Bagels with Asiago (BBB October 2016)

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Bread Baking Babes October 2016 summary: recipe for Bagels, based on recipes in “Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Every Day” and an article by Peter Reinhart in “Fine Cooking”; being a bagel purist; Asiago cheese; new digital scales and why they should be thoroughly researched in advance; how to turn a two day process into one of three days; a Bread Baking Babes project; World Bread Day; World Food Day; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) October 2016: Asiago Bagels

Asiago and Bagels There’s nobody so adamant as a recent convert…

It should be noted that I did not grow up eating bagels. In fact, I had never even heard of a bagel until I was in my twenties; the first bagel I ate was with some university friends in a bagel shop in New York City. The shop offered all kinds of toppings, including: butter, cream cheese, liverwurst, peanut butter and jelly, and of course, lox and cream cheese…. Because I had never had a bagel, my friends suggested that I try a traditional topping of cream cheese on my poppy seed bagel.

I tried it. I was in heaven.

It. Was. The. Best. Bun. I. Had. Ever. Tasted.

So, when Karen (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) told us that she had decided on bagels for the BBBabes’ October 2016 project, I jumped with joy.

She said she had adapted a bagel recipe in “Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Every Day” by adding Asiago cheese. Here’s what she wrote:

I just had one of these for dinner, and it was A-maze-ing. Just saying.
– Karen, in message to BBBabes

But. Asiago cheese IN a bagel? Oh my. That just doesn’t sound right at all.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who favor chewy boiled bagels and those who like the soft steamed versions. I’m in the first camp. A chewy, dense interior and a thick, golden crust are the trademarks of what I consider a “true” bagel, which is to say the bagels I ate as a kid. It’s called a water bagel, or a boiled bagel, because the proofed, shaped dough gets poached in a pot of boiling water before it’s baked.
– Peter Reinhart, New York Style Bagels, Fine Cooking, Issue 43

I too, am in the first camp, even though I didn’t grow up with either “true” or “false” bagels….

Here’s how bagel making went this time round:


BBB Bagels with cheese… diary:

29 August 2016, 11:14 I’ve just been thinking about the fact that it’s been too long since I’ve made bagels! And I love Asiago. But being the bagel purist (ermmm, dogmatist?) that I am, I will likely be omitting the cheese. A seed mix is a nice idea! I don’t think I’ve ever put anything but poppy seeds OR sesame seeds on bagels….

But we’ll make sure to serve Asiago on the side. Maybe we’ll still have some dried pears left over as an accent….

I confess that I have developed a deep seated prejudice against Peter Reinhart. I can’t remember what set me off. Was it his constant cry for a bread revolution, or was it his insistence that everyone use instant yeast, or was it the fact that he was always spraying rising bowls, kneaded dough, etc. etc. with Pam, or was it when he tried to get people to buy an insanely expensive oven insert?

Whatever it was, it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong, especially when you consider that I used his ingredients list the first time that I made bagels. And we LOVED those bagels.

I can’t believe I haven’t made bagels since 2009! Especially considering that they were such fabulous bagels, made from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe in her cookbook “The Bread Bible”.

[Rose Levy Beranbaum] adds black pepper to [bagel] dough! And instead of parboiling in a sugar or malt bath, she parboils in water laced with molasses and baking soda.
– me, Beranbaum’s bagels from “The Bread Bible”, blog from OUR kitchen, August 2009
In a medium bowl, whisk together […] the flour […], the yeast, malt, sugar, salt, and pepper
– Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Bread Bible, p. 155

3 October 2016, 18:42 T just pulled the last loaf of bread out of the freezer and I asked him if he cared what kind of bread I made next. I also mentioned that the next BBB project was to make bagels with Asiago – but not inside – and that the post was to appear a week from Sunday. And T joyously blurted, “Bagels! I love bagels! We don’t have to have bread every time. Why don’t you make bagels now? We’ll ride to the market to get Asiago and we can have bagels and Asiago for breakfast.”

After all this time, he still surprises me.

Not with the bagel part. I know he loves bagels. So do I.

It was the part about the Asiago. I was certain that the last time we had Asiago, he decreed that he loathed Asiago and that he never wanted to have it again. Admittedly, that was a loooooong time ago. Sometime in the last century, in fact.

So. Here I am, unprecedentedly early at starting the BBB project.

I took a look at the BBB recipe and noticed that it’s a same day recipe. But the very first bagels I made were from a recipe by Reinhart as well and that recipe uses a starter. Which has to be a good idea.

So. Based on that earlier recipe, Reinhart’s Water Bagel recipe from eons ago, knowing that I was already going to transgress by omitting the Asiago cheese, I decided I’d turn our bagels into a two day process… that’s right, I can’t read.

You will need to build in some time, in that the bagels will need to rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours before baking.
-Karen, message to BBBabes

I just mixed the starter, using just a pinch of yeast and adding 3% vital wheat gluten to account for not having any bread flour and deciding to use a bit of whole wheat flour along with unbleached all-purpose flour. I just can’t bring myself to make bread with only white flour.

I found that replacing the high-gluten flour in my usual sourdough bagel recipe with a mixture of 97% flour (the regular flour I use for bread) and 3% vital wheat gluten gave me a bagel that was virtually indistinguishable from the original.
-Susan, Wild Yeast

4 October 2016 16:44 The starter was bubbling beautifully this morning. And mixing the actual dough would have gone brilliantly smoothly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that our new digital scale suddenly refused to measure a small amount of salt. :stomp:

It also refused to measure a small amount of yeast. :stomp: :stomp:

I was so disappointed in the new digital scale. I was loving it. Until the fateful realization that it refused to acknowledge tiny amounts of salt. I usually put salt into my hand and pour it into a little bowl on the scale to weigh it. I knew I had at least a teaspoon of salt in my hand and had foolishly poured it in a stream. I had poured all of it into the bowl. The scale registered 0g.


So, I had to guess. Me. The salt measuring freak. It was horrible. :-)

(For more information about measuring salt, please see Salt is salt, right?.)

1 tsp (7 grams) diastatic malt powder, or 1 tbsp barley malt syrup
1 tsp instant yeast
– BBB bagel October 2016 recipe
Be sure to use instant or quick-rise yeast (available in most supermarkets)—not active dry. […] Look for malt syrup at natural food stores under the name barley malt syrup and for malt powder at beer-making supply shops or through baking catalogs.
– Peter Reinhart, Classic Water Bagels, Fine Cooking

Pffft! Not active dry?? Only use instant yeast? That’s silly. As usual, I just used rehydrated active dry yeast that we always have on hand.

As for the malt syrup, I’d like to have used diastic malt powder but the the only malt powder I’ve been able to find is NON-diastatic – I have no idea where to get diastatic malt powder!

To add insult to injury, I didn’t take the time to completely mix the flour into the dough before stopping to have coffee and scones (yes, it’s still the year of the scone here) for breakfast.

When I got back into the kitchen, the dough was quite dry and lumpy and really didn’t want to include all that extra flour lurking at the bottom of the bowl. So I dribbled a little water in and then used the pincer method to crush all the giant lumps. Amazingly, this worked.

Duh. I forgot to put in some black pepper, the way that Rose Levy Beranbaum does. Next time….

But I must say, after all that angst, this particular dough seems to be just fine, once again proving that bread just wants to be bread.

[Bagels are] one of the simplest breads to make, requiring only flour, water, salt, yeast and malt — and one secret ingredient: time (in the form of long, slow, cold fermentation). […] More than any ingredient or other aspect of the method, this boiling step is what defines the uniqueness of the bagel. [They] do usually feature one other distinctive ingredient: barley malt. […] If you can’t find it, simply substitute an equal amount of honey.
– Peter Reinhart, Bagels, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day: Fast and Easy Recipes
Simply said; diastatic malt is a grain which has been sprouted, dried and grounded [sic] into a powder. By sprouting the grain (often wheat or barley), letting the grain grow into a small sprout, you activate the enzymes inside the grain. These active enzymes (diastase) release sugars from the flour / starch which help to grow your yeast. It also promotes a nice golden crust and a good rise and oven spring.
– Weekend Bakery, Making your own diastatic malta
I live in Toronto, Canada and I am trying to hunt down some Diastatic Malt Powder. […]
-Gil W
I have been looking quite hard to find diastatic barley malt power in Ontario.. I live I the niagara region.. but I actually found this online.. I have not ordered it yet but I had to share right away! It looks like it is still grain.. so would just have to grind it yourself.
-Corey R
– Hard to find ingredients in Canada, The Pizza Bible (

A while back, we checked at our local homebrew supply store and they do not sell diastatic malt. The barley malt powder sold there is non-diastic. They also sell malted whole grains and the proprieter surmised that they may have some diastatic qualities in them. But, of course, it’s clear from looking at the grain that it hasn’t been sprouted. So it may be entirely non-diastatic, for all I know.

The bagel dough had beautifully doubled by just after noon (see? I KNEW that we could use active dry yeast!) But that’s too early, thank you very much. So I pushed it down and left it on the counter.

And out we headed on our bikes on this lovely sunny but finally not miserably hot day to the market to get Asiago cheese. They had two different Asiagos, a medium one from Ontario – delicious and slightly buttery, and an aged one from Asiago in the Veneto region of Italy – really delicious and slightly nutty. The proprietor was quite surprised that we preferred the older Italian cheese. Ha. So it’s true that the definition of a Canadian is someone who thinks Kentucky Fried Chicken is a bit too spicy….

So, as good as the younger Ontario Asiago was, we chose the aged Italian Asiago. (The cheese shop also had some beautiful Stilton that we could not say no to.)

When we got home, I imagined that I would be shaping bagels. Nope. The dough isn’t quite doubled again yet.

Please excuse me while I review the instructions again.

[After kneading, cover and] let rise for one hour. Turn the dough out onto the counter and cut it into 8 equal pieces (about 2 3/4 ounces each). Form each piece into a ball. Line a baking sheet (or two quarter sheet pans) with parchment and spray with spray oil or brush it with oil. One at a time, roll each ball into an 8 to 10 inch strand. […] Place each shaped bagel on the parchment. When done, spray the bagels with spray oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 2 days.
– BBB bagel recipe

Ooops!!! I wonder if the dough is supposed to have doubled in that hour….

Maybe I’ll go down to the kitchen now anyway and shape the bagels, shall I?

But. Spray the parchment paper AND the shaped bagels with spray oil?! Ewwwwww! (speaking of being opinionated) I think not! Parchment paper doesn’t need to be oiled! And I’ll just cover the pan with a wet teatowel followed by a plastic grocery bag.

17:28 Instead of making balls as per the instructions, I preshaped each piece into a fat rope and then, starting with the first one, rerolled the rope and formed it into a ring by overlapping the ends. I put the shaped rings onto two parchment lined baking sheets and cover them with damp (clean) tea towels followed by large plastic grocery bags (we have a stash of them in the closet from the days before taking our own bags). And into the fridge the trays went.

It was easy to find space for one tray on top of the vegetable bin. It was not so easy with the second tray though. Shhhhhh. Don’t tell T that I had to move some things around to make room….

After the bagels were safely in the fridge, I did some experimenting with the scale. I filled a 1/8 tsp with salt and dumped it into the little bowl on the scale. It registered 0. I kept adding salt by the 1/8 tsp until I had added 2 full teaspoons. The scale still registered 0.

I did the same thing with the 1/4 tsp. Same results. :stomp:

It wasn’t until I used the 1/2 tsp that the scale began to register. So much for the scale being 1g-5kg precision….

On baking day, remove the pan from the refrigerator 60 to 90 minutes prior to baking. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. At one hour, check to see if the bagels are ready by doing the “float test.” […] Lower a bagel, top down, into the simmering [poaching liquid]. Simmer about 45 seconds on one side, and then flip with a slotted spoon. Simmer for another 30 seconds. Using the slotted spoon, place it back onto the oiled parchment lined baking sheet with the top up and sprinkle with […] 1/8th of the cheese topping
– BBB bagel recipe

Float test? I considered it but then looked at the already large mountain of dishes to be washed. Nope. Eyeballing will work for me….

Oiled parchment? Why?! Nope. I’m not going to do that.

And I’m not going to put cheese on the bagels either. I’m using sesame seeds and poppy seeds. We’ll have the cheese on the side.

Because I’m a Bad BBBabe. Very disobedient. :stomp:

5 October 2016, 10:49 We just had the most wonderful bagels with melted Asiago cheese!

But I should backtrack to much earlier this morning: the shaped bagels hadn’t really changed much in the fridge overnight. We brought them out onto the counter and left them for about an hour.

After an hour they looked ready to go. Because I’m still firmly in my Bad BBBabe phase, I continued with my resolve not to do the float test. Really, I already have enough dishes to do, thank you very much.

I simply filled a pot with water (was it 2 quarts? I have no idea….) brought it almost to a boil and then dumped in the baking soda, honey and just half a teaspoon of salt.

I can already hear someone asking, “Hey!! WHAT honey??” …I used honey because we don’t have barley malt syrup.

Then I dumped some poppy seeds onto a small plate, wet my hands and, with a little difficulty, grabbed two of the shaped bagels and dumped them into the boiling honey water. They puffed up beautifully.

Using a slotted spoon, I pulled one out and laid it on the plate. Phhhhhhhh!! The plate was too small.

I got out a bigger plate (didn’t I just say that I already had enough dishes to do??), dumped some more poppy seeds on it and moved the still wet and hot boiled bagel onto that plate, and then onto the parchment paper that I moved over to our peel.

The two baking trays (because one tray wasn’t quite large enough) were precariously balanced on the cutting board at the end of the counter and as I was lifting a shaped bagel off of the tray, the tray fell dropping two shaped bagels. Onto the floor. That hadn’t been swept properly. I grabbed them from the floor, examined them for dust particles and then applied the 15 second rule and popped them into the boiling honey water.

Because boiling sterilizes everything, right?

But just to be sure, I put sesame seeds on those bagels.

Then, as I was putting a just boiled and seeded bagel onto the tray, the tray fell. AGAIN.

This time, the tray fell with two seeded boiled bagels on it. And miraculously, the parchment paper folded over so that it was the bottom of the parchment paper that was touching the floor.

Again, applying the 15 second rule, I picked everything up and put the bagels in the oven.

Because baking sterilizes everything, right?

And then I started the clean-up. Or should I say “raking”?

There were poppy seeds and sesame seeds everywhere. I’m not kidding. Everywhere.

While I was tidying up, I reminded myself to find the box for the new scale. Because we’re not keeping it.

8 October 2016, 10:37 We took warmed up bagels with coffee out onto the porch this morning. Sure, I had to wear a jacket and wrap myself up in a shawl but it was wonderful. This time, we just thinly sliced some Asiago to eat with the bagels. Even though it was slightly different, it was equally delicious.

As we admired the still green silver maple in the front yard and noticed that the leaves were just beginning to think about being tinged with gold, we talked about what to do about the new scale.

We do still have a lovely red spring scale that I got years ago that works not-horribly. But my rotten eyes and knees are making it very very difficult to read the numbers on the dial. I have to wear tri-focal glasses and in order to focus on the dial, I have to crouch down so I’m looking through the right part of the lenses. (I wonder if there is a magnifying glass, to place over the dial, that can be purchased….)

10 October 2016, 09:55 We shared the last poppy seed bagel this morning. It was delicious!

Remind me to make bagels again soon!

Oh, and, yes, we took the new scale back. And had to replace it with a nutritional scale (cue eye rolling here), as if I’m ever going to measure the nutrition of the various ingredients! As if I’m ever going to leaf through the page after page of ingredients to learn what code to punch in. The list is extensive, including expected things “carrots, raw”, “carrots, shredded, raw”, “carrots, sliced boiled drained”, “brown rice, long grain, cooked”, but also things like “animal crackers”, “oreo cookies”, “breaded frozen onion rings”.

(Ha. Now I’m curious. Do you think there’s any nutritional difference at all between “carrots, raw” and “carrots, shredded, raw”?)

The nutritional scale was the only scale at the Kitchen Plus store that would weigh one single dime. Actually, there was one other store brand digital scale (1g-3kg) that was promising until we learned that it’s automatic shut-off was after 30 seconds of non-use. So. For about $10 more, we could have the over-the-top way-too-much information available scale that has an on/off button as well as an auto-shutoff feature that doesn’t kick in for 3 minutes.

The only other annoying thing about the new scale is that it doesn’t fit into the lovely brushed cotton green bag with the green satin drawstring closing that Mum made for Christmas one year. I will have to steal Mum’s design to make a larger bag. And try to figure out how to use the still perfectly serviceable green bag….


We let the bagels rest for a half hour or so and then cut two of them in half and melted the Asiago on them. (See? Even our cat is a purist and can’t believe what we’re doing. Just look at those eyes!)


The bagels were on the slightly salty side (mostly due to my difficulties with the new scale) but we really liked Reinhart’s addition of salt to the sweet water for boiling the bagels. We’ll definitely do that again.

Ooops! I forgot to serve dried pears on the side. …next time (if I can manage to hold the thought in my little pea brain…)!

I hope I remembered to say that Karen is right. Asiago is terrific on bagels. A-maze-ing indeed!


What a stunningly delicious breakfast we had.

Thank you, Karen!

Here is the BBB October 2016 Bagels recipe we were given. And here is what I did to it:

BBB Bagels with cheese… on the side, that is
based on a recipes in “Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Every Day” and “Fine Cooking”


  • 227gm unbleached bread flour ²
       » 150gm unbleached all-purpose flour
       » 70gm 100% whole wheat flour
       » 7gm vital wheat gluten
  • 225gm water at 96F³
  • pinch active dry yeast4


  • all of the starter
  • 3 1/2 cups (454 grams) unbleached bread flour ²
       » 220gm unbleached “no-additives” all-purpose flour
       » 7gm vital wheat gluten
  • 7gm non-diastatic malt powder5
  • 30gm water at 96F³
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast4
  • 10.5gm Kosher salt (1.5 tsp fine table salt)
  • 3 ounces (87 grams) grated Asiago cheese


  • 1 1/2 ounces, about 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese [43gm]
  • poppy and/or sesame seeds
  • cooking water

  • ~2 liters water
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey (BBB recipe calls for barley malt syrup)
  • 1 tbsp (14gm) baking soda
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (BBB recipe calls for table salt)
  1. starter: In the evening of two days before you plan to make bagels: in a bowl large enough for the final dough to double, whisk the starter flours together. In a small bowl, whisk the yeast into the starter water (do the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist to ensure the water is not too hot). When the yeast has dissolved, add it to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to mix well. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside on the counter or in the oven with only the light turned on.
  2. actual dough: The next morning, dump flour, vital wheat gluten and malt powder on top of the now bubbly starter. In a small bowl, whisk the yeast into the dough water (again, do the baby bottle test on the back of your wrist to ensure the water is not too hot). When the yeast has dissolved, pour it into the large mixing bowl with the other ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon to make sure all the flour is mixed in. If it seems really really really dry, dribble a little more water onto the dry flour at the bottom of the bowl to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the dry dough as best you can.
  3. kneading: Using one hand to turn the bowl and the other to dig down to the bottom to lift the dough up to the top, turn, fold, turn, fold, etc. the dough until it is smooth and elastic. For me, it’s generally 100 folds. Note that this dough may seem quite stiff. As you knead, resist the temptation to add more flour or water.
  4. Once the dough is kneaded, cover the bowl with a plate and allow the dough to rise until almost completely doubled on the counter in a non-drafty area.
  5. shaping: Turn the risen dough out onto a very lightly floured board (just the smallest dusting will be enough). Divide the dough evenly into 8 pieces.
  6. Shape each piece into a thick rope and set each one aside, remembering which one was shaped first. Take the first thick rope and roll it in your hands to elongate it. Then overlap the ends to form a ring and roll that section of the ring to remove the line of the join. Repeat. Put the finished rings, well spaced, on two parchment lined baking sheets. Cover with damp (clean) tea towels followed by plastic grocery bags and place the trays in the fridge overnight.
  7. parboiling: The next morning, about an hour before you plan to bake, take the shaped bagels out of the fridge to bring them up to room temperature. They will probably rise some as they come up to room temperature. The BBB recipe suggests checking to see if the bagels are ready for boiling by doing the “float test.” Fill a small bowl with water and place one of the bagels in the water. If it floats, they are ready. If it doesn’t, wait another 20 to 30 minutes. But I’m an expert {cough} and decided I didn’t have to do that.
  8. Half an hour before baking, turn the oven to 400F. At the same time, pour a good shot of water into a large pot and bring to a smiling boil. Stir in honey, baking soda and salt.
  9. Put a layer of poppy seeds (and/or sesame seeds) onto a large plate.
  10. With wet hands, carefully lift a risen ring from the sheet and drop it gently into the boiling water. After 30 seconds or so, use a slotted spoon to turn the bagel over and allow it to boil for about another half minute. The bagel will puff up. Remove it from the water and place it on the seeds. Using the slotted spoon, flip the bagel over so it is seed side up on the parchment paper. Repeat with the other rings. (Please see photo essay of parboiling bagels from a previous time.)
  11. baking: Put the bagels onto the top shelf of the 400F oven. (We use the top shelf to prevent the bagels from burning on the bottom) Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, turning the pan once to allow for uneven oven heat.
  12. Allow to cool on a rack before eating. (They’re still baking when they are first removed from the oven.) If you wish to serve warm bagels, reheat them after they have cooled completely. To reheat uncut bagels, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bagels in the hot oven for ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust perfectly.

Serve them with butter. And thinly sliced Asiago cheese.

Or cream cheese. Or goat cheese. And apricot jam. Or red currant jelly. Or smoked salmon and capers. Or….


1.) starter The BBB recipe is actually a same-day dough recipe but I made an executive decision to convert it into one with a starter. Because longer fermentation has to improve the flavour.

2.) flour The BBB calls for “unbleached bread flour”. But “unbleached bread flour” is virtually impossible to find here. The bread flour that is marked “unbleached” invariably has Azodicarbonamide (ADA) and/or amylase added to it. (Read more about flour additives.) Consequently, we never have bread flour on hand. What I do instead is follow Susan’s (Wild Yeast) formula, by using 97% of the regular flour and 3% high gluten flour. And because I’m incapable of making bread with only white flour, I decided to add some whole wheat flour as well.

[W]ith all kinds of good bagels available just about wherever you turn, why make your own? […] [S]o you know what’s in ’em; who wants azodicarbonmide in their pumpernickel bagel?
– King Arthur Flour, bagels

3.) Water As always, I’ll repeat the caution about the water – the one that everyone just skips over: please do not use water from the hot water tap. Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave. If you are allergic to using a thermometer, you can check the temperature by putting a few drops of water onto your wrist: if it feels warm, it’s too warm; if it feels cold, it’s too cold; if it feels like a cross between cool, warm and nothing, then it’s fine. Please note that before the yeast is added, the liquid temperature must be BELOW 120F (49C) because yeast begins to die when the temperature is higher than 120F.

4.) Yeast The BBB recipe calls for instant yeast. We never have instant yeast (unless someone made a mistake) and invariably use active dry – measure for measure, rehydrating it first before adding it.

5.) Malt powder The BBB recipe calls for “1 tsp (7 grams) diastatic malt powder, or 1 tbsp barley malt syrup”. Well, good luck finding diastatic malt powder! Knowing that the malt powder is there partially for flavouring, I added non-diastatic malt powder. Which is readily available.



Bread Baking Babes Bread Baking Babes: Bagels with Cheese (October 2016)

Karen K is the host for October 2016’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

In October, we make bagels! Specifically, Asiago Bagels. These bagels are topped with Asiago cheese, and also filled with Asiago cheese. You will need to build in some time, in that the bagels will need to rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours before baking.
If you’re not interested in cheese, you can use this recipe and omit the cheese, and then top your bagels with whatever you like, such as seeds, onions, or garlic. […]
-Karen K

We know you’ll want to make bagels too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make bagels in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 October 2016. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ October 2016 bread.

As Katie has so fittingly said in the past:

As always, we have some very busy Babes at the moment….. But just so you know: We’re all still BABES! (You can tell by the panties….)


Bagels with Asiago


WHAT SHOULD A BAGEL BE? […] Traditional bagels are made from high-gluten flour mixed into an extraordinarily stiff dough. The bagels are shaped almost immediately, and the dough is given no fermentation, but chilled, or “retarded,” for at least a day to proof slowly. They are shiny and heavy and undergo an unusual cooking process: first boiled, then baked briefly on wet canvas-covered planks, then finally flipped over onto a hot stone hearth to finish baking. Good bagels are slightly sweet and off-white from the addition of malt syrup, and they have a crisp, slightly blistered crust and a very dense chewy texture. By definition, they must have a hole through their center, about the only real feature left in the counterfeits sold today.
    The “bagels” most Americans are buying aren’t even stepchildren to the original. The bagel chains sell a product made from frozen dough that is loaded with dough conditioners. Mixed and shaped in a central plant, the dough is frozen and then trucked to the “retail units,” where the “bagels” are proofed and baked “fresh that day.” Such travesties do not even deserve to be called bagels, more like circular buns for the additive-deprived.
– Maggie Glezer, Specialty Breads, Artisan Baking Across America, p. 171

Oh my! …and I thought I was harsh when ranting about additives in flour!! Maggie Glezer wrote the above in 2000. Goodness how sad that things haven’t changed a whole lot!

Asiago And what about that beautiful Asiago?

We really loved it on the bagels. But we also loved it grated on pasta with fresh sage, onions and butter. As for the rind, we carefully cut it off, chopped it and added it to the pasta water. It too was delicious!

Asiago, is a cow’s milk cheese, produced only on the Asiago plateau in the Veneto foothills in Italy. The cheese-making tradition in the provinces of Vicenza and Trento dates back to more than thousand years. Traditionally, it was made from sheep’s milk but today it is produced from unpasteurised cow’s milk.
Texture wise, Asiago goes through many changes, assuming different textures, according to its aging. There are two types of Asiago – fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) has a smooth texture while the aged Asiago (Asiago d’allevo) has a crumbly texture. Asiago d’allevo is matured for different time periods; Mezzano for 4-6 months, Vecchio for more than ten months and Stravecchio for two years.
– Asiago



World Bread Day Zorra (Kochtopf) has been celebrating World Bread Day for a decade now. She wrote:

World Bread Day 2016 (October 16) Preheat your oven – on October 16 is World Bread Day again!

Since 2006 every year hundreds of bloggers from all around the world bake bread for this special day. So I kindly invite you to do it again or join us for the first time: Bake a loaf of bread and let the world know about it by blogging on World Bread Day!

Let’s honor the day and be grateful that we have enough food. Not all of us are this lucky. On October 16 also takes place World Food Day. October 16 is a day that should heighten our awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Of course we can not solve this problem by baking a bread, but perhaps some of us will share their baked bread with someone who is not as lucky as we are.

For more information about how you can participate in World Bread Day, please see

World Food Day

Climate is Changing. Food and Agriculture must too

The world’s poorest are being hit hardest by climate change. If we strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers, we can guarantee food security for the planet’s growing global population and also reduce emissions.


What can YOU do about climate change and hunger? By changing daily habits and making simple decisions, we can all make a difference. We challenge you to pick four of our World Food Day Climate Actions and stick to them. Tell us about your actions using the hashtag #WFD2016 on social networks!

– FAO of the UN

+ Don’t waste water.
+ Diversify your diet.
+ Keep fish populations afloat.
+ Keep soils and water clean.
+ Buy organic
+ Energy efficient is best
+ Use solar panels or other green energy systems | climate actions

WFD 2016

For more information about how you can help to reduce World Hunger, please see



This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, food & drink, hunger, posts with recipes on by . Asiago and Bagels

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10 responses to “Bagels with Asiago (BBB October 2016)

  1. Kelly

    HAHAHA! You marked them! I don’t know if I would have been that kind. I would have looked quite carefully, rinsed off, reboiled and baked away. :D If anything went crunch later I would have given an innocent, “now how in the world could that have happened?” I love your cheese slicer, I have one very similar, just rounded instead of leaf shape, that was my Great Grandmother’s and I adore it.

  2. Karen

    Your bagels look fantastic Elizabeth! I always love your adventures. By the way, I have a big stash of “single use’ plastic bags in the pantry and more in the garage, waiting for the day that they are banned. Single use schmingle use. They are totally reusable!!

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      Thank you, Karen. The bagels were indeed delicious, especially with the melted Asiago.

      Single use schmingle use, indeed! Not only do we have a stash of single use plastic bags, but we also have one of those bags cut in half to create a flat blanket to place overtop of a tray of rising rolls. I don’t even know how old that bag is, of how many times we’ve used it!

  3. Bread Experience

    Elizabeth! I enjoy reading about your adventures. Your bagels look really good. I love the shots of the bagels in your kitchen. I probably broke all the “rules” with the bagels I made, but they sure were good.

  4. katiezel

    He uses Pam? Seriously? They still make that?
    I also have a nutritional scale and have never used the booklet or any of the advice stored in it. It works great for weighing envelopes for La Poste, though (as well as food)
    As to the bagels – beautiful – and big! American size! But, then bagels are American, aren’t they? Love them but never see them here. Yeah, I know…. make some…..

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      He calls it “spray oil”. But I seem to remember (and it might be just my overly active vindictive imagination) seeing him use Pam. And I have no idea if it’s still available, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I do know that he suggests oiling the rising bowl for “Classic French Bread” as well as spraying the shaped loaf. He also suggests oiling instead of flouring the workbench and to shape bread with oiled hands. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the definition of classic French bread one that is made with flour, water, salt and yeast? ie: NO oil. Certainly, this is true of baguettes:

      According to decree 93-1074 of 13 September 1993, the baguette de tradition Française may only be made with the following ingredients: wheat flour, water, yeast or raising agent and salt.

      – Janine Marsh, The very French baguette of France, French Icons, Gastronomy

      I’d heard that the nutritional scales were good for weighing envelopes. How handy to learn that it’s true. (I wonder what the nutritional information is for an envelope….)

      1. katiezel

        I actually bought a spray can designed for spraying my own olive oil once…. Then I woke up and realized a brush (or my fingers) works just as well and why be so fussy…

        1. Elizabeth Post author

          We have one of those pump spray cans for oil too and we used it quite a lot for a couple of months when we first got it – it was great for the barbecue. But I’m not even sure where it is now.

          As you say, fingers work just as well.


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