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apprentice's picture

Woman does not live by rye or barley alone.

So this woman decided to follow suit, when she saw that a lot of other bloggers on The Fresh Loaf were having fun with bagels. I have a formula for Montreal-style bagels from my instructor at baking school. He got it, scribbled in pencil on a brown paper bag, from bakers at the St. Viateur Bagel Bakery where they've been supplying bagel lovers since 1957.

First, I had to scale back the formula. St. Viateur makes almost 10,000 bagels a day at its main location, so the original formula is a big one. It uses 40 kilos of flour, which they make several times a day. At school, we cut that back to 5 kilos. I thought I might manage with 1 kilo at home, which would produce just a baker's dozen. Even so, my poor Kitchen Aid mixer was straining. I quickly moved to hand kneading after the dough came together.

I'll publish the recipe below. There are two significant differences from others I've seen. Firstly, no salt. That always surprises people. I never know how to answer. Either the baker forgot to write it down, or it's what makes this particular bagel extra chewy and delicious. I don't miss it -- not a bit. Secondly, no proofing. At all. You can even skip bulk fermentation, if you let the bagels rest in the fridge overnight after shaping. Or production can be a continuous process after bulk fermentation where you go directly to dividing, shaping, boiling and baking. Then eating. :)

Here's the dough after 8 minutes of kneading:

bagel dough

You can see the stiffness characteristic of bagel dough.  I flattened the ball to a circle about 2" high and used my bench scraper to divide it into 4 oz. wedges. These, I rolled into strips much as Jeffrey Hamelman describes in Bread. As you handle the dough, it becomes smoother and more pliable.

I hadn't made these in over two years, but it was coming back to me. (Don't stack them like that...argh, they'll stick together. Oh yeah, keep a spray bottle handy to mist them or remember to cover with plastic while I process the rest. Wait a minute, no dusting worked on a damp surface!) The stream of consciousness continued, as I talked myself through the vague memories that my hands recalled better than my brain.

shaping bagels

Then came the boiling and seeding. We never worried about colouring the water much. A handful of brown sugar or some malt syrup if it was handy -- just enough to help gelatinize the starch on the surface in a tasty way, making the bagels smooth and shiny. The dough already has sweetness from malt extract. Today, I used about 2 T of brown sugar in the boiling water. I love sesame seeds, so I used them for most of the bagels and coarse salt for the rest.

boil n seed bagels

Here's what they looked like at half-time on my baker's half sheet pan in the oven. #13 of the baker's dozen got squished. That's okay. I found they needed extra time to brown properly. So near the end, I divided them between two smaller sheet pans without parchment and jacked the heat back up for about three minutes. Did the trick.

bagels at half time in oven

Who's got the cream cheese?

    fresh from oven

Montreal Style Bagels

1 kilo bread flour (about 8 cups)

2 grams instant yeast (2/3 tsp)

40 grams sugar (3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp)

9 grams malt - the flour, not the syrup (4 1/2 tsp)

50 grams egg (1 large)

463 grams water (2 cups or 500 ml)

2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

Scale or measure out all ingredients. Blend dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until dough starts to come together. If using a stand mixer, change to hand kneading at this point rather than strain the motor of your machine. Continue kneading until developed fully. At this point, you have some choices. The instructions that follow are for continuous processing. If you want to incorporate overnight retardation, see my two replies to Michael below.

Cover the dough and give it about 45 minutes rest on your counter, aka a period of bulk fermentation. When the time is nearly up, put a large pot such as a Dutch oven full of water on to boil and throw in 2 T brown sugar or some barley malt syrup. (Honey or maple syrup are fine, too.) Divide the dough into 13 units of about 113 grams (4 oz) each. Roll into strips and shape as bagels. There is no need to proof the bagels once shaped, but keep covered and/or mist so they don't dry out. Place on a sheet pan beside the pot of water. Process 6 or 7 at a time, however many will comfortably fit in your pan, moving them around in the water periodically for a minute or so. When ready, they float. Remove back to the sheet pan, and put the next batch on to boil.

While still damp, dip the boiled bagels in your preferred topping and place on a second baking sheet which has been lined with parchment and sprinkled with cornmeal. (If you have a hearth-style oven, the bagels may be placed on a peel or other loading device sprinkled with cornmeal and transferred to the oven to bake directly on the hearth. The technique with a wood-fired, brick oven is different again, one with which I'm not familiar.)

Bake out completely until a nice, golden brown, about 20 minutes at 460F. Reduce the temperature after the first 10 minutes, if your bagels are getting too dark. As mentioned above, I had all 13 bagels on a baker's half sheet, roughly 17" x 12", and they weren't quite baked through where they touched. I transferred them to two smaller sheet pans without parchment and gave them an additional 3 minutes. There was a lovely smell and a small bit of smoke when I opened the oven door. The bagels were perfect!

Shiao-Ping's picture

Many years ago I became interested in Suzuki Daisetsu's (or known in the West as Daisetz T. Susuki, 1870 - 1966)'s Japanese Zen Buddhism. He was accredited in bringing interest in Zen and Buddhism to the West in the early 20th century. Before I realised it years later, the stuff I was reading was actually Zen aestheticism, rather than Zen per se.

And so a few days ago when I decided to do a giant Miche to imitate the French village bakers years gone by, that was the analogy that came to my mind. The village bakers in France with their torn and worn out proofing baskets, sun weathered and wrinkled faces are soulful to me. There was something quite fundamental and down to earth about their way of life. In our modern day of comforts, we can afford to bake almost every day if time permits and in any sizes we want. We are not constraint. And if the truth be known, small sizes are more practical for our small family units.

I am going on a journey in a few days time for three weeks and I wanted to make a special bake before I leave. Like the New York Stock Exchange closing down its bourse games on the last trading day of the year, I will be "shutting down" my oven once I've done this bake, I told myself. Talking about shutting down, in the days when I was working, I always thought when the Chinese (Taiwanese) say they are "shutting down" ("feng" in Mandarin) their stock exchange ("guan" in Mandarin), it sounded really "epic;" in Mandarin, that is. Because the Mandarin "guan" relates to the Great Wall in China and so cajoles images of the long history of China. A "guan" is a bastion in a strategic geographical location; the two most famous "guans" in Chinese history are "Chia-yu-guan," far west of China, near Tun-Huang, where the famous silk road starts, and "Shan-hai-guan" to the far east, north-east of Beijing in the eastern sea board of China, winding 6,700 Km apart. I am not comparing my oven to the Chinese "guan" or the Big Board of NYSE, but I felt the last three months of bread baking has been quite a journey to me, and I hope the next one will bring me to the next level.






My formula

  • 500 g starter @ 75% hydration (refreshed four times over 72 hours with 100 g rye meal and 100 g white whole wheat and 86 g white flour in total)

  • 1000 g KAF Sir Lancelot Flour

  • 700 g water

  • 65 g olive oil

  • 24 g salt

dough weight 2.3 kg and dough hydration 76%

  1. Bulk fermentation 3 hours

  2. Proof 4 hours

  3. Overnight cold retardation 8 hours followed by 90 min. at room temp

  4. Bake for 80 minutes (230 C for 20 min, 210 C for another 20 min, and the balance 40 min at 195 C)




My husband asked me what the character was.  I said my maiden name.  He said, Oh, Whoo made it.  Who?  Whoo.  He was doing the Abbot and Castello routine of Who's on first.   

We were having this sourdough for our lunch when his boss rang. I said to tell him that the Miche was 2.3 Kg. His boss asked, was that the weight before bake or after. Now, this sounds to me a question by a person in the know. The water shrinkage was nearly 18%! It was only 1.9 kg after bake. I cut off a quarter of the Miche:


to be wrapped in foil and put into the freezer for my husband's next business trip (but I am not confident that it will stay as fresh as today).



                                                                                     Does it look like we are big on this crust?


apprentice's picture

As Mini O said last year, this is a nice easy little loaf. But "easy" belies how much I've learned from working with Tom Jaine's formula. This loaf did its job in teaching me about barley!

First, it taught me how tasty barley can be and what a shame it is that this wonderful grain has been overlooked through much of history and especially in recent years.

Next, it taught me how best to combine barley with other flours to get the volume we are keen on in this period of history. Jaine's addition of whole wheat flour was fine up to a point. But whole wheat itself often needs a little help to "rise to the occasion." I tried adding bread flour at first, then a little vital wheat gluten. But in the end, I didn't need the gluten. The chief answer was in discovering the right percentage of barley versus wheat, a tidbit I found in Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters.

Another discovery related to volume is that the amount of yeast in Jaine's formula led too easily (for me) to over-proofing. He's got it at 4.2% based on the weight of the flour -- not crazy-high for a straight dough in days gone by, but high for current tastes. And probably higher than necessary with my having increased the amount of wheat flour. I have a loaf shaped and rising right now with much less yeast, and it's behaving better than previous ones. In fact, the yeast in my last loaf went wild in the first 30 minutes after shaping, then had nothing left for oven spring. In fact, it fell a little.

My revised formula follows. New amount of instant yeast is equivalent to fresh at 2% of flour weight. Oven spring is happening! Pictures follow. Anyone who's interested in seeing Jaine's original recipe can check it out in P McCool's post here:

Barley Bread

227 grams (8 oz) water

28.35 grams (1 oz or 2 T) whipping cream

3 grams (0.1 oz or 3/4 tsp) instant yeast

136 grams (4.8 oz) stoneground whole wheat flour

102 grams (3.6 oz) whole barley flour

102 grams (3.6 oz) bread flour

6 grams (0.2 oz or 1 tsp) salt

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together including the yeast.

  2. Mix water with whipping cream. (Adjust temperature of water to produce a desired dough temperature of 76F. Over the past year, my water temp has varied from 42.4F to 67F to produce a dough at 76 degrees.)

  3. Add liquid ingredients to dry. Knead for approximately 8 minutes. Leave to rise in a greased bowl covered with greased plastic wrap. Proof in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface, gently degas, preshape round, cover and wait 5 minutes, then shape to form a simple loaf to fit a greased 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 3" loaf tin. (I like doing "buns'o'bread or pain fesses, as they're called in Quebec). Let rise until almost double in a warm place for 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 F. Steam is an option when ready to bake, as is a glaze made of a little egg white mixed with a spoonful of cold water. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes one loaf.

A final note: I tried toasting the barley flour in one recent bake. That produced a lovely aroma in my home but not much difference in the taste of the bread. I did note, however, a big increase in how fast the bread went stale. But made according to the formula above, this is a delightful little bread with a creamy crumb and a taste that goes well with most foods both sweet and savory. It's especially nice with apricot jam! :)

dmsnyder's picture

A couple days ago, I baked some baguettes with a new (to me) flour – Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour. The dough was much more elastic than I expected, and the baguettes had a thicker, crunchier crust and chewier crumb than expected from a flour that is supposedly 11.7% protein, the same as KAF AP flour. (The Nutritional Information on the BRM bag specifies 4 gms of protein in each 34 gm serving.)

The BRM flour acted more like a higher gluten flour than it's protein content would suggest. Now, the packaging does say it's made from hard red spring wheat. As Dan has been telling us, that's what bakers look for when they want the strongest flour. We've also heard that “protein content” is not the same as “gluten content,” and also there are differences in the “quality” of gluten in different wheats. Is that what I encountered?

I decided my next step had to be to make another bread with this flour, to be sure my baguette experience wasn't the result of something other than the flour. I wanted a recipe that I had made before and knew how the dough should be, and I wanted one that was meant to be chewy, unlike baguettes.

Today, I baked a couple loaves of Susan from San Diego's “Ultimate Sourdough.” Susan likes chewy bread, and her recipe calls for “High Gluten” flour. I used the BRM Organic Unbleached Flour, rather than the KAF Bread Flour or Sir Lancelot I had used for this bread before.

Again, the flour acted like a high-gluten flour. It absorbed more water than KAF Bread Flour. It made a very elastic dough that was dryer than usual – just barely tacky. I fermented the dough until doubled (7 hours) and formed two boules which were cold retarded overnight after proofing 45 minutes at room temperature.

This morning, I allowed the boules to warm up and proof for 3.5 hours to about 1.5X their original size before baking. I baked them on a pre-heated stone with steaming by pouring boiling water over lava rocks in a cast iron skillet. (Forgive me, Susan! No magic bowl.)


The result was indistinguishable in chewiness and flavor from the other loaves I've baked with this recipe. (And that is very good!) The crumb was okay but noticeably less open than usual.

My conclusion is that this flour, which has a protein content of 11.7% (by my calculation), acts like other flours I've used with 14+% protein. 

If anyone else has more information about this flour or personal experience using it, I'd love to hear about it.

I also wonder if anyone knows if "hard red spring wheat" usually has higher protein content than winter wheat, or is it's gluten content a greater percentage of the total protein, or is it of higher quality.


dmsnyder's picture

I'd have made a killing!

Six weeks ago, I blogged on my Sourdough Italian Bread. I made an offhand remark that "I am pretty sure this is the roll I would choose for a meatball sandwich, oozing mozzarella and dripping marinara sauce."

Well, I obviously stimulated lots of people's cravings. The past two weeks have seen a virtual meatball bombardment, here on TFL and even on SusanFNP's Wild Yeast Blog

I'm slow, but I finally got around to making meatball subs for dinner tonight. 

The rolls were made in the manner previously described, except I didn't coat them with sesame seeds. The meatballs were made using the recipe from Marcela Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook, except I used ground chicken thighs rather than beef, and I baked them rather than frying them.

Here are the meatballs after baking at 375/convection for 27 minutes:

After cooking in one can of chopped Italian tomatoes, they looked even better.

I also sautéed some Italian sweet peppers and sliced some fresh mozzarella. 

Mis en place

My wife wanted hers open-faced.

The sandwiches were assembled and run under the broiler until the cheese was melted and the bread slightly toasted.

Dinner's ready


  • Meatball sub with mozzarella and peppers.

  • Fresh corn, sautéed in olive oil with chopped red onion, dressed with lemon juice and lime juice.

  • Mixed cherry tomatoes.

  • Fresno State Barbera.

Better late than never. Way better!

By the way, as predicted, the rolls held up wonderfully well. No sogginess. No falling apart.



alliezk's picture


This morning after my spinning class I stopped by the local farmers market. While I was there I picked up some beautiful dark green zucchinis and immediately thought of the wonderful spicy taste of fresh zucchini bread. This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember - a family friend shared it with my mother ages ago. Hope you enjoy!

Zucchini Quick Bread
This Recipe will make two good sized loaves. I have often doubled the recipe to make four and find that the bread freezes well.

Preheat oven to 350.

3 Eggs
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Cups (loosely packed, coarsely grated) Zucchini *
2 Cups Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon All-spice
1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

Optional - 1 Cup Chopped Nuts
* Do not peel! The color of the bread will vary depending on the color of the zucchini. The darker the zucchini, the darker the color of the bread. Personally, I prefer a darker loaf.

1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.
2. Add the sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat the mixture until think and lemon colored.
3. Stir in the fresh zucchini.

 Green Mess

4. Sift together and add the flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Generally, I tend to ignore the spice measurements and just dump them straight in. I love a strong spice flavor. When I make this bread, the dry ingredient mixture tends to be a light brown and very fragrant.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients in two portions. Fold in the chopped nuts if desired.
6. Pour mixture into 2 oiled and floured loaf pans and bake for about one hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes.
7. Invert the pans onto a cooling rack and allow the loaves to gradually fall as they cool completely.

Finished =]

gcook17's picture

Trying to figure out what to do with starter discards is a common topic. But, what about pastry dough? I always end up with odd bits of tart dough or puff pastry that are left over from something I made. About a week ago my twelve-year-old niece, Carli, was visiting from Texas and, in addition to numerous loaves of bread, we made several tarts with pate sucree and puff pastry. After she left, the leftover dough pieces sat around in the fridge all week and needed to be used, frozen, or thrown away. This morning I cut out some puff pastry rounds with a cookie cutter and made some little turnovers filled with goat cheese and chives.  As you can see in the pictures they look more like blow-outs than turnovers.  They appear to be laughing at me...Oh well, I'll get even when I eat them.


I had a big set of tiny tart molds in various shapes but I gave those to Carli before she went back home to Texas because she had really gotten into making tarts, especially tiny ones. So, what do you do with small pieces of tart dough when your little molds are gone. Well a brioche mold looks a lot like a tart mold.  Also, a tiny tart needs pretty small fruit so I threw some frozen blueberries onto the almond and pastry cream filling and there you have it.

Shiao-Ping's picture

I found a small piece of Paris in Brisbane this morning.  Today is Saturday and a usual sports day for our household.  After dropping my daughter at hockey and my son at soccer, I gave myself a treat - I went to Chouquette Boulangerie Patisserie for coffee and ... whatever I could find there this morning.  It was a year ago when it has just been open that I last went there ... on the recommendation of my gay friend, the seamster.  He has not been well, and I have not been able to see him.   

The pretty girl at the counter greeted me bonjour!   I didn't know what to respond.   She told me their Baguette Traditionelle and Rustique are sourdoughs (spiked with just 0.2% of yeast).  I bought one each of those, and a Fougasse aux olive.  At A$3.80 (US$3.20), A$4.00 (US$3.30), and A$4.50 (US$3.75) per piece, respectively, they are a good deal.    


                   Baguette Traditionelle and Fougasse aux olive from Chouquette Boulangerie Patisserie, Brisbane    


                                             Rustique from Chouquette Boulangerie Patisserie, Brisbane 

Both the baguette and fougasse have light texture and flavourful crumbs.  With the Parisian music in the background, munching on my baguette and gazing at the sunny spot just in front of me, I was thinking all that I need is a lovely flowering tree to make this scene perfect.  I picked up a book from their bookshelf, Pains de Campagne by Gerard Alle and Gilles Pouliquen , and when I saw this picture I decided I would blog it:  

Georges Cario, Renac, France (page 103 of the above book)     

David, the man's bread (the cut one on the right) looks like 5 times the size of your Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere (or, to put it another way, your Miche, Pointe-a-Calliere is a mini version of his!).   And, check out these giant loaves from the village bakers (I love it!):



                                     page 51 of the above book    

and these worn baskets:  


                  How do you get these holes?  


I once threw away my husband's 15-year old straw hat, full of holes; and he wouldn't talk to me for a week.  I said what's the big deal; it's so worn out and torn.   He said that's precisely it - it takes years and years for a hat to be torn like that!  

He picked up our son from soccer, his last game of the season.  They won today's game 3-1.  With today' win, they won the premiership, and he is a happy Vegemite.  

I collected our daughter.  Her team won 2-0, but she said she played poorly (too much on her mind - the burden of senior year before university!).   I told her about Chouquette Boulangerie Patisserie and that all their bakers are from Paris and so are the girls serving at the counter.  One of the girls even told me that her husband, a baker there, came here last October (and so did she) on a two year contract.   So, there you go.

I said to my daughter the girl said bonjour to me, and I didn't know what to say.  She said, you say bonjour back, or Bonne Matin!  

So, Bonjour to you all!  



p.s.  The boys had a steak sandwich each at the soccer match but were still hungry when they got home.  My son had the leftover fougasse dipped in olive oil and my husband wanted a sandwich of some sort.  I sliced open the Baguette Traditionelle, pretty handsome looking crumbs:  


I had no cold meats in the house, so I made him a salad sandwich with pesto sauce:  


All are happy.

SylviaH's picture

Ciabatta rolls using Flo Makanai 1-2-3 formula.  The hydration was so wet when I mixed the formula using King Arthur bread flour.  I though it best to try making some Ciabatta rolls.  I pre-heated the oven and stones at 485 and baked under a foil cover for 10 min. uncovered and continued till nicely browned.  The rolls were a little warm when sliced to have with our dinner husband said they had a delicious flavor...usually he says very little.  They were very tasty.  I mixed the dough and did stretch and folds with my hand.  I also posted these in Flo Blog where she gives the 1-2-3 formula instructions.


A nice way to use up that left over starter!




jleung's picture

Baked red bean buns

and this is how I like my red beans :)

Molecular biologists love genes, and how different gene products interact with each together to generate many of the complex biological processes that keep our body in one piece (or in the case of disease, how all of this falls apart). Why does someone behave in a particular way? It's because of his or her genetic makeup, some say. Others say there is an equal influence from the environment, or what the individual is exposed to.

I'd like to argue that this is particularly true with first impressions. As a young child in Hong Kong, there were certain smells and sights and sounds that flooded my senses: the freshly steamed rice noodles drizzled with soy sauce, peanut sauce, hoisin sauce and lightly toasted sesame seeds wrapped in paper from the street vendors, the dazzling array of colours from the fruit and vegetable stalls, the constant buzzing and honking from people riding bicycles, buses or taxis, and of course, the aroma of just-baked buns and loaves, wafting from the bakeries.

I'm going to paint in broad strokes and say that Hong Kong bakery-style buns are, in general, very different from those that you can find in European bakeries. True, both place an emphasis on texture and flavour and shaping, but with Hong Kong style buns you're looking for more pillowy-soft crust and crumb, often flavoured with additional ingredients like coconut or sweetened pastes or cubed ham and shaped into individual serving buns.

While I have been on a preferment/sourdough, blistering crust, multigrain kick lately, Shiao-Ping's recent TFL post on Chinese Po-Lo Buns (Pineapple Buns, or 菠蘿飽) evoked memories of these buns that I love so dearly. Some impressions just die hard.

These baked red bean buns (焗豆沙飽) are for those who love Hong Kong bakery-style breads, and for those who sometimes complain that my loaves of bread are "too crackly and crusty." ("How come they don't taste softer, like cake?")

Baked Red Bean Buns

- basic sweet dough, like this one, this one or this one
- lightly sweetened red bean paste (I used canned, ready-to-use paste but you can certainly make your own)
- egg wash: 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- sesame seeds, optional

After bulk fermentation of the dough, I divided it into eight portions of ~45g each, and shaped them based on a great photo tutorial posted by hidehide here.

Final proof: ~30-40 min.

Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 17-20 min. until golden brown.


Full post here.


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