For the recipe, as well as sponge and dough-making details, please click here.
Bagel Day 2
Saturday morning, the bagel odyssey continued. This part was considerably easier, as well as considerably scarier.
I started by setting up my water bath. I used my Le Creuset braiser, since it was wide enough for several bagels at once, and wouldn't require 8 gallons of water to fill. While the water was heating, I added the required tablespoon of baking soda and tablespoon of honey (still didn't have any malt syrup) and let it all come up to temperature. I pulled out one of the pans of bagels, and boiled half of them for about 2 minutes per side.
Here is something else you may not know about me. I love Cosi's square bagels. My company used to get them for us on Mondays. I always picked an Asiago Cheese - so of course when making my own bagels I decided to top them with cheese. I'm generally not a fan of pre-shredded cheese that you buy at the supermarket, because I don't like eating stabilizers. But it melts so nicely - so I topped some of our first test batch of bagels with shredded Mexican cheese blend. Basically, after they boiled, I picked the really hot bagel up off the slotted spoon and pressed it into a pile of cheese. In later batches, I mixed some chili powder with the cheese, which added a little somethin to the party. The rest I left plain, although in later batches I added some kosher salt/garlicpowder to make a garlic-salt bagel. Mmmm :)
The bagels baked for 5 minutes at 500-degrees. Then, in theory, I rotated the cookie sheet and reduced the heat to 450. When I baked the test batch, I actually remembered to do that. When I baked the other 2 pans of bagels later, I definitely forgot to rotate and reduce on the first pan, but remembered on the second. I'm not sure whether I noticed a difference.
And now, some photos, to give you an idea of what it all looked like, from boiling onward:
Ahh bagels with egg salad, or with cream-cheese and tomato. Perfection.
To sum up, these were pretty good. Next time, I will definitely be using all purpose flour and my wheat gluten (in case I forgot to mention it before, add 1 tablespoon of wheat gluten to every 1 cup of flour to get high-gluten flour) instead of whole wheat. But it was pretty darn good. And considering how scary I thought it would be.... pretty darn easy. Try these. They're fun.