Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Daring Bakers Challenge: Bagels

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Before this month’s challenge I thought I didn’t like bagels, American bagels that is. The few bagels that I had until now were not memorable: too plain, too chewy, too tough; in other words, bad memories. Making bagels was really challenging for me since I have never made this kind of bagels before and have no experience on how the real bagel should taste or feel like. For me the kind of bagels that I grew up eating and loving has a texture crossed between bagels and brioche and flavored with anis seeds, sesame seeds and orange zest. I then decided to seek some advices from some bakeries around where I live, explaining them my situation, without broking my daring baker pledge of course. I really wanted to know what makes a bagel, a bagel and how to make sure that my bagels don’t float, since the water bath was the thing that scared me the most. Some baker were nice enough to take the time and explain it to me and some thought I was trying to steel their secret recipe. Some bagels were good; some of them were not that good.



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Days went by when I started checking with some studious fellow daring bakers that had already tried the bagel recipe. Two words came back over and over again: floating and sinking. My fear of the water bath for the bagels was then multiplied by one hundred.
Then came the Bagel Day. I followed the recipe while taking notes of my friend’s advices. Come the water bath stage and here I see all my bagels floating. Not only they were floating but also they were getting bigger and deformed. I thought about sinking them my self but then I remembered that I should only stick to the recipe. The result: my first batch of bagels was ugly, shameful, misshapen and chewyliscious. Yes, I even invented a word for them.
I was so disappointed, I told my self that I would never make bagels or eat bagels or even look at a bagel again. But then I remembered what the foundation of the daring bakers was all about. It is about trying once, twice until you learn. It’s about being patient and trying to see objectively what went wrong. What went wrong with my dough? I overproofed the yeast. Yes, you read it right, not the dough, the yeast: You know, the first stage when you mix the yeast with the water and you are supposed to let it rise 5 min, well with me I left it 30 min. From there, everything went super puffy.



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The following day, I started all over again: the yeast, 5 min this time, didn't add all the flour, kneading well and harder, punching down the dough with all the muscles that I don’t have, trying to shape as little as possible and using malt syrup instead of sugar. The result: Although not all the bagels went straight to the bottom of the pan, 5 out of 7 came out just as they were supposed to. They didn’t have the same shape but I was pretty happy with the result. The texture was just a little chewy with a lot of softness to it. For some people, it might not taste as a bagel but for me it was just the way I like it. I used sesame seeds and kosher salt as a topping for half of my bagels and poppy seeds, sesame seeds and garlic flakes for the others. As a filling I used Nutella instead of cream cheese and the garlic bagels were used as a sandwich bagels with lettuce, goat cheese and turkey patties. Sorry if I don’t have pictures of them but I couldn’t wait to eat them.
Once again thanks to Jenny and Freya for this challenge that made me appreciate the real, homemade bagel. You can head to their respective blogs for more details on the recipe.




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42 comments:

Meeta said...

Oh my goodness Rose! Your bagels look incredible. Just like professional ones. Fantastic Rose, well done!

Pille said...

I agree with Meeta - these bagels look so perfectly round and smooth! Well done, Rose!!

Baking Soda said...

Teehee! What a bagel! No crinkles, no dimples, sheer smoothness. I'm in awe!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yeah, This is a perfect smooth professional bagel. Right on Rose.

Anne said...

OMG! your bagels are photogenic! they are flawless!

sher said...

Those pictures are gorgeous! Brava! Absolutely perfect looking bagels.

Kelly-Jane said...

Well done Rose, fabulous bagels!

Mine turned out how you describe your first batch, so I must have over proofed the yeast too.

Yours are so professional :)

Ilva said...

oh, they look so beautiful and they make me feel really inferior.Brava!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Wow! Your bagels look fantastic, perfect even! That sends me back to the kitchen to make some more... Maybe just not yet...

KJ said...

Your bagels are so incredibly neat and perfect. Well done.

Cheryl said...

Wow, now my bagels look really ugly next to yours. These are just picture perfect.

breadchick said...

WOW Rose!! Your bagels are PERFECT!! Great job!!!

Heather said...

Looking good!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Rose, your bagels are PERFECT!!!
They are so smooth and shiny, you did an excellent job!
How much for the classes?? ;)

Lis said...

Wow, for my first stop on the DB list, I sure am impressed!

Rose your bagels are gorgeous - just gorgeous! I'm so glad you tried again (you give me courage now!) it was totally worth it. =)

xoxo

Alice Q. said...

Great job - they really do look like they came straight from a bakery!

Laura said...

Bakery perfect Rose, I hope mine look like that second time round!

Quellia said...

Your bagels look absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful and ready for their close up!
I hadn't even thought about reducing the yeast proving time, but will try it next time!
Thanks so much Rose!

gilly said...

Gorgeous bagels, Rose! Yours turned out perfect... smooth, round!

Jerry said...

Success!!! Going to take your comments with the next I go bagel dipping!

Mary said...

I agree that your bagels look very professional. Your research and tenacity really paid off.

lili63 said...

tu es la reine du bagel!
Parfaite reussite .
Je t'envie ,j'ai essayé une foir et demi fiasco , disons pate un peu lourde ...

Helen said...

Bakery perfect Rose! Congrats on the completing the challenge!

Nora B. said...

Those look great, Rose!

Marce said...

Those are absolutely perfect, Rose, round and shiny. Congratulations!

Sara said...

Lovely pictures, looks like your second batch was well worth the effort!

Ivonne said...

Great job, Rose!

Peabody said...

Yours turned out wonderful!

Lydia said...

Beautiful bagels! Hooray for you for making them twice. I think I would have given up and gone to a bakery!

Brilynn said...

Your bagels are so smooth and shiny! I'm jealous, well done!

Leslie said...

Wow - your bagels look AWESOME!

Susan said...

These are most enticing photos, Rose. They belong in a bakery case. Truly.

Culinarily Curious said...

Gorgeous!

And congratulations for trying until you were satisfied with the results.

Glenna said...

Congrats--those are gorgeous! Love all your pics.

Amy said...

Your bagels look perfect! They're so round and smooth! Fantastic job!

candy said...

i'm a little intimidated by making bagels too. i'm not really a baker by nature but bagels are really baking i guess. anyway, you're post has inspired me to give it a try...maybe :)

mima said...

c'est for me,formidable,very,very,véritable!!!quel talent!!!!!!rien ne t'arrete,jusqu'ou iras tu?je dis respect !biz

Anonymous said...

Rose, these bagels look professionally made! Go you!

Ari (Baking and Books)

$ha said...

J'ai goûté un bagel pour la première fois lors de mon séjour à Londres, j'ai vraiment apprécié! Je me lancerais bien dans le fait maison...
Sinon, j'ai eu la même expérience que toi, mais pour les scones. Et maintenant, je suis addict!

Anonymous said...

hi, your beagals look very yammi. can you post the recipe please.
thank you.
warda

Warda said...

- Anonymous, tanks a lot! you can find the recipe here:
http://allthingsedible.blogspot.com/2007/06/see-what-happens-when-you-put-me-in.html

Happy baking, and I hope you will enjoy them.

dmartha said...

Rose, they are the most amazing looking bagels on the net, and I bet the taste and texture is great too...is there a chance that you could share some of your secrets?...I mean, how did you manage to get them sooo smooth, 'cause usually they look as if they had pimples!!Just to know you shaped them making a hole instead of joining the ends, I suppose. They are ppppeeerrrffeecctt!congratulations, you are a fantastic pastry chef!