by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing baker: Lauren Groveman
I'll definitely try my hand at making bagels again. These were good. Especially the jalapeño-cheddar bagel.
The only downside was that the everything bagel was dry and tough the next day, as where the jalapeño-cheddar bagel was still soft and moist; probably due to the cheese I added to the dough. I'm wondering if the vegetable shortening that I had inadvertently omitted would have any effect on the texture of the bagels. The reason I question this is that other recipes I have seen do not call for shortening or other fats to be added.
I halved the dough after mixing and to one half I added chopped jalapeños and grated cheddar cheese. Before baking I also topped them with additional cheese and jalapeños. I did not add anything to the remainder of the dough itself, but I did top the remaining bagels with a mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt.
Lauren's recipe makes ten large bagels. I wanted to have plenty to go around so I divided the dough into approximately 2 ounce portions which yielded 24 bagels. They turned out to be the perfect size.
I decided to go with Peter Reinhart's (author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice) instructions to form the bagels before retardation*. He also has you do a "float test" (shown below) to make sure they are ready to be refrigerated. This would save a lot of time in the morning. I would just have to boil, top, and bake before delivering them to the boys in time for their morning break.
*Retarding is a second, slower rising of your bread dough. It is done by placing the dough in the refrigerator which causes a slower fermentation, or rise, of the dough. Retarding bread dough is often done overnight when the dough is placed in the refrigerator so that it can be freshly baked in the morning. It is also done to increase the flavor of the bread and to give the crust a darker color when baked. (Source: about [dot] com.)
In making of my bagels I used three separate resources:
1. Baking with Julia for the initial recipe.
2. The Bread Baker's Apprentice for dough preparation.
3. Brown Eyed Baker for the everything topping recipe.
Success meter (1-3): 2
"The float test". After the bagels are formed and have rested
for about twenty minutes, check to see if they are ready to be
retarded (placed in the refrigerator) by placing a bagel in a bowl
of cool to room temperature water. If it floats within ten seconds
they are ready. Return the bagel to the pan, pat it dry and continue
with the recipe. Should the bagel not float, return it to the pan and
let the dough rest for another ten to twenty minutes and try again.
These are my favorite.
I left two plain - just in case.
All packed up and ready for the boys!
(Only to drive up and find them all
standing in the middle of the shop
eating breakfast sandwiches!)
The directions say the bagels will keep
for a day in a paper bag which I did not
have. Wrapped in parchment is so much
cuter anyway - great gift idea!
Bagels are really easy and fun to make. If you would like to give it a try visit our host Heather at Heather's Bytes for the recipe or one of the other resources I mentioned above.
Do make sure to check out the results of my fellow bakers; there are always interesting variations and techniques to accommodate ingredient & equipment availability, personal preferences, and health restrictions.