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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Open Sesame

I made homemade bagels on Saturday; they came out really well.
I had ordered High-gluten flour from King Arthur. It has 14.2% gluten as opposed to regular all-purpose flour, which has 11.7% gluten, so it stands up well to the rigors of bagel making.
I pulled a recipe off the net for "real jewish bagels". I'm not sure what was jewish about them, however, the recipe seemed to work pretty well. The dough took 4 TBS of yeast, which I thought was a bit much; 4 TBS to approximately 6-8 cups of the flour. The dough had no problems doubling, tripling in size. The yeast got a little honey as an extra little meal to get it jump started, and a bit of salt. That's it. I did it in my Kitchen-aid mixer and finished it off kneading it by hand.
I let it rise, then punched it down and stuck it in the fridge for 4-5 hrs. When I was ready to actually make the bagels, I put on water to simmer them and turned on the oven to 400. The recipe called for 3 TBS of malt syrup or sugar to go into the simmering water. While not in the recipe that I was using, I had heard that you are supposed to add in a bit of baking powder as well, to the water, so I added a teaspoon.
I formed the bagels (I should have taken a bit more time to do this, as they came out a bit longer and thiner, than shorter and fatter), and put them into simmer. The recipe called for simmering the bagels 3 minutes per side. I had read other recipes that called for times ranging from 30 (s) to 1 minute. I compromised and did 2 minutes per side. I let them dry briefly and then egg-washed them and socked them with sesames. They baked for about 35-40 minutes.
They toasted up well, had a nice, slightly fermented flavor, with a good crunch on the outside and a good chew on the inside. We ate them with cream cheese. I also had one toasted with Soy nut butter and boysenberry jelly. YUM.
I think next time I make them I am going to drop the amount of yeast a bit. I'm also going to take a bit more time to actually form the bagels. I'd also like to drop the simmer time to see if that makes any difference. What I noticed is that the bagels got most of their rise in the water as opposed to in the oven. So, I'm not sure if simmering them for less time would afford them an extra rise in the the mean time, I cut up the bounty and froze them, so they are good to go whenever the bagel fix needs to be attended to....


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