Sunday, February 3, 2008

I dare to make bagels...

I love good bagels, and they're hard to come by here in the heart of Texas.  They're something I've thought about making, but I just haven't gotten around to trying them.  Several of my cookbooks have recipes (The Bread Bible and Desserts by the Yard are a couple), but I was looking for something that could be done in a couple of hours.  

As I've been reading various blogs, I've run across numerous references to the Daring Bakers. Many of the things they've challenged themselves to make are things I've been wanting to try, like croissants.  And one of the things that they've already done (in June 2007) is bagels.  

The challenge I chose to duplicate can be found here, at All Things Edible.  I made half a batch (8 bagels).  One of the things that I really like about the Daring Bakers is that they really help each other out, and give good feedback on how the monthly recipe worked (or didn't). Thanks to reading the article several times, I knew that the dough would rise fast, so I made sure to start my water simmering early.  As I read on a number of blogs, my bagels didn't sink at all--they floated immediately.  I started with two bagels in the water, but for the second and third rounds did three at a time, which just barely fit in the pot:

I'll have to work on the timing a bit more next time, since the bagels that were still waiting their turn for a dunk in the water definitely rose more than the earlier ones.  The boiled bagels had an interesting texture, firm but a bit sticky on the outside.  For shaping, I made ropes and joined the ends.  The first couple that I did I didn't join quite well enough, and they tried to come apart in the water.

I went for several different toppings.  I left three plain as a control, and did three sesame.  For the other two, I went with my favorite topping, salt.  We don't get to eat salt bagels very often, since they get soggy on top very quickly.  On the whole, I was happy with these for a first try.  When I make them again, I think I'll up the salt in the dough a bit--the bagels seemed a bit sweet to me.  I would also like to try substituting whole wheat flour for some of the bread flour.  And my shaping should improve with practice.  One thing's for sure--I think these have already spoiled me--I'm not sure I can go back to the ones we've been getting at Central Market.  Those aren't bad, but how can you beat fresh from the oven taste?

1 comment:

  1. you have inspired me...i'm going to finally try this!