My second bread for the Mellow Bakers this month – Bagels. You can find the recipe on page 260 in Hamelman’s book “Bread” – this is the book the Mellow Bakers strive to bake their way through at a relaxed pace. I was looking forward to making this recipe to see how they would compare to my BBA bagels. Those were flat, but taste-wise very good.
I wanted to make mini bagels because I think that 4-oz bagels are way too big for kids that are 2, 4 and 7 years old, so I halved the recipe which resulted in 13 bagels of 2 ounces each. Mixing and shaping were easy, unfortunately I forgot to re-read my BBA post where I had said I wanted to try the poke-a-hole method next time I make bagels, so I went with Hamelman’s rope-around-your-hand method. Into the fridge they went for an overnight rest.
The next day, in the biggest pot I have I brought water to a boil, added some malt syrup and boiled the bagels for about 1 minute (the recipe doesn’t say to flip them halfway through, but I did). Into the ice water they went for about 3-4 minutes. I have NO clue what that was good for. Then I topped the bagels with my “everything” topping, which consisted of a mix of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic flakes, and a little salt.
I preheated the oven to 500°F, put the bagels into the oven (I didn’t bother to make bagel boards, I just put them on sheet pans, lined with parchment paper that was sprinkled with cornmeal), flipped them after a short amount of time (I don’t know why the recipe calls for flipping them so early) and continued baking them. After about 10 minutes the smell from the kitchen let me realize that the bagels were about to burn, so I rushed into the kitchen and took them out. WHAT? The recipe says 15-18 minutes!!!! But there was NO way they could stay in the oven any longer!!! Oh well…
The picture above shows you only the good bagels. Yes, that’s weird: I had 4 bagels that came out fine. Already a little too brown, but ok. They were puffed up and the middle was cooked. But all the other 9 bagels were FLAT. Flatter than flat! And they were almost raw in the middle. I have no idea at all how this could happen. We could barely eat them! I tasted the good ones, and they were ok taste-wise. I liked the BBA bagels MUCH better, even though they, too, were flat. But at least they weren’t raw! I haven’t given up on the idea of homemade bagels yet – does anyone have a foolproof recipe, please?
This one, at least, was a big FAILURE! Maybe it was due to the fact that I didn’t use bagel boards. Maybe they would have kept the bagels a little more moist, so I could have left them in longer. Who knows… I found this information here, which kind of confirms my assumption:
“The purpose of the burlap boards is to provide a non-stick surface that will stay relatively cool in the oven while drying the bottom of the bagels. This allows the bagels to be flipped after 2 minutes of baking and helps to preserve the bagels shape. It also ensures the bagel is baked evenly on the top and bottom.”
But still, I’m not willing to make or buy those boards. So maybe I just try Abby’s or Paul’s versions, they came out perfect. And the only difference I could detect was that they used diastatic malt syrup instead of malt powder in the dough.
In the meantime, I made Paul’s sourdough bagels. And whereas they didn’t turn out as flat as the BBA bagels or the Hamelman bagels, I prefer the flavor of the BBA bagels. I’m going to make them again soon to see if I can figure out how to make them turn out not that flat! Btw, for the sourdough bagels I tried both the rope-around-your-hand method and the poke-a-hole method. And I must say that the rope-around-your-hand method is MUCH easier for me and results in more even bagels than the poke-a-hole method.
Other Mellow Bakers’ bagels:
- Abby’s bagels looked perfect to me, even though she prefers the BBA bagels
- Paul thinks, these bagels beat the BBA bagels, but are not as good as his sourdough bagels
- Lien’s bagels were “flat, crispy and brown on the outside and the inside wet and glue-ish”, but she figured out what the problem was and now knows how to make the perfect bagel ;o)
- Zeb’s bagels were flat and undercooked, too
- Anne Marie