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Modthyrth 11-30-2008 04:01 PM

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?

bturton 11-30-2008 06:44 PM

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.

Modthyrth 11-30-2008 06:53 PM

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.

Dutchoven 11-30-2008 06:56 PM

Re: Bagels?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Modthyrth (Post 46214)
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

Frances 12-01-2008 12:35 AM

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...

Xabia Jim 01-20-2009 12:03 AM

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!

Xabia Jim 01-20-2009 12:05 AM

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.

CanuckJim 01-20-2009 05:26 AM

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

Dutchoven 01-20-2009 05:28 AM

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...

Modthyrth 01-20-2009 07:42 AM

Re: Bagels?
 
Excellent advice, thanks guys! I can't wait to give it a try.


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