The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bagels!

jameseng's picture
jameseng

Bagels!

My brother sent me a link the other day:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/lifestyle/food/homemade-bagels-are-easier-than-you-think/2016/05/10/b12efd28-1624-11e6-971a-dadf9ab18869_video.ht...

In the comments some guy said something to the effect of: just go buy a bagel, it's not worth the time to make it yourself.

Coincidentally, I had just started making bagels again. The latest was my best iteration so far: 70% hydration and lye water bath.

The guy commenting doesn't understand that when you make homemade bagels, it's not entirely about the bagels!

gillpugh's picture
gillpugh

Not made bagels, being in the uk, I've only even bought them. But did I read correctly that they are put in a lye water bath ?!!  Lye in U.K. Is highly corrosive and would take the skin off you in a flash. 

bikeprof's picture
bikeprof

Lyes is highly corrosive here in the states too!  But it is pretty commonly used (properly diluted) in baking all over (pretzels and some bagels).  Rubber gloves come in handy, among other standard precautions...

Nice bagels btw!!!

gillpugh's picture
gillpugh

Well I never!!  Learn something new every day. 

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Use reasonable precautions and lye is not the devil so many modern city folk think it is (unless you're using Red Devil brand lye).

Lye is useful for soap making, food preservation (for example, it makes your pickles crisp and removes the  bitterness from olives), cleaning, is a part of leather tanning and myriad other chores. It's traditionally made by dripping water through hardwood ashes, as you would do for that morning cup of drip coffee.

There are three lyes (though two steal the name from the third), Calcium hydroxide (often sold as lime water, available in Asian markets), Ca(OH)₂, Sodium hydroxide, NaOH and the real deal Potassium hydroxide (traditionally called potash), KOH.

At the dilutions used in pretzel making, 3%, and bagel making, ≤1%, the solution feels soapy and not immediately harmful. Do rinse under running water as it's irritating to the skin on the order of old style lye washing soaps. Don't get it in your eyes or breath the steam.

Don't forget that a lot of Asian foods use lye in their preparation.

gary

jameseng's picture
jameseng

...a very different note, at that. Would potassium carbonate/sodium b-carbonate make the gluten in flour very weak, allowing one to do things like hand-pulled noodles? Just wondering.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

To my very limited knowledge, there are no additives to noodles. The secret, as I grok it, is rest. Just as with ordinary bread dough, resting the dough makes it more extensible.

Noodles need strong gluten development, but without rest, the dough becomes elastic and tries to pull itself back.

If you're looking to do hand stretched noodles à la Jackie Chan in that movie where he's  a TV chef, I think practice is the key.

Since I've only ever done sliced noodles, I checked YouTube. Here, for example

How to Make Hand-Pulled Noodles (拉面, lamian).

There are several for your enjoyment.

gary

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

diluted at Lee Lee's Chinese market!

DessertBuzz's picture
DessertBuzz

For those who are pursuing the perfect bagel, I recently wrote an article after a presentation from one of the authors of  Moderist Bread that offers a new way to get toppings to stay on bagels using tapioca starch.

https://www.starchefs.com/cook/features/insights-modernist-bread

Enjoy!

NIko

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

sourdough bagel.  It has to be SD though.  Most bagel recipes I have made are in the 53 to 58% hydration though.  These must be mire like a bread bagel at such a high hydration - like Einstein's.

They sure ;look grand none the less and have to be tasty!  Well done and 

Happy baking 

caryn's picture
caryn

Hi dabrownman- So what is your technique for making bagels from a sourdough formula? I have made bagels many times, but only with packaged yeast. Are the SD ones better?

-Caryn