the dough (bought it from NY Bakers, as well as the high-gluten flour--All Trumps). The recipe told me that the powder is best mixed with the water, and I put about 2 TBS of barley malt syrup in the boiling water (as in the recipe). I followed the recipe closely; only exception (Hamelman tip) is that I put the bagels in a bowl of ice water after the boil, then put them on a towel-topped cooling rack, then dipped into a tray of seeds. I did a bulk fermentation before shaping of about 40 minutes (Hamelman--again--says an hour; ITJB says 20 minutes--so I compromised). They were refrigerated overnight after shaping (the old-fashioned way, but I had to scale them--3 oz--novice that I am). They were made as a "straight" dough, the flavor being developed through the overnight retardation. I left a couple plain, topped the rest with a variety of seeds, sesame, poppy, multi-seeded (sesame, B & W, poppy, flax, fennel and, my favorite, sunflower, mixed with some onion powder a little fresh-ground sea salt). I found the size to be just right (I previously had made 4-oz bagels, which really are more than I ever eat--I usually eat just a half of those). They freeze beautifully, and they are the real New York style water bagel. My late Uncle Leo was a bagel baker in Brooklyn (never found out if he was in the union--better ask my cousin), and I know a good bagel when I sink my teeth into one. These are the real deal. (My husband, who lived on the Lower East Side as a youngster, is in bagel heaven.) Here they are, half on the way to being bagged and frozen--uncut.