Bagel Failure

My head was so inflated with my initial success for the HCBs, I decided to branch out further and go for the bagels.

I got the recipe from allrecipes.

Additions or adjustments apart from halving the recipe, I have indicated with an asterix (*).

Makes 6.

250g plain flour
7 g dry yeast (1 packet)
125mL warm water
52.5mL warm water
20 g white sugar
10 g salt
1 tablespoon molasses or sugar*
Mix of sesame, chia, nigella seeds*

1. Mix 1 teaspoon of yeast, flour, and sugar together. Add in 125mL warm water. Leave to combine until it becomes foamy, or a nice crust forms. 15-30 minutes*.
2. In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt together. Add yeast mixture and remaining water. You need a moderately stiff dough.
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10
minutes). Cover, let rest for 15 minutes.
4. Cut into 6 portions, shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the centre with your
finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. Sprinkle with your choice of seeds, and push the seeds into the dough so they are ‘caught’.
Cover, let rise 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, start 3-4 litres of water boiling. Put 1 tablespoon of molasses or sugar in it, mix it
around a bit. Reduce to simmering.
6. When the bagels are ready, put 2 or 3 bagels into the water, depending on the size. You don’t want to crowd the water. Cook for 7 minutes, turning once. Drain them.
7. Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 190 degrees C for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, cool on a wire rack if required.
8. Option: For a glossier surface, place raised bagels on an ungreased baking
sheet prior to boiling them. Bake them on the top shelf of the oven for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on
each side at 220 degree C. Then put them into the hot water to be boiled as above.

Note: do not bake pre-baked bagels as long as the other ones, 25 minutes should be long enough.

Since I didn’t want to make a full 12 bagels, or a full 12 HCB’s, I thought that I would be super innovative, split the yeast mixture, and make 6 of each. It’s no longer Easter, so these would be “spiced fruit buns”, without the cross on top.

I of course, chose a sudden cold snap in the weather (also known as winter) to try and make a yeast mixture rise.

I mixed up 1 teaspoon of sugar, flour, yeast packet in accordance with the HCB recipe; but used 125mL water in accordance with the bagel recipe.

Once the yeast had become bubbly and foamy, I divided it by weight into two bowls trying give each one some of the bubble stuff and some of the liquid underneath. The yeast bubbles immediately disappeared.

I made each mixture to half sized spec, let them rise, punched them down and covered them with oiled plastic film and a tea towel. This I left next to the stove (which I had had on low whilst I was around), and left overnight in the kitchen. The door was shut to try and keep the heat in.

The next morning, I found an egg on the bench. Not a sudden attack of the chickens, but this was the egg that I was supposed to have put in the HCB mixture. The mixture was already so wet (I had soaked all of the fruit), I didn’t want to make it worse by adding egg. So I put in more flour, some psyllium as a binding substitute and kept going

I kneaded the dough and formed the ‘buns’. These were placed in my oiled roasting tray.

With the bagels, I tried to create a smooth ‘ball’, and then created a hole in the middle using my knuckle.

I left both trays in the kitchen covered with the tea towel for the rest of the day.

This step took me 30 minutes.

When I got home, the HCBs had oozed in a puddle and joined each other.

The bagels had also oozed and were big and floppy.

For the bagels, I pressed in a bunch of sesame, chia and nigella seeds. Half of the bagels were boiled first; the other half were baked for 2 minutes, then boiled, then baked.

The bagels stuck to the baking paper after I had boiled them and then stuck them in the oven. They were big, floppy and ungainly. I gave Mr L a bit of the best one, and he said it tasted like a bagel but was too hard. The second half batch I tried to partially bake first before boiling them, but greased the tray too much, so they ended up deep frying in the oven.

Bagel Failure

Out of my six “bagels” I got one decent looking one that was about the size of a beer coaster.

16% success!

Was it because it was too cold? Was it because I split the yeast mixture? Was it because the dough needed more kneading?


5 responses to this post.

  1. What a great recipe !


  2. […] for a challenge, I thought it was time to try and make the bagels […]


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