Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TWD--Bagel shaping method a winner

The bagel recipe in Baking with Julia is unlike my favorite Jewish egg bagels, but I was ready to give it a try to see if I might like it as well or even better. Plus, the addition of black pepper was pretty intriguing..

After reading through the recipe, I saw that it used six cups of flower -- yowsah! That's a lot of flour for just 10 bagels. I reasoned the bagels could be the size of small car tires, so I opted to cut the recipe in half, then reduce the size of the bagels, getting a half-dozen out of a half recipe. The step of refrigerating the dough was new to me in making bagels, but I thought it would be worth doing unlike the refrigeration step in the pumpkin bread. I could see no reason for it in that recipe, but thought the cold dough might make shaping the bagels a bit easier.

Risen dough
I made no additions or subtractions to the recipe, and added a teaspoon of black pepper for the half recipe. I allowed it to rise about an hour in my microwave (which I had warmed by heating an inch of water in a glass on high for two minutes). After that proofing, I stuck the dough in the refrig for an overnight rising. Here is what the half recipe looked like after a night in the fridge.

Bagels after shaping and boiling
The book's technique of shaping the bagels was different than my usual method. Normally, I roll about four ounces of dough in a rope, then wrap the dough around my hand with the ends meeting at my palm. I then roll my hand back and forth on the counter, merging the two ends of dough together. I must say I liked the Baking with Julia method much better and thought that it worked very well with the chilled dough. I allowed one piece of dough to warm up, just to see if it was harder to shape and it was. Thus, the step of chilling was worthwhile. The boiling step went well, except for the fact that I mistakenly put one boiled bagel on the towel with the flour -- oh no! It stuck to the towel as if it were glued. After all, flour and water make paste. I opted to use poppy seeds after applying the egg white wash.

The bagels after baking
I chose to bake my bagels five minutes less than the recipe instructed and was I glad I did. Even at that, I thought they were somewhat over baked. The taste? They were good, but very chewy. That night in the fridge probably made the dough all that more glutenous. If you like a very chewy bagel, this is the recipe for you. But, I confess, I couldn't taste the pepper. Frankly, I like Jewish egg bagels better -- less chewy and lighter, making them excellent for sandwiches.


  1. Yes, those boiled bagels are sticky little things, aren't they?
    Your bagels look great

  2. They don't look overbaked - beautiful!

  3. Thank you for writing such a detailed post. I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your delicious bagels...
    It's already 00:30 here and I start to feel a hole in my tummy...Oh no...mine have already disappeared :-)