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Author Topic: Bagels attempted √  (Read 5104 times)

Offline Zeb

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Bagels attempted √
« on: March 31, 2010, 12:33:02 PM »
It's not going to happen just yet, but this is the challenge for me as I have never made these. But I will definitely have a go, or several goes. Mellow does it.... :)

 Paul I have had a perfect bagel - in Edmonton, Alberta - and I think they were called Montreal or Montreal style -  is that a special type of bagel? Is that the one we are making?  I remember the hot salted beef and the pickles and it was delish!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 05:16:45 AM by Zeb »
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Offline chefityourself

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2010, 02:51:52 PM »
I can tell you're as excited about this one as I am.  :woot:

I just ordered the high gluten flour and the malt powder/syrup. Cant wait!
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Offline Paul

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2010, 05:02:13 PM »
A "Montreal bagel" will have a particular character to crust and crumb, be made with a specific process and, of course, be amazingly delicious but it's not just a "recipe". Wood fired ovens, special flours, specific techniques (i.e. boiling in honey water) are all part of what makes these the world class treats they are. Montreal bagels, like New York bagels, are famous because the long established bakeries that produce them in their respective cities have tuned their bagels to a fine art over many, many years.

And there is a definite difference between the two bagels. Once you can narrow down what bakery represents the city, that is. Basically, a New York bagel, made in dozens of locations (each slightly different) is large and very plump with a small-ish centre hole. They are baked in electric (or gas) ovens as New York banned wood-fired ovens eons ago.

A Montreal bagel, on the other hand, is a made with a thiner ring of dough. They also use honey and egg in their dough and add honey to their boiling water. The real Montreal bagels, specifically from either St-Viateur or Fairmount bakeries, are baked in wood fired ovens.

The size difference between the two means the New York bagels, while having a chewy crust, are a bit more doughy and fluffy. The Montreal bagels have a crispier crust and are a bit denser.

Montreal bagels are normally sold as plain, sesame or poppy. They do come in pumpernickel as well as plain white versions. One downside is they aren't as versatile as their larger NY cousins that, having more bulk, are better used as sandwich breads and get countless additions put on - and in - the dough since there's more space for that.

A bagel you had in Alberta most likely would have been a "Montreal-style" bagel, more due to the shape than the baked good since it is probably not baked in a wood fired oven.





The recipe we'll be making out of the book is based on New York bagels since Hamelman makes a point of thanking Rick Coppedge, a baker from New York, for his technical assistance with the recipe. A look at Google tells me Richard Coppedge is a CIA (Culinary Institute of America) chef and teacher so chances are he's not likely to have connection to Montreal's well established bagel bakeries.

I am definitely looking forward to doing this recipe and comparing them to my recent tries with Reinhart's BBA bagels and Mike Avery's sourdough bagels.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 05:33:42 AM by Paul »
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Offline Abby

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2010, 07:35:22 PM »
Hm, I've never heard of Montreal bagels . . . it would be interesting to have a Montreal-inspired recipe to contrast with a NY-inspired recipe and have a taste-test!

My parents are both from NY, so my true, best bagel is, unsurprisingly, a New York bagel. Bagels were one of the most-looked-forward-to treats on my summer trips to visit the grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And my aunt would always take me to get a fresh bag on our way to the airport . . . I would eat one on the plane and bring the rest home for my parents. Mmmmm, I can smell them now . . . . . .

Can't wait to compare Hamelman's recipe to the BBA!

Offline ap269

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 12:46:35 AM »
For those fellow bakers interested in Montreal bagels, here are 2 recipes I found online:
1) Big Oven
2) Recipezaar
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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2010, 07:32:32 AM »
I baked a batch of Jeffrey’s bagels about a year ago. We were happy with the results. I used honey in the boiling water and baked on a stone in our indoor convection oven. In Allison Reid’s (http://scratchbakingco.com) demonstration at last years Kneading Conference she baked bagels in a wood fired oven. I’m going to try that this weekend. I'll post with photos next week. :)

Offline Zeb

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2010, 02:30:34 PM »
Thanks for the recipe links Andrea :) 

I have just opened the book and read the words 'high gluten' flour is that the same as very strong flour in England? i.e. flour with lots of protein? Diastatic malt powder, I have diastatic malt flour and I have spraymalt which is non diastatic, I think I'll go with the flour... Also please help me here, a 'kettle' in brit english is a thing you boil water in for tea, no way could I get a bagel in my kettle, so I presume this is a large metal pan. Do I have to make bagel boards (!) what sort of wood am I supposed to use.... are you all going to make them?  Oh and I don't have a mixer apart from a baby one that can do cake mix but definitely not dough, so anything I make has always been handmixed, is that ok    Zeb
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Offline ap269

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2010, 03:09:18 PM »

I have just opened the book and read the words 'high gluten' flour is that the same as very strong flour in England? i.e. flour with lots of protein?
... Oh and I don't have a mixer apart from a baby one that can do cake mix but definitely not dough, so anything I make has always been handmixed, is that ok    Zeb

Zeb: high gluten flour: has a high protein content, about 14%. Flours in Germany, don't state the protein content (as far as I know), so I always add vital wheat gluten when a recipe calls for high gluten flour. Mixer: I'm pretty sure handmixing is absolutely fine. I don't know about this recipe, but the bagel dough from Peter Reinhart's BBA was a really stiff dough which was easier to knead by hand than with the mixer.
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Offline ap269

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 03:15:03 PM »
... Also please help me here, a 'kettle' in brit english is a thing you boil water in for tea, no way could I get a bagel in my kettle, so I presume this is a large metal pan. Do I have to make bagel boards (!) what sort of wood am I supposed to use.... are you all going to make them? 

Zeb: Kettle: I had to giggle when I pictured you putting a bagel into a tea kettle  ;D. I'm not a native speaker, but I would just take a wide pot that you can squeeze many bagels into. Bagel boards: No way I'm going to make bagel boards. I can't remember having done anything special when I made the BBA bagels.
Andrea (ap269)

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Offline Zeb

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 04:25:36 PM »
My very strong flour is 15% protein and very gluteny so hopefully that is good enough. Baking parchment instead of boards then. All you mellow bakers who have made these before - are there any obvious mistakes that I can avoid in this?  it seems pretty elaborate compared to making a sourdough!
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Offline Paul

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Re: Warming up to making bagels..
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2010, 04:48:27 PM »
Kettle: a large pot, should fit at least 4 bagels in it and be deep enough so adding cool bagels won't lower the water temp too much.



Yes, use your malt powder.

No, bagel boards are not mandatory. If you end up making bagels pretty regularly, you might want to whip some up although they are a "single purpose" item. A plain pine board will work, you can use rough canvas or even burlap to cover them. They're simply a handy way to flip numerous bagels in one go when they're half done cooking without having to stick your hand far into the oven. Wet them down before putting them in the oven and the fabric won't burn.

And yes, you can certainly make them without a mixer; there were plenty of bagels made before mixers were ever invented.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 05:39:45 AM by Paul »
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Offline Zeb

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Re: Bagels attempted √
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 05:20:11 AM »
First bagels



Made a half quantity of dough in the evening using very strong bread flour, a pinch of dme, salt water yeast as per recipe.  I got it to 72 degrees and left it in a warm corner for the next hour.

 Stuided instructional videos helpfully posted by Paul, went cross eyed watching the guy with the fast hands, looked at the book again. 

Tried making one bracelet,  realised I was better doing it the other way round as I am left handed.

The dough felt a bit loose, I think I would need to make it firmer another time.  Put them on a tray on some semolina, covered and put in the fridge. In the morning B had already put some water on and brought me a cup of tea, so together we did the next bit. 

I used my marmalade making pan as it’s the widest and biggest one I have and my stock pot got filled with iced water. 

The dough was not at all puffy when it came out of the fridge and in fact the rings had a sort of edge to them.
The bottom surface was so chilled it had almost gone a bit hard in the firidge, which is at 4 degrees C.  Oven had been on for an hour, at 250 C - breadstone in. 

Set up  two superpeels, a square of baking parchment on one, sesame seeds in a bowl and off we went.  The first two bagels didn’t puff up much, though they did float, the next four puffed up a bit.  Timings for these things seem to vary from recipe to recipe. But I followed the times in Bread, one can play around with these on other tries.

 Anyway we boiled them for 45 seconds, plunged them in the icebath. 

Put them on a sheet of baking parchment on the superpeel having rolled them in sesame seeds and onto the baking stone at 250 C. for 4 mintues

Took the whole sheet out, used the other superpeel to flip them and then put them back in for another 12 minutes. 

In the meantime, drained the yoghurt cheese and mixed it with a bit of salt. 

The bagels definitely look a bit flat and uneven, on slicing them in half they had very clear aeration. To eat, slightly crispy, which I wasn’t expecting! and maybe a bit undercooked in the middle, hard to say. I have done a bit more reading around and I think I will definitely either try a sourdough version next time, or the Claudia Roden version which uses an egg and some sugar in the dough. 

I don’t know what my Polish jewish forbears  would have made of them, but I hope they are smiling at least!  I can recommend making your own soft cheese too!

Things I would change.  Make the dough stiffer. Roll it tighter before rolling it out and forming the rings,  maybe dust a bit more with flour, they were a bit sticky. Find a better surface to roll on, my wooden IKEA board isn’t smooth enough.  Try other recipes, these were definitely not perfect, but I didn’t really expect a miracle on my first go!  That was good fun though  :D



I’ve tried to make a slideshow on photobucket here is the link I hope it works. I think you just click on the picture of the dough...
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Offline ap269

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Re: Bagels attempted √
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 06:20:31 AM »
I like the slide show. Good job!  :clap: When I made the BBA bagels they were kinda flat, too. So looking forward to making this version and to seeing how they'll turn out.
Andrea (ap269)

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Offline Abby

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Re: Bagels attempted √
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2010, 07:37:12 AM »
Love the slide show!! I've always had success with the BBA bagel recipe, although every time I've made it, 1 or 2 (out of 24) bagels ended up flat, and I've never known why. They still taste good, though! Can't wait to try this one to compare. And how cool that you made your own cream cheese . . . I've never thought of doing that. Yum!  ;D

Offline Paul

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Re: Bagels attempted √
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2010, 08:34:34 AM »
Ah, gotta love them flat bagels... Been there, done that!

Looks like you had a good time giving these a whirl in any case. If you were to give them another try, you might work the kinks out and figure out how to adjust for your own circumstances. You'd learn a fair bit from doing it again until it's just right.

As you note, the dough should definitely not be anywhere near "sticky", not even tacky so finding out what the best ratio of water to your particular flour for this recipe is would be helpful.

That said, them sourdough bagels is real good...  :drool:

I like the slideshow thingy, BTW.
Paul
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I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.