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  • Bagels?

    Has anyone tried making bagels in the WFO? There was a discussion on chowhound.com a while back about high-heat cooking (the original poster was getting a big green egg), and someone mentioned that really good bagels require higher heat than a conventional oven can provide. He didn't provide any additional details or a recipe, unfortunately.

    Based on limited web research, it looks like the bagels are formed one day, and do a long second rise in the fridge. Ready to pop into a WFO with good residual heat from pizza the night before, I'm guessing! Anyone tried it? If so, any favorite recipes?
    Nikki

  • #2
    Re: Bagels?

    I'm interested in bagel making also. Have no experience with it at this time. Bought the book The Bread Baker's Apprentice and am working through it hoping to be able to some day do a passable job. It's a beautiful book, lots of information. I'd recommend it.
    Bonita

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    • #3
      Re: Bagels?

      I'll ask my pastry-chef-mother's friends and mentors (the reigning national pastry champions) for any tips and thoughts and will report back, too.
      Nikki

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bagels?

        Originally posted by Modthyrth View Post
        Has anyone tried making bagels in the WFO? There was a discussion on chowhound.com a while back about high-heat cooking (the original poster was getting a big green egg), and someone mentioned that really good bagels require higher heat than a conventional oven can provide. He didn't provide any additional details or a recipe, unfortunately.

        Based on limited web research, it looks like the bagels are formed one day, and do a long second rise in the fridge. Ready to pop into a WFO with good residual heat from pizza the night before, I'm guessing! Anyone tried it? If so, any favorite recipes?
        We have done it and CJim at Mary G's does it as well. IMHO higher oven heat is not necessarily as important as boiling or steaming the bagels prior to baking. Although the nice even heating of a WFO is great. That is what will give them their distinctive chew. NY bagels are usually bathed in water and malt syrup. The solution acidifies on the surface and give it the color and texture normally associated with bagels.
        Best
        Dutch
        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bagels?

          As a complete ignoramus who doesn't know what a good bagel is supposed to taste like anyway (they don't really have them much over here) I've made bagels in the WFO a couple of times, and liked them very much .

          The recipe called for placing them in boiling water for 1 minute each side and baking them at a normal kind of temperature (200 C). With just regular yeast and a regular 1-2 hour rise. I'll have to try Hammelmann's bagels next time...
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

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          • #6
            Re: Bagels?

            A good bagel will make your jaw hurt...

            CJ would be a good advisor as he does them in his oven.

            We used to make them in a conventional oven.....and...It's on my list to do in the WFO as I love a good chew!
            sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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            • #7
              Re: Bagels?

              The fact that these are so dense may be a factor for the WFO but I've got to believe that they would be great off the hot bricks.
              sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bagels?

                There are a few keys to making good NY style water bagels. 1. The dough must remain very stiff (58% hydration) to survive the boiling process. Resist adding more water. 2. Actual bagel flour (there is such a thing) runs at about 15% protein, but it's difficult to get it in anything other than large quantities (20 kilos). I add vital wheat gluten to our 13% bread flour to raise the percentage. 3. Overnight retardation at no higher than 40 degrees F makes the best bagels. 4. Do not let them warm up; they must go directly from the fridge to the boiling water, unless you want hockey pucks. We add malt syrup to the water (enough so it's the color of tea), but you can also use honey for the same effect, but the baked result will be golden rather than reddish. Baking soda also works, but no color is added. Any one of them gelatinizes the crust. 5. The time spent in the water at a rolling boil affects chewiness. During our workshops we boil them for a minute and a half, total, but only start timing when the water returns to the rolling boil. I've never found any difference in turning them over or not. 6. I bake them at 500 F on the brick or slightly lower, with lots of steam vented halfway through the bake. Ours are scaled at 4 ozs each (they're large), and they take a total of 18 minutes to reach a finished 205 F internal temp.

                The formula we use during workshops is a modified form of that shown in Hamelman's Bread, pps. 260-61. I don't use the bagel boards he describes, rather just bake them on sheet pans lined with parchment paper (much easier to handle that way). He recommends cooling them in ice water; I've never found that works or is necessary. Don't let them hang around; take them (topped or not) directly to the oven after boiling.

                You can also make Montreal style egg bagels that are much softer and sweeter (honey in the dough). Alternately, look into bialys, which have just as long a history as the famous bagel.

                Jim
                Last edited by CanuckJim; 01-20-2009, 06:29 AM. Reason: typoo*%@!s
                "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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                • #9
                  Re: Bagels?

                  The crumb on bagels should be quite dense as most bagel formulas have a hydration of maybe 55%...generally speaking they get a retarded proof or a very short normal proof...they do most of their proofing in the boiling water...the boiling step is essential to create the chew on the outer surface...in NY they are boiled in a solution of water/malt syrup/baking soda to acidify the surface...some bagels shops have gone to steaming them but...I for one don't like those results...in Montreal they do it a bit differently too...longer boil more chew...I think they would like a WFO temp in the 400F range
                  All the best!
                  Dutch
                  Haha beat me to it...forgot about the gluten...
                  Last edited by Dutchoven; 01-20-2009, 06:32 AM. Reason: read Jims post
                  "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                  "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bagels?

                    Excellent advice, thanks guys! I can't wait to give it a try.
                    Nikki

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bagels?

                      I finally got around to building a door, and tried making bagels in the WFO this morning! I had temperatures around 575 this morning, but my hamhanded steaming (really need a sprayer that works) took the temps down to about 475, which turned out to be perfect for the bagels. I used this recipe:

                      Melinda Lee

                      I've made it before in the conventional oven, so I was able to compare the taste. It's a *little* salty for my taste, but still absolutely delicious.







                      Yum! What a nice tradition--pizza on Friday night, bagels on Saturday morning.
                      Nikki

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bagels?

                        Nikki, those look outstanding! I'll have to try that. In your photos, it looks like you have some baking on the hearth and some in a sheet pan. Did you appreciate a difference?
                        Mike - Saginaw, MI

                        Picasa Web Album
                        My oven build thread

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bagels?

                          I tried half the batch on a baking sheet, half directly on the hearth. There wasn't an appreciable difference in the flavor or rise between them (unless you count the ash stuck to the ones directly on the hearth). One also got stuck to the hearth, though that was probably as a result of getting the hearth too wet.

                          My verdict: put them on a baking sheet. Less trouble and just as good.
                          Nikki

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bagels?

                            Nikki,

                            We make a lot of bagels here. I've tried them directly on the hearth (the traditional method) and on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Never noticed a difference, either, so now we always do them on sheet pans. Besides, who wants to chase bullet hot baseballs around the back of the oven with a peel. FYI, our experience is that 500 F on the hearth or a bit lower is just right. At 500 F, they bake in eighteen minutes flat. We vent the steam halfway through the bake.

                            Jim
                            "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Bagels?

                              Nikki
                              Looks great! Are you boiling them before baking...the New York way? If not you gotta try it cause they are sooo much better. We use a little molasses and sugar in the water instead of malt syrup...(to all those NYers out there I apologize) nice to give a bit of a southern twist. Right on with the sheet pans from us too. Any kind of small stuff like that I think it is best to go on pans. The brotchen and bagels we make in the WFO always go on pans as well. Have to make sure it is heavy gauge though. When we were first using our oven we did something on a pan that wasn't so heavy gauged and long story short it can out a bit of a pretzel and never been the same since
                              Best
                              Dutch
                              Last edited by Dutchoven; 08-30-2009, 04:47 PM. Reason: too much mead
                              "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                              "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

                              Comment

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