bagels revisited

It has been exactly a year (well, one more day…) since I reported about making bagels for the first time. I suddenly decided yesterday that instead of making sandwich bread, I needed (I almost typed “kneaded”) to make bagels again. A year is a little long to wait between trying recipes, I think. And it might not have been so wise to do it on one of the colder days. The dough took forever to rise – there’s a big surprise – and I know there’s nothing wrong with the yeast. I had imagined that I would be baking bagels YESTERDAY. Ha!

Last night, just after dinner, we shaped the bagels, covered them with plastic and stuck them in the fridge. This morning, they had risen a little but they had just barely budged so I stuck them in the oven with the light turned on for about an hour. It seems an hour was a little too long. I had some difficulty prying the risen rings from the parchment to put into the boiling malted water. When I put them into the boiling water, they didn’t even begin to sink and rise up again to the surface of the water. I’m afraid they are no longer the beautiful rings they were. Talk about rustic! They look like bagels that were shaped by someone who had heard about rings and had them described but had never actually seen a ring.

They are baking now – I just turned them around in the oven. They smell good… Fifteen minutes to go. And then it’s bagel time!!

Drat. I forgot to buy cream cheese.

edit @ 12:20 EST They might not be correct but they’re great!! Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, just a hint of nuttiness from the sesame seeds, the butter just starting to melt, mmmm…. (Did I get that right?? Do I sound like Giada De Laurentiis?)

Please read about other bagel making times:


8 responses to “bagels revisited

  1. Barbara

    Have you ever had bagels sink and then rise? Mine always just float. They taste wonderfully like bagels, and are quite chewy, but I can’t help thinking they would be chewier and bagelier if they sank first.

  2. ejm Post author

    I haven’t made bagels often enough to even remember whether they sank and rose. I think these ones would have if I had just boiled them as soon as I took them out of the fridge this morning. But I can’t say that they would have been bagelier if they had. They are pretty bagelly – misshapen – but bagelly.

  3. Moira

    I make bagels ever other week or so, and mine never sink. I always let my dough rise in a warm oven, too. I actually have a really easy recipe if you’re interested- not authentic, but very good and very quick. Let me know!

  4. ejm Post author

    I’d love to take a look at your recipe, Moira. Do you use bread flour or AP?

    I tend to let dough rise in cooler temperatures. (And maybe I go a little overboard) I love the flavour that developes. Sometimes I think that the reason so many of the supermarket breads are basically tasteless is because they push the rise by putting the dough in a very warm environment.

  5. Moira

    I’m sure you’re right about that! I guess I’ve never had much counter space, and I oftentimes have the windows open, so I feel like the closed oven is the safest place for it. BTW, when I say “warm”, I mean pilot light really…just enough to give it a hug.

    I use all-purpose in my recipe, but I think you may be more of a purest than I am! My bagels definitely wouldn’t fool any New Yorkers, but I think they’re pretty good.

  6. ejm Post author

    I’ve made bagels with AP and also with the high protein bread flour. The AP ones were really good but they weren’t really bagels – ring shaped buns.

    In any season but winter, our kitchen window is usually open as well. I shield the rising bowl from draughts with a large book or put the bowl in a corner of the room well away from the window.

    Ohh, you have a gas oven! Mostly (except the bitterest weeks in January) our electric oven with the light turned on is the perfect temperature. Once the dough starts rising, it heats up the oven just that little bit more making it the perfect rising temperature.

    I just have to remember to put a whacking great note saying “bread dough in oven” on the oven dial. Why? Don’t ask….

  7. ejm Post author

    You’re welcome, Jessica. I hope it helps. But it really looks like Moira’s bagels are pretty correct. If you can’t get high gluten flour, it’s still worth it to make them with allpurpose. They’re still far better than most of the commercial bagels.

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